2012 Teacher of the Year, Texas Computer Educator's Association (TCEA)
Every student has a voice.
With changing technology, expectations, and students it is time to realize that every student has a voice. Working in a setting that has students with varying abilities to find their voice, although sometimes challenging, is so rewarding. Give students a chance to be a part of web 2.0 worlds such as blogging, tweeting, and video conferencing to make their words reach so many more people.
Believe in someone.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”—Albert Einstein. Every student, teacher, or person that one comes in contact with deserves to be believed in. Believing in a person can look different depending on the situation, environment, and background. The world is a tough place for anyone to be in right now, but believing in people and having high expectations helps one understand and reach for their potential or higher. One spark of believing in someone could shoot them over the stars in what they can achieve.
You are not alone! Stay connected.
Building relationships inside a school is essential, but four walls can be so constricting. With the availability of social media tools, building a professional learning network (PLN) has never been easier. Brian Solis, Principal of FutureWorks has said that, “Twitter represents a collective collaboration that manifests our ability to unconsciously connect kindred voices through the experiences that move us. As such, Twitter is a human seismograph.” Creating an online PLN allows users to connect, collaborate, and question ideas from people around the world.
Meet learners in any way you can.
We are in such an exciting age where we can differentiate instruction to meet all learners at their varying levels. As educators we are already so good at meeting student needs, but now we have more opportunities and options to meet all needs. This can be anything from taking a low income school on virtual field trips to places that they might never have a chance to visit or supplying tools to students to help them access curriculum and their world. Don’t be afraid to try something new!
Everyone you meet is a person first.
Working in various settings we have the opportunity to come in contact with some amazing people. Working in classrooms we have the same fortune. No matter what ability a person or student has, they are still a person or a student first. It is a student with autism, a student with a learning disability, or a person with an intellectual disability. Just as I have learned to believe in the people that I have come in contact with, I also see them first as an individual with amazing things to offer.
The views expressed on this site are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Pearson Foundation.
Andrea Keller is a world-class educator that spends every waking moment encouraging the youth of today. She begins her day within a Special-Education classroom motivating and educating her students through the eyes of technology. She pushes her students to great heights, using various tools to enhance and engage. You name it, Mrs. Keller and her “busy bees” have created and mastered it! Immediately after she wraps up activity within her classroom, Andrea leads other students into a world of unlimited possibilities through “Destination Imagination.” If there happens to be a spare second, Mrs. Keller can be found researching grants in order to ensure current technology and resources for her students. Andrea Keller is truly a cutting edge 21st century teacher! You can keep up with her via her blog at http://busybeemusings.blogspot.com/.