“I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious”
~ Albert Einstein ~
Last Saturday, I took advantage of a great day of professional development available FREE and ONLINE. The Educator’s Collaborative, founded by Chris Lehman, sponsored a day full of inspiration for educators. More than forty educators and writers were on hand to share their ideas and insights. During her presentation, Linda Hoyt talked about ways to help kids see how ideas go together, to see the relationships between seemingly diverse topics. Over the course of the day, it was hard to miss the relationship between all the sessions. The ideas delivered by so many wise presenters went together like pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle, and the finished puzzle spelled out: STUDENT ENGAGEMENT = STUDENT LEARNING
In one way or another, each session I watched stressed the importance of inspiring our students, sparking their curiosity, and encouraging them to ask questions. These steps will lead them to make new discoveries, discoveries about the world around them, but more importantly, discoveries about themselves. These discoveries, in turn, will help them dream and discover their passions.
It would be impossible to choose the best session, or the most inspiring idea, for they were all fantastic and full of inspiring ideas. I did love that all the presenters shared the research base and philosophy behind their ideas, then provided practical strategies that we could infuse into our lessons on Monday.
You really should just stop reading and go to The Educator’s Collaborative website and start watching. But in case you’re not convinced yet, here are a few examples of all the wisdom you’ll find there.
Harvey Daniels explained that “Curiosity is a better motivator than grit. Working from the positive is always so much better.”
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater reminded us that “Each of has something only we can say” and we should “say it through poetry!”
Rebekah O’Dell and Allison Marchetti gave us ideas for including “notebook time” in our classrooms and explained that this time “is an invitation and a place to play.”
Dr. Mary Howard urged us to build our classroom libraries to ensure that “students have books that will make their hearts sing!”
Linda Hoyt pointed out that we can “ignite a sense of wonder with kids through visuals in nonfiction read-alouds.”
“It’s about generating and creating pathways for thinking. It’s about giving kids new opportunities,” Kristin Ziemke explained.
Maggie Beattie Roberts told us that “tools help us do more, become more, reach dreams we have for ourselves, & make things easier.”
I could keep going, but seriously, just go watch the sessions for yourself. You’ll be so glad you did.
You’ll also find a session I wasn’t able to see because of satellite interference by four of Two Writing Teachers fearless leaders, Stacey Schubitz, Dana Murphy, Betsey Hubbard, and Deb Frazier on “Maximizing Independent Writing Time by Creating Conferring Tool Kits.” I’m looking forward to watching their session later this evening.
Thank you to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, Beth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.