Developing Teacher-Leaders

How are formal, organized and appointed leadership models in schools adapting to teacher leadership initiatives that are self-organized, community oriented, and both deliberate and organic in nature? From teacher training programs, to experienced teachers, to online learning communities  – teacher leadership is becoming the driving force behind some of the most authentic, current and innovative projects and evolving pedagogies in education.  Information is more available and accessible then ever before. Networks are connecting beyond schools, districts and Ministries. Educators are forming learning groups, communities of practice and support mechanisms even beyond the formal direction or moderation from a supervisor or evaluator directly in their organization.  Almost every night of the week educators around the world are learning and supporting Continue reading Developing Teacher-Leaders

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Teachers Leading Teachers

These are a just few words that come to mind when I reflect on how I felt as I toured the hundreds of projects that were on display at the #TLLP2011 summit this past weekend in Toronto, Ontario. What an honour! Together, teachers gathered from across Ontario’s 72 District school boards – all grades, disciplines, subject levels, departments and from across a diverse province of French and English learners, Aboriginal communities and Gay and Lesbian groups to share insights, perspectives, research and best practice. If the passion and energy of these leaders could have been bottled up and harnessed for power, I am certain that it would be enough power to get us through the next hundred years. SEWATAHON’ Continue reading Teachers Leading Teachers

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Leaders – do you know your staff’s learning needs? Does it matter to you?

Over the last 10 weeks, I have had the most humbling opportunity to influence pre-service Teachers during their final year before they enter the profession. Having had a taste of instructional leadership in my grad studies, and within a school district and now in a Faculty of Education, I have noticed that the approach to adult learning differs greatly once these adult learners enter the field. Let me explain.   Just like in the classroom with children, these pre-service teachers differ greatly in their learning needs. In every one of my classes, I have some students requiring specific accommodations and/or modifications (even adults are on an IEP). I have noticed huge disparities in knowledge and understanding of tech use Continue reading Leaders – do you know your staff’s learning needs? Does it matter to you?

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New Teachers ‘…the times they are a-changin’

Come gather ’round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone If your time to you Is worth savin’ Then you better start swimmin’ Or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin’. (Bob Dylan, 1964) There is a new group of teachers in town. For the next eight months, at Brock University in Hamilton, Ontario,  these teachers will learn and practice what it truly means to teach in the 21st Century. Nope. This doesn’t mean they will graduate as Information Technology Specialists. Nor does it mean that they will be computer programmers, or expert gamers, or trained ‘techies’. What Continue reading New Teachers ‘…the times they are a-changin’

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Educon Conversation – Learning Spaces of Tomorrow

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to facilitate a conversation at #educon23 in Philidealphia with Rodd Lucier (thecleversheep). Because we were presenting during the last time slot of the conference, Rodd and I felt is was necessary to give participants a chance to apply the knowledge gained throughout the weekend to our session. Ultimately to make the session, their culminating activity. We used a Livescribe Pen, a tool that records in both ink and audio we asked the participants to literally design a learning space using the themes and principles of Educon itself. The results of the Pencasts are quite remarkable really and captured those conversations that don’t normally get the attention – the small groups and 1:1 Continue reading Educon Conversation – Learning Spaces of Tomorrow

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Teacher Engagement – Leaders – and the Netgens

As educators, we so often talk about student engagement and what it really means to be engaged. According to Wikipedia – Student engagement occurs when “students make a psychological investment in learning. They try hard to learn what school offers. They take pride not simply in earning the formal indicators of success (grades), but in understanding the material and incorporating or internalizing it in their lives.” (Link) In a classroom with kids, engagement requires a rich inquiry based learning environment. Every students needs a purpose and every student needs to to feel safe to make mistakes. Collaboration is essential in discovery and learning as is presenting to an authentic audience. As an educator, teacher engagement has become essential to Continue reading Teacher Engagement – Leaders – and the Netgens

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Educon2.2 – not just a technology conference….

From the beginning, Educon 2.2 presented by Science Leadership, asserted that it is not a “technology conference”, but a conversation for educators to come together from across the world to talk about strategies, best practices, changes, ideas and concerns relating to education for today and for tomorrow. This post will focus on my experience and how this experience satisfied the Guiding Principals of Educon, that: – Our schools must be inquiry-driven, thoughtful and empowering for all members – Our schools must be about co-creating – together with students – like the 21st Century Citizen, – Technology must serve pedagogy, not the other way around – Technology must enable students to research, create, communicate and collaborate – Learning can – Continue reading Educon2.2 – not just a technology conference….

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