It's time for Podstock! This is my third year attending Podstock, and it is by far my favorite conference of the year. It is hard for me to describe Podstock to those who have never been because it is so unique when compared to tradition conferences. Some call Podstock a family reunion, others call it staff development on steroids. I think of Podstock as a movement that is encouraging radical paradigm shifts in education.
There are so many things I've learned through Podstock. New tools for my classroom. New ideas to experiment with and figure out how they might work in my room. Although those are invaluable and I could write paragraph after paragraph sharing each new tool I learned, Podstock, for me, is more than that. It is the sense of community I feel by being with likeminded educators who truly want to prepare our students for the future they will live in. Teachers who believe so deeply in what they’re doing they are willing to sacrifice their time and personal finances to make it happen.
Podstock is about educators who have a mutual desire to inspire students and fellow colleagues.
Technology is a tool to help me be successful, but I have to start with who I am as a teacher and my core values. As a teacher, there are so many things I want to share with my students beyond the content material. I want to inspire them. I want them to find their passion and pursue it. I want to instill in them a sense of integrity.
I want my students to dream big dreams and think big thoughts. And I have to find a way to dream big dreams and think big thoughts because if I don’t, my students won’t. Podstock has taught me so much about technology, but its more than technology. I could have all the best technology in the world, but if my core values, what I believe as a teacher, aren’t solid all the technology in the world won’t matter.
Summer is one of my favorite times of the year. Yes, I've heard the joke about the three reasons why most become teachers (June, July, and August). Although I do enjoy the time off, what I really love about summer is getting the opportunity to connect with other educators and grown in the knowledge of my craft. We spend nine months of the year trying to convince our students that learning can be fun, but we often become resistant ourselves to learning new things.
A friend of mine, Kevin Honeycutt, often talks about how we need to teach students to "Learn 2 Love 2 Learn." I propose that we as teachers need to keep alive our own love of learning. I know how easy it is to let our passion get sidetracked when bombarded with the demands of our profession. This summer, as you recharge your batteries for another school year, I want to challenge you to remember why you chose to become a teacher. Remember that first year of teaching when you wanted to pull your hair out, but then a child smiled for the first time because they finally "got it." This summer I hope you can make meaningful connections with fellow educators and reignite your passion for learning.
Just a place to share my thoughts about education, technology, and whatever else pops into my head.