Category Archives: Healthy Classroom Environments

Being an Agent of Change…Why is it Important

When after working 21 years within the world of education, I pause to reflect and review the amazing opportunities I have had, hopefully making a difference in the lives of students, faculty, staff and school communities I have had the pleasure of developing programs, serving, and training.

I most recently shared with my children (12 & 14) that we will be relocating to the Washington, D.C./Maryland  area. My husband has recently moved to the area with his employer and after twenty-three years of marriage, I know it is important for us to move together as one family unit. To my surprise, both my children without hesitation were excited about the “adventure” and quoted me as often saying, “life is short, let’s embrace a new chapter of life.”

Given the relocation plans, many in my life are surprised by my excitement about the adventure and all the uncertainty that relocating can bring. Many have taken the time to voice their amazement on how well my children are taking to the news and quite honestly surprised by their excitement.

Our family have spent time talking about the responses from family and friends. I have had numerous conversations on the topic of relocating with my educational leadership peers, faculty and staff. Ultimately, I am thrilled to join my husband Michael. I am grateful for the grace of life and having two healthy children.

In education, I have spent years teaching and encouraging students to embrace change as a new concept or topic of learning is being taught. I have spent years developing programs and training and encouraging educational teams to include my own faculty and staff, to change the lens in which they see their classrooms, teams and school environments, and embrace a new idea and or theory all for the betterment of enhancing the learning experience of the students placed in their care. These experiences have all been successful and repeated throughout the world by many.

In education, we are called to be change agents, and yet so often, we have a difficult time stepping out of our silos and changing the lens in which we use to see the world around us. As I embrace this new chapter in my life, I am excited as I  interview within education, various industry leaders and agencies, I am seeing just how small (and global) our world is.  I cannot wait to see which team I will join and grateful for the wonderful years of working within the world of education in Michigan.

I encourage all those who play a role in the life of a child to continue to encourage them to seek out the new, embrace the changes as opportunities and help them see global connections all around them.

I will continue to post blog entries on those topics I find most interesting and educationally worthy. I am grateful for all the feedback and the hundreds of thousands of views this blog has received.

My next blog post will be on Microsoft’s HoloLens. I have recently read a few articles on this product. You can say you read it here first, when I say that this product will change the way in which we teach and learn in the future. As you know, educational changes often move as pond water, and we may not see this product changing education best practices tomorrow or even in the next 5 years but this is an amazing product and it is definitely one to watch when it comes to enhancing education for our leaders of tomorrow.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

 

Denise

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Filed under Change Agents, Healthy Classroom Environments, Inspiration, Interesting Topics, Microsoft HoloLens

Educators are Called to a Higher Standard-Negativity Should be the Exception NOT the Norm

Since my first week of working within the world of education many years ago, I have thought it a dichotomy that so many “official” teacher sites, blogs, news articles etc. written by educators or reporting for an educator or educational organization, were often negative in context.
Education in its nature should be positive as teachers affect the lives of so many and so many who will affect OUR future.

A few weeks ago I was having a very interesting conversation with a group of parents who asked me my thoughts on teachers or educational organizations who make negative “public” comments in social media. Comments that speak to summer vacations, too much work with little pay, students who cannot behave in class, teachers now have to be the parent etc. When this group asked my opinion, I had to pause, calm my spirit and regroup because I wanted to make sure that my words did justice to my profession and the many amazing teachers I have had a privilege to teach next to or lead. I also wanted to ensure that my view on teachers having a “choice” to choose education as a vocation versus a career came across clearly.

In any profession, there are those who have not been able to train their eyes to see the good and may find it easier to complain versus enter into solution oriented dialogue. However, the difference with education, is that we as a society should hold those who teach our children, young leaders of tomorrow, to a higher standard. If a teacher is prone to complaining, how does that natural instinct play out in a classroom? Does it affect his/her teaching effectiveness? I would think it does.

As an educator and now an administrator, I expect that my parents and quite frankly my team hold me to standard where they can expect me to choose to be positive, to lead with high expectations, and to see the good in them and in each child placed in my care. As educators, we do not have the luxury of going to work in a closed environment. On the contrary, we are observed by all we encounter…peers, parents, and students. Many watch daily to see how we will handle the difficult challenges we face in education, in the classroom, the teachers’ lounge or the carline. When we allow all these outside forces to affect our work performance, more than just a simple task gets interrupted, we can alter the life of a child.

The role of an educator is essential to creating a better tomorrow. The teacher plants the seeds that will one day grow to help cure cancer, help end hunger and help eradicate hate in our world.

Education is a vocation because those who choose to teach, should only do so because they feel a calling to make a difference in the lives of others. Being an educator is not for the weak at heart or the negative nelly. Being an educator means being able to see the good even when others can’t. If discerning if education might be the right path as your future career, I would encourage a self-inventory. If it is easier to be drawn into the negative, to complain versus create and solve problems, education is not the vocation for you!

May we all continue to see knowledge in all things…

Denise

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Filed under Curriculum Resources, Healthy Classroom Environments