So, here's what happened... A few weeks ago my friend +Steven Anderson (you may know him as web20classroom on Twitter) asked me if I'd be willing to do a back to school webinar for teachers on (wait for it) ANYTHING I WANTED TO! Now, I don't know about you, but this is the kind of invitation I like, so of course I said yes. Then....
I ran across this video which, to be blunt, rocked my world! I was SO VERY inspired by Tim Harris and the joy he felt just getting up and going to work every day. But I have to admit, the video also left me with some questions. Specifically:
What would it take to get teachers this excited about going to work each day?
How can we, as teachers, harness and hold onto the joy so often associated with the first days of school and make it last all year long?
In short... what would it take to make teachers want to do a DANCE OFF OF MAGIC in their school parking lots each and ever day?
A tall order, I know. But I decided to try. The one thing I knew for sure was that I could not do it alone. Drawing inspiration from Mia MacMeekin's series of "27 Ways To... " infographics and decided to make my own, using Comic Life. Then, knowing there was no way I could come up with 27 totally unique and amazing ways to make this the best year ever on my own, I started asking members of my PLN for tips and advice to help teachers a) remember why they became teachers to begin with and b) hang onto that inspiration all year long so that day 121 felt as awesome as day one. AND OH MY STARS! The advice people shared was AMAZING! I was blown away. And it wasn't long before my infographic was finished!
I soon realized, however, that their stories and advice were so inspirational, I knew I had to share more than what I could include in the infographic, so once it was finished, I uploaded the finished product to Thinglink and then tagged each "tip" with photos, videos and other resources so that everyone accessing the infographic could benefit from the wisdom and generosity of those who were willing to share.
I love the finished product so, so much. But I love the process that went into creating it even more. What's more, little did I know that I would need this process, at this very moment, more than I could have imagined.
This is the 18th time that I have gone back to school, in some form or fashion, and in many ways it's also been the toughest. Perhaps I am just getting old, but I've had to really dig deep during these first few days of school to remain hopeful and confident that I am up to the challenges the lie ahead. (And there are a lot of them).
What I know for sure, though, is that I am lucky. My life has and will continue to be changed by the army of brilliant teachers that I am connected with each day via Twitter and now, increasingly more, on Voxer (Group Tedifer, you know who you are!) an app which allows me to trade voice messages with some of my favorite people in the whole wide world as I travel to and from work every day. I could not have completed this project with you... but, more importantly, I wouldn't have made it through the last few weeks without you. *mwah!*
So.... if you missed the webinar, here's the link to the archive. Thanks to all that attended. It was good, good fun.
And to everyone out there reading this, I really do hope this is the best year ever. And on those days when you DON'T feel like doing a dance off of magic in the parking lot, I hope you'll reach out to those people in your life who support and inspire you. I'm living proof that they do make things better.
As Tim Harris would say... "oh yeah!"