Monday, March 6, 2017

Teacher AND Learner

Today, kids across Illinois had the day off of school to commemorate Casimir Pulaski.  Don't know who he is?  You can read about this Revolutionary War general here.  In my school district, the kids are off, but the teachers have an inservice day.  This year, we started the day with a whole-district presentation about supporting students with anxiety disorders in the classroom.  It was interesting and informative, but it certainly wasn't interactive.  The presenters left about two minutes for questions.

Following that presentation, the elementary teachers left and went to another building to have EdCamp D28.  I was on the committee that organized this day, and I was a bit nervous going in.  I don't know of many of my colleagues who have attended an EdCamp, and I wasn't sure how the day would go.  As a committee, we made the decision to pre-fill part of the schedule by asking teachers ahead of time for session ideas.  We had about 18 different options, which was great!

Our district places a high value on student voice and choice in our classrooms, and it was awesome to see that value reflected in our PD day.  As I moved through sessions, it seemed some teachers were more comfortable with the "unconference" aspect of EdCamp than others, which is to be expected for the first time.  I hope our district will do more days like this, so that teachers will feel empowered to make choices about their own professional learning.

I plan on wearing my "Team 28" tee shirt with pride throughout the rest of this school year.  I think it sends an important message about who I am.  I am a teacher AND a learner.  I think that is one of the things that keeps teaching fresh for me after 23 years.  I seek to learn something new  People who know me know I own almost every literacy-based book in both the Heinemann and Stenhouse catalogs (and I'm making a dent on the math ones).  I love going to conferences to learn from not only the big guns in the ed world but also everyday classroom teachers.  I love participating in Twitter chats to get new ideas and challenge my own thinking about what I do in my classroom every day. I love participating in labs that take me into colleagues classrooms.

Maybe that's part of the reason I became a teacher.  If I teach, I never have to leave school!  I can continue to be surrounded by books and pencils and markers and kids and other adults who are just as nerdy as I am.

I am a teacher and a learner.
And I hope that never changes.


  1. What a great message, Mindi! Sounds like a lot of exciting things are happening in your area!

  2. I loved EdCamp today and I love your post. I feel the same way.
    BTW: I always make it a point to comment on the three posts right before mine. Lucky me, yours was one of them. Keep learning, I know I am.

  3. I love this post! It's very empowering itself! :-) ~JudyK

  4. I love that our district took a risk and tried something new yesterday. I was inspired. Nerds unite! ;)