Anyone who attended Jennie Magiera’s (@msmagiera) keynote at ISTE 2017 will be forever changed by her inspirational address. It is not officially posted yet, but you can view the whole presentation on this Periscope provided by @1to1Brian. (Jennie’s part begins about 25 minutes in, but the beginning is worth watching as well.)
Jennie focused on stories – the ones we tell and the ones we don’t tell. She took us back to when she encountered one of her most inspirational teachers, Ms. Buckman, who started the school year by encouraging her students to look for her lost pet dinosaur, Jeff, and eventually exclaimed, “Look at the time. We’re already late for our adventure!”
Can you imagine the excitement your students would have in a classroom like that?
Jennie compares those of us who attempt to be innovative educators to the wizard Gandalf in The Hobbit – always trying to encourage the reticent to leave the safety of “what has always been” to embark on adventures. But, she reminds us with an ancient story of a dragon, that those colleagues have other concerns – and they may need to resolve some pre-existing challenges before they can consider taking new risks.
We don’t really know each other. We don’t know our students, and we don’t know our peers. Social media tends to reveal only the better parts of ourselves – unintentionally intimidating anyone who is fearful of making mistakes. We need to be better at telling the whole story, and about discovering it in others. Technology can be used to amplify the voices of those who feel like they are never heard or understood, and to reassure others that while adventure is worthwhile, it is usually difficult and sometimes spawns unpredictable negative consequences – that we can make it through with the support of others.
I am not as eloquent as Jennie, so I encourage you to watch the Periscope linked above (for which she received a standing ovation). My hope is that every school will show her presentation to its teachers before the beginning of the new school year. They will be energized and motivated to look for untold stories that must be shared, develop deeper relationships with colleagues and students, and to undertake new adventures.
If you are looking for more Inspirational Videos for Teachers, check out this Pinterest Board.