Monday, April 3, 2017

Start.Right.Now. #D100bloggerPD

How creative is it that you are taking part in this book study virtually?! You may not know me or any of the others who are participating in the #D100bloggerPD but you can still take part! Please feel free to engage in the conversation in the comments below and/or on Twitter using #D100bloggerPD


We decided to dive into Start. Right. Now.: Teach and Lead for Excellence: Todd Whitaker, Jeff Zoul, and Jimmy Casas because one of the authors, Jimmy Casas, will be the opening Keynote speaker for our district's 3rd annual, iEngage-Berwyn Conference in 3.5 short weeks! Get your tickets here - - space is limited to see students in action and teachers share their best practices! 

Chapter 3: Show the Way

Ok so now let's get to the chapter I am covering today - Part 2 of Chapter 3 (we are so eager to participate that we split Chapter 3 into two parts!) Check out Chapter 1's kickoff from the lovely +Kristin Richey , Chapter 2's post from the reflective +Jen Lehotsky and Part 1 of Chapter 3 from the fearless leader +Sue Butler. We all reflect in different ways and I have decided to chunk each section and focus on my biggest takeaways.

Sharing Our Stories

 "Excellent educators are masterful storytellers"

I wish I could remember who said it (if you do, tell me!) but they said "If you aren't telling your story, who is?" 

This quote resonated with me as I read this portion. Often times, educators look at sharing successes or stories as bragging. But in this chapter, the authors outline how storytelling can help guide you in the right direction, drive your purpose and make your work worthwhile. With all of today's social media tools, you have the ability to tell your story through a multitude of ways! You can choose to build a brand for your district, communicate the vision for your district, or even share stories of the happenings in your very own classrooms. Story creation has never been so simple! Rather than looking at it as bragging, look at it as sharing. In schools today, we are promoting the 4Cs: creation, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration as a way to prep for 21st century skills. Often times, diving into the skills means connecting with a global audience. This is so key for us as educators to remember of ourselves to.o In previous chapters, they have focused on how modeling is an instrumental part of teaching (leadership) and the same goes for modeling storytelling! They refer to a book called: Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, which coincidentally is a book that our iCoach department is rotating to gather advice on how to collectively share visions for a better future. The book breaks down the six qualities for effective communication = SUCCESs: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Story. This portion made me reflect and think: what story are you sharing?

Create, Don’t Critique

"The difference between amazing educators and average ones lies in their response to criticism, reluctance, resistance, or indifference."

STOP! Now re-read that quote a couple of times before you continue and let it sink in. Guys, this is hard stuff that is so powerful. When we work together to create rather than criticize, imagine what can we accomplish! A coach on our team, +Annie Forest reminded me that it takes as much energy (if not more) to complain as it does to find a solution. As the authors referred to in Chapter 2, we all have the same amount of time but it is a matter of how we use it. (Which then of course reminded me of the TED Talk: Laura Vanderkam: How to gain control of your free time - This portion continues on to talk about the importance of sharing our joyful, passionate, energetic, and positive attitudes on a daily basis...consistently! They suggest putting joy into more of your work and approaching it with this joyful attitude, even if it is not particularly joyful. "When faced with negativity, though, they (teachers/leaders/students) avoid responding in kind and treat these opportunities to create joy, curiosity, and dreams."

On a side note, I was indulging in my guilty pleasure of listening to the Modern Love Podcast a couple of weeks ago on my way home from work. The essay spotlighted was about an individual who was seriously ill and given a few years to live. It highlighted how he had taken this prognosis and began living his life in the "Act as if" mentality. The idea is that you act as you want to live and your positivity allows you to embody what you desire. As in, "Act as if...I am always going to be healthy/live a long life/overcome my illness." (He has lived 20+ years and is still alive today!). 

So let's take his advice and "Act as if...we are joyful!"

Basic Instinct

"Master educators are not afraid to leverage their natural intuition"

This portion is simple and sweet - always allow yourself to hone in on your inner-self and trust your instinct. From classroom management, to parent meetings, to a staff conversation, it is always important to also rely on your moral compass. Remember to speak up, share what you feel strongly about and as they mention in Chapter 2 - always ask 'what's best for kids?' 

Our former Superintendent shared two things with me that I will never forget and they help guide me as a learner, leader, and educator:

1. When you walk out of a meeting, make sure you don't regret not saying something.
2. Don't be afraid to speak up if it is best for the kids.

Teach 4, Lead 4, Learn 4

I love the way they have the last portion of their chapter set up. It is all about connecting you to real life educators in the field who are accomplishing the very practices that are being explained and then resources at how to begin on your own. Check out the resources from this chapter below to feel inspired!

Teach 4

Lead 4
1. @Glennr1809 (I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at #SXSWedu on making a Genius Hour schedule in Middle School -be sure to pick his brain about this!) 

Be sure to follow the fabulous coach and teacher, Amy on  as she shares her reflections from Chapter 4! 

Thank you for reading and we hope to see you at iEngage on April 28 + 29!


Friday, March 31, 2017

#iCoachBSD - District 100 March Innovation Newsletter

Check it out! The iCoaches have begun to put together monthly newsletters to start focusing on sharing innovative practices across the district. They created the first one in Piktochart and it was quite a hit. Piktochart has a visually friendly format that they have adopted. The purpose of this newsletter is to share what learning is taking across the district!

