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This week I sat down with Melissa and Barb to ask them about their experience with virtual learning. Both Melissa and Barb are veteran teachers who have spent many years teaching World Languages in public schools. I met Melissa at an IU8 networking event and was immediately impressed with her passion for teaching and her passion for learning how to continue to grow as a teacher. On a visit to Barb’s school, her Assistant Principal insisted I meet her – she told me Barb was the best instructional coach, but an even better teacher!

Our conversation today highlighted so many of the reasons I love working with them. They bring all of themselves to the classroom and share their passion and commitment with others.

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Learning From the Virtual World

As we talked today here are some of the highlights of our conversation:

  1. They continue to be surprised by what they can learn. At 2:42 they discussed making connections in the virtual setting. Their insights are spot on – kids want to be ‘seen’ and heard.
  2. 4:15 I highlight the new phrase ‘teacher intelligence’ – Melissa and Barb both use all of the aspects of intelligence in working to engage and connect with their students and content.
  3. Support when learning new things is important. We need help from not only administrators but also colleagues.
  4. Barb highlights some of the reasons mentoring is so important at 9:11. They discuss how being new in any teaching role can be overwhelming – check out how they help other teachers to do well.
  5. We are all in this together – yet sometimes people can feel insecure, judged or isolated, which makes it hard to share and collaborate. At 15:00 they talk again about how not to overwhelm folks.
  6. The future may look different in light of teacher shortages! At 21:00 Barb and Melissa give some insights into the struggles of being teachers in such interesting times.

Highlighting the work of great teachers is a passion for me these days. As I talk to colleagues and friends across education I continue to hear stories of such love, compassion, passion, and tenacity. Teachers have shown up every day in this pandemic. They have shown up when everyone else was staying home. They showed up online with little or no training. And guess what, lots of them figured it out and did AMAZING!

I know that teachers and administrators are tired. I know families and communities are stretched. I know we all are not sure how to navigate this event for which there is no roadmap.

So I want to thank teachers, especially, for being the beacon during this dark time for the kids. For leading and navigating waters that have been murky (to say the least) and providing a sense of structure and value to the daily lives of so many. There are so many of you who have led… Thank You!


Tools They Love:

Melissa: Blooket

I love to use a game called Blooket. My students are big gamers and often ask to play. It is especially nice because it uses whatever pre-set list you create to play a variety of different game formats-there are 12 game options.

Barb: Edupuzzle

I love how I can assess listening with EdPuzzle. Students love being able to watch a video and then give their answers. Our whole school is using it now!!


Leadership Corner

In the magazine Fastcompany, Selena Wilson highlighted 3 Things Great Leaders do Every Day.

  1. Create Opportunities for Others to Lead – how can we all empower students and staff to hold the mantle of leadership? What areas do you hold onto that you could let go of?
  2. Set the Bar High and Offer Support – when we believe everyone is capable we are on the road to excellence. Everyone can lead, offer opportunities, and provide peer-to-peer or mentoring support. Where would you start?
  3. Cultivate and Echosystem Where Everyone Thrives – seeing each human’s gift enables us to harness the power of a team. Our Life Skills Spanish course is a shining example of how we believe – everyone can learn.

At the World of Learning, we do our best each day to empower our people and our learners’ to participate in making us the best learning organization. In my conversation with Melissa and Barb, it feels like we are leading, in the classroom and in the halls. We share, we ask questions, we create systems where everyone can thrive. Does this resonate for you??

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