Personal reasons I've committed myself to the 365 Day Meditation Challenge with Insight Timer which I blogged about here. I'm going strong at 35 consecutive days! With an ACES score of 4 from childhood, it's empowering to finally 'get it' that the answers I've sought outside of myself are actually within me, waiting to be found and released. It seems so simple and I'm realizing it actually is, once you connect into yourself. Building my own resilience by...Read More
The #edbeat chat/Blab on Teacher Leadership just happened!
Check out the #edbeat tweetstream and the #edbeat Blab, a 30 minute video of us talking about Teacher Leadership. Educators shared, mentored, supported each other on both Twitter and Blab tonight. It was a beautiful display of teacher voice impacting our entire connected community. What's that quote about the butterfly effect? Oh yea. Each voice impacts the universe? Yes it does.
Tonight's chat and Blab, as well as our Voxer and GHO discussions leading up to tonight, were a beautiful learning experience for me, on both an intellectual and a personal/social level. Phenomenal.
Our first Blab is in the books! We didn't know how it would go. We knew that even if we tried it and failed, we'd do it with positivity and mirth, because why not tilt your head back and laugh at the sky! :)
THANK YOU to #edbeat hosts Sean Gaillard and Natalie Krayenvenger, as well as my guest host partner-in-crime Elisabeth Bostwick. THANK YOU each and every person who watched, tweeted and shared.
Your voice is important. Please use it, share it, nurture it, trust it. We're here to support you!
Part 2 of the Teacher Leadership Series on #edbeat continues on March 23! 8pm CT/5PM PT. Elisabeth Bostwick and I are rubbing our hands together in a planning frenzy. See you soon!
When I woke up Saturday morning, I was not expecting to find a teacher blogpost written and published less than 24 hours after sending out a user/author invite. Jason McGee had never blogged and I did not help him in any way, except to give him the platform and an inspirational nudge.
Jason McGee's 1st BLOGPOST!!
Update: Blogpost #2 by Jason. He has a gift for writing and storytelling.
Last week I launched a leadership blog for teachers at the two high schools where I serve as an instructional coach -- Turner High School and Journey School of Choice in Turner USD 202. Check it out. It is nothing fancy and didn't take long to setup. It a thing of beauty in my eyes because it is a vehicle for teacher voice at the school level. Our blog is called the Turner High Schools Teacher Leadership Blog. I used Edublogs, which is Wordpress based. Sue Waters and the Edublogs team answered every question I had, and did so within a couple of hours. Excellence!
I emailed all staff about the blog and its purpose on Wednesday. You'll find the email below. I received a few bites. "Yes, I'm interested" or "I think I might try this" or "I want to but I don't feel qualified." I went to the USERS section on the Edublog dashboard and added 10 teachers as user AUTHORS before I left on Friday afternoon. Jason McGee was one of them. He is a History/Econ teacher at THS who is passionate about authenticity and project-based learning. I added him Friday and by Saturday, he had published a blogpost.
Email Chain about Blogging between Jason and Me.
Wednesday email 2/24/16 Laura to staff: Here is our blog! http://turnerhighschools.edublogs.org/ I will share step-by-step instructions on how to create a blogpost and publish yourself. Your voice matters!! (Today I am working with people on process of writing blogposts from the invite stage to the publishing stage so I can write good directions for everyone.) I am the only published blogger right now. Looking for some pioneers to start us off! On the right side of the blog you’ll find the Authors section. Everyone that publishes will be listed there. I’ll move it to the top after more people are listed. It will be featured prominently atop the blog. Each blogpost will be shared on social media channels. This is another positive venue for Turner High School, where we write the narrative instead of leaving our story to TV and newspaper outlets.
Blogposts can be short or long or medium. :) Just start writing. They can have one picture, no pictures, or lots of pictures, videos, & links. It’s about you expressing yourself as a writer, teacher, artist. I recommend at least one picture per blogpost but this is certainly not necessary. It can be your own picture or it can be a picture that is licensed for use. (There is an easy way to find excellent images to use and photo credit is taken care of!)
If you are interested in writing, and I want you to know every single person at THS has viewpoints, ideas, and lessons that need to be shared, please email me. We will work through it together.
My hope is you find your (worthy) voice and that it sets you free in a new world. You may decide to create your very own blog or write books or do other creative endeavors as a passionate lead learner.
Friday emails 2/26/16
Jason McGee: I have a blog idea... Laura: What is the idea?!!!! (and YAY!!) You are a natural blogger/writer….I know this. Jason: But I don't really even know what Blog is? Or if I even believe in Blog.... Laura: http://lauragilchrist4.com
Jason: His response came Saturday morning in the form of a published blogpost shining forth from my phone! "The Sweet Taste of Motivation." It was something to behold. Read it and comment on it. He blogged about student motivation and feedback after serving as a judge in foods class at THS!
Why I Started a Teacher Leadership blog at My Schools
We keep telling teachers to share their stories and lead. Let's give them a tool to do that--at school. A school blog empowers teachers to use their voice. It gives them experience storytelling in a blog that's already setup. Teachers will be more likely to start their own blog after writing for their school blog, thanks to the familiarity and confidence afforded through experience. A simple user invite can be all teachers need to jump from a reserved to an empowered leader.
I attended two events in early February that pushed me from thinking about teacher voice to acting on it with intentionality. Teacher leadership/voice is the key. I am writing blogposts about both events.
