Although school hasn't officially started, many districts have decided to add extra professional development days this week to help prepare teachers for the technological changes coming to their districts. I am lucky enough to be out at Perry Local Schools today (and yesterday) as they welcome teachers back from summer break. Perry is implementing a #1:worldlearning initiative in the Middle and High schools. Perry invited me to give the keynote at their convocation and lead several breakout sessions with their staff. Making my job easier is the amazing administrative and technology support staff in the district.
The first three words in Perry schools mission statement are "Inspire all students...". When I met with the administrative team at their leadership retreat several weeks ago, I really began to see how important it was to everyone to not just implement devices, but to change the experience of students and staff.
The enthusiasm of the administrators was not an isolated incident. During the convocation I was able to talk with several teachers that were energized and excited to change the way they teach. My keynote followed the theme that Garth and I have always kept at the core of our work: Inspire student-owned learning. I spoke about moving away from grades, changing motivation to inspiration and shared the amazing work of our (Garth & my) students over the last seven years.
Many teachers thanked me for inspiring them and giving them new ideas to implement as the school year begins, but it was I who owe them thank you. Working with so many districts and often leading the same type of PD sessions, it is easy to fall into a rut; much like teaching! Working with such an inviting and enthusiastic group helped give me a renewed excitement about my job.