Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Seek Support

One of the lessons learned that I shared at the ICE conference the last two days was to seek support. Educators who are trying new things often feel alone.

At your own school...
     Who do you know at your own school who can help you with hardware? Software? Innovative ideas? Editing? Parents? Administration? School morale? Go to them - seek them out. Make the connections.

In your district...
     Who in your district is changing things for the better? Who is an inspiration? Who pushes you? Who supports you? Surround yourself with these educators.

On social media...
     When you stick you toe in, you'll find new ideas around every corner. After you're immersed in the deep end, you'll find that you're questioning others - and yourself. You'll be tired of the echo chamber, and you can now reach out towards people who push you further. These will be the connections that have the possibility to lead to big change in education.

The major benefit of seeking support is that you become more CONNECTED to educators who want to help. And then you get to MEET them in person and learn even MORE from them! This is when you do NOT feel alone - you get to be with your tribe!

I want to thank the following inspirational educators for the thrilling two days of learning and the filling up of my soul at the ICE 17 conference...

Amber Heffner - for the invitation to be a spotlight speaker! (And for all the nerves that came along for the ride!)

Jen Smith - for the nudge to update my profile picture, the eight bottles of water, the first dongle I tried, introductions prior to me speaking on Thursday, and for being my buddy and my "pusher" since 2012! Bonus: thanks for getting a Hokki stool to room 239, as well!

Carrie Baughcum - for the wholesome blossoming as a marigold for all educators. What a trip to hang out with you in what's become your element! How #HotSauceFantastic

Maureen Miller - for helping David Karnoscak and I win Kids Deserve It! (See my next post for lessons learned...)

Jen Vincent - for the second dongle - given at the drop of a hat!! - at the start of my first presentation.

Amy Lamberti - for the third - and final - dongle of the week. I just purchased my own today!

Dana Ladenburger - for being the catalyst to our "aha moment" at dinner (no, not the chili or the carding) and the beautiful sketchnote for my culture shift presentation, too!

Lindsay Zilly & Kristin Beeler - for the sketchnotes for one of my personalized learning presentations!

HS Senior who did not share his name - for coming up to me after one presentation and letting me know he thinks all teachers should hear my message.

John Wawczak for letting me know how much the LiveBinder has helped educators at your school. Just the motivation I need to keep editing it to make it better and easier for teachers and parents to use!

Catching up with so many fabulous educators! I started writing down all the familiar faces (Amanda, Heidi, Shawn, Jim, Traci, Joe, etc.) I was able to actually SIT with and chat, and then I lost the list!! UGH! I have no doubt that the person who found it will be following some stellar people soon. You know who you are! Thank you for making the connections again and swapping stories!

I'm so glad I got a chance to sit and talk a teeny bit with Steve Wick again, as well. His top tweets from ICE17 are here, and even though I didn't get to see his sessions, I know he always shares valuable information you can use TODAY! Next time I need to "relax" before I present, I'm checking out one of his myriad sessions!

My favorite tweets... that keep me inspired and ready to try to improve what's happening in schools!

I've had such support on this journey! Thank you to all the educators that continue to share online and inspire teachers like myself. Thank you to all the presenters I've ever seen in my career so far. I am so very fortunate to be able to learn from you.

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