March 8th marks the annual International Women's Day, and the 2015 theme is
Make It Happen.
I have lots of wonderful memories of my childhood - amazing travels and opportunities, chances to explore and partake in sports and activities, role models to look up to and emulate, and many more. What I also remember is my desire to do, be, and learn in every possible situation.
I also remember that I struggled with what I now like to refer to as leadership skills. I wanted to lead, but that meant learning how to lead others, how to communicate with them, and how to reflect rather than point to others.
My life has included an interesting series of opportunities and experiences that have led me to realize my desire to help young girls follow their dreams and Make It Happen.
In celebration of National Women's Day, I wanted to share a few resources specific to young girls and helping them develop as individuals, as leaders, and as women.
I absolutely LOVE the PD I am participating in called Educator Learning Series (#eduLS) from Todd Nesloney. Each week a new challenge is posted that allows me to explore old and new tools and complete challenges using these tools. The challenges are presented by different educators, giving me a chance to expand my growing digital PLN.
In week 8, we were challenged to create with easy to use digital tools. One of the tools was Canva, which I already love! I thought I would try out the other two suggestions: @Tackk and @SmorePages. Smore requires a paid account, although an educator option is available with special pricing. I'd heard about this tool before and am pleasantly surprised by the features it includes. This can be used for newsletter, invitations, etc. and the creation of these products is very straightforward. I decided to sign up for Tackk, because it is free and available as an app.
The practice Tackk I created is below. Tackk allows for final products to be shared to a variety of social media platforms, they can be printed or e-mailed, or they can be embedded like I have done here.
I am now curious about the use of Tackk in education. You can follow users like on Instagram, for example. You can also set your Tackks to receive comments from others, which I elected to turn off for this particular one. You can also set Tackks to be private and hidden from the Tackkboard that includes work from various users. The app is just as easy to use as the web version of the tool, and I will definitely return to exploring the use of this with students!
Last month, there was a great initiative to spread positive messages about the passion that keeps educators in their profession. I've been trying to keep up with and participate in the #EduLS challenges this spring. In challenge 6, we were asked to reflect on the reasons we love teaching and share one reason daily for the week leading up to Valentine's Day.
Since it is now March, I clearly missed the week of sharing. I wanted to participate anyway, because "better late than never" - right?
I LOVE that every day I have a chance to be reminded of my love of learning, while watching and encouraging young hearts to do so, too. I have a chance to learn something new daily. I get to challenge myself and my own thinking, knowledge, and beliefs.
I LOVE when your students are so excited to share their lives with you that at 7 A.M. they flood your classroom bursting with stories. (I can almost hear the "Oh my gosh, Ms. K..." in my head as I type this)
I LOVE teaching allows me to work with and learn from others. I love the network of teachers I connect and share with, and I love that there so many passionate professionals that care about what we do.
I LOVE when students remind me that it is safe to try, to fail, and try again. As adults we sometimes lose our fearlessness, but children explore and discover the world with a curiosity and fearlessness that we should hope would never stop.
I LOVE that when I think about my last few years of work, I don't remember the meetings, the papers, the frustrations, but instead my heart feels full, my eyes blur, and I smile.
I LOVE that in my career, I get to experience true human emotions. We laugh, cry, worry, hope, dream, and connect with children on a daily basis.
I LOVE that children find it in their heart to be compassinate, show empathy, and believe in the goodness that humankind can be.
I LOVE that I love my job. I love that I don't dread the new school year, the morning back from break, or the extended hours locked inside due to snow. Sometimes I allow myself to fall into the trap of staff room moans, but secretly I cannot wait to be at work with my students.
Based in Doha currently, I am a technology-advocating learning junkie.