March Innovation Newsletter - 4C's are in action this month!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Mash Up of My First #SXSWEdu

I had the opportunity to attend SXSWedu this month and it was by far the most beneficial conference I have attended! The people I had the chance to connect with were forward thinking, the sessions were engaging, and the panels were thought provoking. Even the conversations I had in passing had me thinking differently. Overall, it allowed to think outside of the box when it comes to decision making and innovating in schools and more importantly it reminded me what I am thankful for here in Berwyn!

My Biggest takeaways: 

    • Dr. Edmin encouraged us to start thinking of own passion and power. How do we bring it to the forefront every single day to our students? He reminded us that it is vital that we 'create spaces that allow students to teach us what to do!' He reminded us of the importance of equity in schools. It was invigorating and inspiring. He left us all with a 'call to action' to listen to what our students need and meet each one where they are at. Recap of the session from EdSurge here! 
    • How to create a startup in classrooms? Check out @reshanrichards book here - Great overview on how to build an entrepreneurship program at your school! We are asking students each day to create, why not have them begin to build their own businesses?
    • This panel was slightly different than what I typically attend since it dealt with a more political aspect of education. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact it allowed me to reflect on education outside the 4 walls of my school district. Through extensive conversation led by influential educational leaders, this panel was extremely thought provoking. Read a review of the panel from Beth Holland here on EdWeek.
  • Workshop: Future Design School Workshop 
    • The Future Design School led a workshop that was hands-on, engaging, and fun! I had the chance to connect with some new friends and work through the entire design process facilitated but he instructors. By the end of the session we walked away with a full prototype of a social networking app for VR/AR learning! Check out my moment below to learn more. I loved to have the chance to create! 
  • Keynote: Brene Brown 
    • BE VULNERABLE! Need I say more? Truly I have few words to describe her impact on me personally and professionally because she is so overwhelmingly on point and honest. Let's put ourselves out there and learn together! Check out her TED talk here: The power of vulnerability | BrenĂ© Brown

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

#ICE17 in Jordan's Mind!

Have you attended a conference and had a challenging time sharing what you learned? I do!!! I wish people could HOP into my mind and learn with me! This is a huge reason why I love Twitter but I just came across these questions last week and use them to breakdown my learning from the ICE Conference and wanted to share them with you. 

  • What are the top sessions you learned from attending/presenting?
  • What are the top sessions/topics that you would like to take back to your campus to impact change?
    • Life as a Coach with +Megan Ryder - her real life examples, experiences, tips and tricks really made an impact with me. I loved all of her ideas on how to build relationships and she reminded us as coaches that building the relationships is the most important part of our job! 
  • What are the top sessions/topics that challenged your beliefs?
    • Science of Innovation with +Shawn McCusker  - he allowed us to begin to think of Innovation as a way to build something together. 
  • Who was someone you connected with that impacted you?
    • The Orland District 135 coaches! They have challenged my thinking since day 1 of connecting with them this last year. They have brought over 40 people from their district to come learn with +Berwyn South District 100 and we are so grateful for the learning opportunities that have come out of this partnership. They have learned alongside us - thank you Chris Bohula, Kristin Beeler, Lindsey Zilly and of course our former Michelle Thorne
  • Who are the top people that engaged you?
    • Jason and Jessie from Killdeer were such great duo to chat with. Not only did I have the chance to learn with them at our design thinking workshop but I also had the chance to see how they used Schoology to drive their professional development! Thank you for learning with me! 
  •  What are the top resources you found most impactful?
    • Barrington 220 inspired me with their TPACK Student teams! This is something I am going to try with our iSWATBSD teams.
  • What are the top pieces of research or studies you feel are most impactful for our students and/or teachers?
    • In the keynote, Eric Sheninger noted that flexible seating environments can positively impact student learning by 25%! 
  • How will I share my new discoveries from this event with my staff?
    • I will share this information in three different ways. 

    I challenge YOU +Annie Forest +Jen Lehotsky +Ramona Towner to share your reviews of #ICE17 on your blogs! 

    Thanks, +Carl Hooker Lisa Johnson @TechChef4U and for the list to help me synthesize the learning at #ICE17! 
    Questions borrowed from: 

    - Jordan 

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

    #iCoachBSD - District 100 February Innovation Newsletter

    Check it out! The iCoaches have begun to put together monthly newsletters to start focusing on sharing innovative practices across the district. They created the first one in Piktochart and it was quite a hit. Piktochart has a visually friendly format that they have adopted. The purpose of this newsletter is to share what learning is taking across the district!

    February Innovation Newsletter - see the creative opportunities teachers are providing for their students!

    Monday, February 27, 2017

    Irving + Heritage Site Visit 2.27.2017

    Today’s site visit welcomed a group of educators who traveled from Riverside School District 96  and Washoe County School District, Nevada  (64,000+ students in their district). They traveled over 1,900 miles just to see our schools!

    Thank you to all of the teachers who shared their classrooms this morning, the students who explained their learning, and to Allie Cevaal from Irving, who reminded us at the debrief that technology “allows teachers to open student’s creativity and see how they can use it show their thinking."

    Be sure to check out this short video: Irving + Heritage Site Visit to experience the visit!


    Days until iEngage: 60!
    Interested in becoming a Presenter at iEngage? Submit your application! 

    Thursday, February 9, 2017

    #iCoachBSD - District 100 January Innovation Newsletter

    Check it out! The iCoaches have begun to put together monthly newsletters to start focusing on sharing innovative practices across the district. They created the first one in Piktochart and it was quite a hit. Piktochart has a visually friendly format that they have adopted. The purpose of this newsletter is to share what learning is taking across the district!

    District 100 January Innovation Newsletter: District 100 January Innovation Newsletter | Piktochart Infographic Editor