2017. What can happen in a single year? How often do you look back and say to your past self “you’re not going to believe what’s going to happen this year?” It was one of those years – a bit of a transformation in where I’m finding my passions lie.
When I look back on the opportunities I was able to take advantage of there was always someone involved. Maybe it was a mentor. A colleague. An anonymous Twitter post. A tap on the shoulder. People make opportunities. Connections create opportunities.
So in an attitude of gratitude I want to highlight people in my world who challenged me, supported me or just listened to me in 2017. It’s not a short list – but their credit is due. It’s also not ordered in any way. Maybe you’ll think of your list and reach out to someone to say thank-you.
– Aretta Blue. My TLLP co-conspirator and all around calming influence and amazingly dedicated educator. Thanks for affirming and pushing…and having good taste in sushi.
– Leigh Cassell. Our dock talk remains the most important ‘PD’ I’ve had this year. Don’t change.
– Dr. Crocker. You don’t sleep. This has to be true. Your mind works on so many levels and I still swear you are a step ahead of me, even 12 years after you hired me ; ) A force.
– Cathy Beach. Your interest in my work and your empathy really spoke to me this year. Keep doing cool things for all Canadian kids.
-Erin Mutch and Dan Arppe – you’ve framed environmentally-shaped student learning opportunities that have sparked my creativity and have taken me to some of my favourite teaching experiences.
– Emily Fitzpatrick, Jen Giffen, Sandra Chow, Kim Pollishuke and EdTech folks who have made conference weekends so warm and inclusive.
– The Learning Tech Coordinators (past and present) for pretending to be interested in what I’m doing with tech ; )
– Meredith, Tara and Ashleigh. Teammates and good people. So smart.
-Chris Cluff and his amazing Chasing Squirrels podcast. No one asks questions and makes connections the way you do. My first podcast – what a treat.
– All of the teachers out there who’ve come to one of my sessions and made me feel like I know what I’m talking about, and all the great educators who’ve offered sessions where I’ve come away with a spark that lit a new fire.
– Allison Fuisz, we’ve never met in person but feel as though we would click like old friends. Your personal accountability to your students is so great. @OnEdChat was a blast to participate in and guest-moderate.
– The TVDSB Critical Media Literacy group. Thesis-level discussions! Important ideas. Thanks for the invite.
-The @OnEdSsChat team. Leigh, Nicole, Allison, Brock (nice to meet you at BiT!), J Casa Todd…what a great forum for kids. Just watch it grow. Thanks for thinking of me.
– The Ministry’s TLLP network. What a cool collective to be associated with. 1:1 iPads?!? Get focussed and things happen!
– The amazing citizens, historians, politicians, seniors and library staff in Aylmer. My Canada 150 community learning project was more successful than I could have ever imagined. The experience changed how I approach teaching.
– #tvdsbtech and the reliable PLN that ‘meets’ to chat. Go team!
– TVO for offering Professional Learning forums. Sandra, what an honour!
-Lori McKee (congrats, it’s official!). Thanks for putting the pre-service bug in my ear.
– The fun post-conference presenter crews that literally represent what dedicated educators look like. I’ve met some heroes at these speaker events!
– Dawn Telfer, Carla Matos and Sabrina Tyrer for the ed-chattiest carpool ever – such talent in that minivan drive to TEDx.
– MAD PD (Make A Difference) online conference organizers Peter Cameron and Derek Rhodenizer (dug the podcast experience). ‘Out there’ ideas like this gives voice to educators.
– David Carruthers and Derek Tangredi for sharing stories and demonstrating that you really never know where life might take you – be passionate.
– Teachers I look up to offering advice, support or ‘other’ – thanks Michelle Cordy, Patti Wakem, Heidi Solway, Ryan Matthews, Marc Hodgkinson to name a few.
– Administration and secretarial staff who’ve removed barriers.
– My students and families – your excitement at my sometimes ‘rogue’ approach feeds my creativity.
-And you! I’m just assuming Twitter connected you to this blog, which means you are part of a key driver in my ever-evolving teaching world.
Most importantly, my wife and kids. Kris, Fin and Adelle have been wonderful in letting me explore new avenues this year. What a luxury. I see so much of what I offer in a classroom through the lens of these fine people. I may be biased – but I have an awfully great fam jam.
So there it is. My attitude of gratitude. Gosh I hope I didn’t miss anyone…
Tell someone they inspired you.
Tag, you’re it.