Today, I am honored to have Andrea Keller (http://busybeeideas.blogspot.com) as my guest blogger. Andrea is probably one of the fastest rising stars in ed tech in Texas. She is all over the technology space, she has won multiple awards for her work in infusing technology into her classrooms (and unlike desk-bound guys like me, she actually walks the talk!) Here is her blog, thank you Andrea. Please follow her on twitter @akbusybee or read her blog Busy Bee Ideas.
Being an educator in the world of today is hard. The amount of paperwork has gotten larger, curriculum continually changes, even more testing is required to pass from grade level to grade level, and expectations are different.
We are expected to inspire our students, but sometimes we need to be inspired ourselves. Being an avid social media user I stumbled across 2 fantastic hashtags #dotday and #youmatter After doing a little more digging I had signed up for International Dot Day in 2012 and had watched Angela Maiers You Matter TEDxDesMoines talk at least a dozen times.
The Dot book created by author/illustrator Peter Reynolds was released on September 15th, 2003. This book is about a girl named Vashti and the teacher that encourages her to “make her mark and see where it takes you.” It reminds educators of any fashion or style to encourage all learners to explore their own gifts and the impact that it might have. I have had the opportunity to meet Peter on two separate occasions and each time I am even more inspired for my students to make their own mark in a world that is ever changing.
Our classroom celebrated International Dot Day by collaborating with a classroom in Canada, creating Dot shirts, designing a large dot to hang in our classroom, and other dot activities. My favorite dot activity of the day was our Making Our Mark video we created for our blog. Our whole school celebrated International Dot Day by having families participate in different activities on a Saturday morning.
It is important to remind students to make their mark, but it is also important to remind educators that they matter too. Angela Maiers has a powerful TEDxDesMoines video of the importance of reminding others that they matter. Often times we are so caught up in our day to day lives that we forgot to remind people of their value. A thank you is great, but even more powerful is the exact words to someone of what you noticed and why it is so important.
I had the opportunity to give my first keynote this last January. I thought long and hard about the message that I wanted to give teachers and how I wanted to be able to affect a large group of people. I ended up calling my keynote Making Your Mark and I took this opportunity to explain the importance of International Dot Day for reminding students to make their mark and see where it takes them, but I also incorporated #YouMatter to remind educators that they are so very important in this world.
I hope you take a moment to remind others that they matter, but also remind yourself that you are inspiration.