Something to Celebrate

I chose the word celebrate as my one word in January for a number of reasons. It’s time to revisit my word now that we’ve passed the halfway point for the year.

In the school year, June is a natural point for celebration.  As we took time to reflect on our shared experiences, my students and I realized that we had a wealth of growth and moments to celebrate. It was truly a wonderful, memorable year with many highlights.

With the school year over, I’ve realized that while I made a point of focusing on student celebrations, I have been reluctant to focus on the work that I have done.  I think we have a natural tendency to defer our moment in the spotlight in favor of our kids.  But I also think it is important to celebrate those important teacher moments too.

When I look back at the last six months through this new lens there’s been many special moments. A definite highlight was becoming a MIEE (Microsoft Innovator Educator Expert), and the opportunity to attend the E2 conference in Redmond, Washington this past May.

Becoming an MIE is definitely something to celebrate.  It’s given me opportunities to

  • learn about new ideas, practices, strategies and products. I have a passion for learning and the program is built upon the sharing of ideas, practices, strategies and products. My introduction to Sway, a powerful medium for storytelling and presentation, is just one example.
  •  connect with amazing and inspiring teachers. I believe strongly in the power of my PLN (Personal Learning Network). Meeting and connecting with other MIEE has been inspiring and empowering.  As a result, I’ve collaborated with local teachers and schools like Sarah Platero and Christine Letwin of Monsignor Fee Otterson.  My students have also worked with others across the globe in places like Croatia (Lidia Kralj), China (Wei Wang), Singapore (Andy Ng) and South Africa (Warren Sparrow) for Project Courage.
  • preview new products and software.  Using my new Surface Pro 3 has made our classroom Skypes marvellous!  Students love the clarity of the image and the sound, and the ability to roam through the room has made our presentations easier and improved their quality. We were also very excited to be participate in the preview of Skype Translate.
  • share stories of projects that engage, excite and inspire others to try them as well.
  • form lasting relationships and friendships

Becoming an MIEE is a simple process.  if you are a teacher using technology to create authentic learning experiences for your students, simply select a project to celebrate! Our Art4Afghanistan project qualified me to also attend the E2 conference, which was a wonderful celebration of learning and educators from across the globe, and a life changing experience.
I am looking forward to participating in the Teaching and Technology (TNT) Learnathon in Edmonton August 20-21, 2015.  It will be a great way to kick off our school year as we learn, connect and design meaningful, authentic project  focused on building community.  If you are interested in becoming a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, and celebrating the learning in your classroom, learn more here!

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