- #2016NSTL: 1st annual National Summit on Teacher Leadership in DC. Blogpost about it here from Mark Sass.
- #METC16: Midwest Education Technology Community Conference in St Louis. Blogpost about it here from David Geurin.
George Couros' METC16 keynote challenged us to share our voice and to blog. One question he presented was "Where are you sharing your story?" I shared that very question that sparked my actions on the THS blog. Thanks, George Couros for the inspiration.
My bet is we'll see student blogging organically flow out of this as teacher voice and storytelling take root.
Upcoming Teacher Leadership Chat!
|A Message from KCedu:We look forward to meeting you/talking/networking on Wednesday at KCedu! 34 edleaders are coming and I'd love to see YOU! Register here up to 5:30 tonight. :) Every relationship we make in our face to face 'collisions' matters for our kids. You never know where it may lead.KCedu: Education + Innovation take center stage for KC area educators from all walks, roles, and areas of education who serve learners of any age. This is K-12, Parochial, Higher Ed, Head Start, Charter, Startup,Edupreneur, Entrepreneur, Non-Profit, Service/Learning organization, and more.
#KCedu Featured Innovators!
1. Conner Hazelrigg, William Jewell and now Missouri S&T engineering student, and founder of Sollular Connections will share her journey creating and then bringing her portable solar charging boxes to people in 3rd world countries! She wants to increase knowledge and passion for #STEM and solar energy in kids. She has #servicelearning ideas for your kids to help get solar charging boxes to people in need. She came to Laura Gilchrist's classroom last year and helped her 6th graders see the need for these power stations in villages in Haiti. Kids will walk for hours each day to charge phones for their family and they must pay money.
EXCITING!! Cool idea to explore at KCEDU and an OPPORTUNITY for us all: The 30 Goals Challenge & Passion Pitches (virtual--5 minutes) are on July 16. We will talk about the opportunity for us to pitch Conner's idea to a connected global educator community. The Passion Pitches on July 17 may be something YOU want to consider for YOUR upcoming-year projects!
2. Learn about the Lean Lab Fellow edupreneurs and what they're working on. How can we help them? Learn about the intersection between education and entrepreneurial thinking/problem-solving. Katie Boody will lead the charge! Check out the Lean Lab and their newest Incubator Fellowship program. You can get involved in the next round.
POWERFUL TOOLS for all my KC area EdLeaders in all walks of education:
KC Edleaders TWITTER LISTS -- If you're not on it, please let me know! Subscribe; connect with these KC area educators from all levels/walks of education. Big KC Twitter List -- Large KC EduCommunity Players: Schools, Districts, Educators, Businesses, Non-profits, museums, etc. EdcampLeadership KC is Monday, July 13! Can you come? Please do.
We meet the 2nd Wednesday of the month! Please join us. Face to face meetups can create capacity for big things...for our kids!
Edcamp Leadership KC is Monday, July 13 and I am JAZZED to see what happens when this powerful learning community comes together face to face. So far, 150+ education leaders from KC, Central and SW MO, Nebraska and Kansas are bringing their passion and voice to Edcamp Leadership KC.
School/District List #edcampLDR KC. (It's a BIG list!)
Districts/Schools: Belton, Blue Valley, Center, Chillicothe, Clinton County R3, Columbia, Excelsior Springs, Forsythe R3, Fort Osage, Fulton, Grandview, Hickman Mills, Hollister Schools, Independence, KCK, KS DOE Commissioner of Ed, KCPS, Lathrop, Lee's Summit, Liberty, NKC Schools, North Andrew, Platte County, Pleasant Hill, Ray-Pec, School of the Osage, Seneca R7, Shawnee Mission, Smithville, Spokane, Springfield, St Joseph, Turner, USD 409 Atchison, USD 449 Easton, USD 458 Basehor Linwood, and Wheaton R3 and 3 more possible SD's. Charters: Alta Vista, Crossroads Academy, Innovator's Prep Academy, Kauffman School, Pathway Academy Parochial: Gross Catholic High School, Maur Hill Mount Academy, St Pius Higher Ed: UCM, JCCC, UMKC Startups/Community/Youth Dev: KC Prep, The Lean Lab, Tikitum Science
— Laura Gilchrist (@LauraGilchrist4) July 8, 2015
Edcamp Leadership KC Website -- registration link here if you need it!
EdcampLeadership KC Twitter list (Us--our learning community)
EdcampLeadership National Twitter list! (a starter list; growing)
When/Where: Monday, July 13 8:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m at Crossroad Academy 1015 Central Street Kansas City, MO
- Parking Map (hover over the dots for info)
- Lunch map (scroll down; hover over the dots for info; walking distance!)
- Contact us with questions or comments!! Right now. :)
Big Ideas: Think of possible topics you would like to have a conversation about. A session can begin with a question, problem, doubt, opinion or story. You do not need to be “The Expert,” just someone who wants to learn.
- What is one big thing you want to get out of your EdcampLeadership Day? What do YOU want to talk about, work on solutions to? Some topics edleaders are interested in talking about: Technology and digital citizenship, Using social media (and local edleaders) to fuel change/growth, Futureready schools, PD models that empower teacher learners and leaders, Innovative jobs/roles for teacher leaders, Learning vs teaching, Growth vs fixed mindset, Telling your school's story via social media, Global learning, Project-based learning, School culture, Building capacity in school--teachers, students, parents.