Education Christmas in July

July 24, 2013
Jeffrey Spencer, Principal

Jeffrey Spencer, Principal

New Tech Network events are my Christmas. NTAC is Christmas when I’m six and still believe in Santa Claus. I eagerly await the opportunity to guzzle as much as I can from the New Tech fire hose. Being a growth mindset person, I don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. Social media allows me to learn from other experts. 365 days a year, Mike Kaechele is an avatar dropping digital wisdom into my twitter feed.Patrick Malley is a YouTube video inspiring me to think about best practices in discipline and how I can facilitate learning opportunities around behavioral failures. Kevin Gant is still a rock star. But during NTAC, I get the opportunities to network with the real people and building personal relationships to support my online PLC.

The strength of the Network resides in the relationships that exist virtually and in person to support the hard work of being a facilitator and leader in a New Tech environment. The beauty of a true learning organization is the learning I can take back to my students to better prepare them for life: college and career readiness, digital citizenship, engaged citizenship, productive members of society.

We CAN create a learning environment that produces the ideal graduate.We CAN produce young people who are more than test scores. We CAN create life-long learners who will change the world.

Lee Fleming likes to use the phrase, “I used to think, but now I think ” as a technique to elicit reflection, which is so very growth mindset of her.

I used to use worksheets and teacher-driven lectures, but now I create engaging, authentic challenges for my learners.

I used to think I was pretty smart but now I know I’m a small cog in an amazing leaning organization.

I used to operate on a lonely island but now I use social media to leverage the power of many brains.

I used to be one person trying to change a broken system but now I am a part of an organization that is revolutionizing education.

I return to Indiana refreshed and reenergized for the obstacles and challenges ahead. I revisited my purpose and feel secure in sharing with my colleagues and community. I can be the shirtless dancing guy leading the revolution, or the follower, mimicking the key movements to spread the good work. I can make a difference for the young people I work with on a daily basis. No matter the content we teach or the role we fill, we can make a difference because we’re a part of an organization committed to meaningful outcomes for our young people. You’ve had an amazing four days, learn from it, reflect, and return home to inspire awesomeness for your learners.

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