I recently spent two days at Trinity School in Atlanta, Georgia, learning with some very passionate educators. As I left to head back home, this invigorating feeling came over me as I really felt empowered by many educators who wanted to get better and were taking the opportunity to grow and learn. The message that was stated over and over again during those two days was the importance of teacher as lead learner, and if we really want to get better for our students, we need to learn alongside them.
In the morning, as I shared my keynote and we all had the chance to partake in an awesome team building activity, what I was enjoyed most by was sitting, working, and listening to educators throw around ideas of innovative opportunities that they were going to create with their students when they return for the next school year. The open conversation, risk taking, and sense of wanting to get better was exhilarating. I really believe that we are in the people business, and what I saw were educators collaborating and pushing each other to get better.
My staff has taught me the power of continuous learning and the process of powerful collaboration. Connecting with so many educators in the past few years, I continue to gain a sense of energy from the ideas that I hope will impact our students. Watching another staff hear some ideas, go with them, and create some amazing learning opportunities is an environment that we need to transfer to our students. Seeing educators have time to collaborate, create, and learn and enjoy that opportunity only solidifies my belief that our students need this as well. The concept of the “In-Out Box”, of simply giving an assignment to get it back to mark it is something that I knew I could not do and dreaded the thought of spending 30 years of my life partaking in.
But 30 years of this? I can no longer imagine doing anything else!
In case you are interested, below is my presentation to Trinity School.