2018 will mark my 15th ECOO “BIT” Conference. Once again, I leave feeling inspired, recharged and committed to being a strong, caring and innovative teacher. LOVE was a dominant theme – woven through the presentations and conversations. LOVE.
I had an opportunity to view the film, To the Orcas, with Love (LINK) by a local filmmaker, Natalie Lucia. In her film, Natalie emphasizes her goal – to inspire children and adults to fall in love with the world or some part of it, at least. She shares her journey (and passion) of working and living amongst the Orcas in British Colombia, Canada and how it changed her. Her motivation to inspire all people to reflect on our own role in the environment and the world, and how everything – every choice, action, relationship, discussion, and goal has connections to something else. She reminds us all that we can make a difference.
The film and resource have been made free for teachers to use in the classroom
Talking about Love…. I had a wonderful talk with a friend, Lisa Noble. I see her more often online at @nobleknits2 where she relentlessly and constantly shares – not about her own work (which is inspiring by the way) – but about the work of others. Her support, kindness, and genuine caring for others have been incredibly appreciated and needed. I have had a tough 18 months (grief, depression) and over and over Lisa has reached out to show her love and compassion. I am full of gratitude and was pleased to have had a chance to talk.
Another conversation led me to talk about Love and Kindness was with Peter Skillen @peterskillen. “Just bring Love”, he said. Admittedly, I did feel a bit of tension and stress at the conference. People feeling uncertain about their jobs, about where education is going. People expressing worry about children, students, and their future in Education. People struggling with their own mental health and stress. Optimism was not prevalent. Peter, an advocate for Child-Centered learning pedagogy noted, more than ever, we need to be kind and loving to one another – work together and care.
Now, THIS is true love. Sue @suekwiecien and Andy @AndrewKwiecien searched and found me in aimlessly walking around the conference centre – to give me huge hugs and homemade SCORPION PEPPER Hotsauce. I cherish these moments! Running into old friends (not old as in age) like @aforgrave and finding time to chat about our kids, family, and well-being was the best part of the conference. It’s family you haven’t seen in a long time.
Finally, I got to share some of my work. In Oct 2017, I finally finished my own Graduate Thesis (which took way too much time).It is humbling to present to other innovative and creative Educators. I don’t think I could have ever completed my Masters of Education without saying thank you to some of these folks – who inspired me from the beginning. Influencers such as Will Richardson (@willrich45); Rodd Lucier (@thecleversheep); Ben Hazzard (@benhazzard); Kathy Cassidy (@kathycassidy); Dr. Alec Couros (@courosa); Dr. Camille Rutherford (@crutherford); Jenny Ashby (@jjash); Doug Peterson (@dougpete); Andy Forgrave (@aforgrave); and Dean Shareski (@shareski).
Sharing of my Session Slide (although the context and talk aren’t there so it may not make sense).
Thank you for the many hours of work you have put into this conference and for supporting educators like myself. I saw many of you helping participants, guiding them, working with technology and helping them with their sessions. I know how much work – planning, organizing and prepping that goes into the conference behind the scenes. You are incredibly inspiring and know that this work impacts so many children!
Sincerely, and with Love,