Goal 1: Me Manifesto #30Goals

I must admit … I’m SO EXCITED!  Last year, when I discovered Shelly Terrell, her website “Teacher Reboot Camp,” and her #30Goals initiative, I felt like that was exactly what I needed to REBOOT.  So … here we go again … #30Goals in 2012!



My Manifesto

I believe that all students deserve the opportunity to pursue a future via a variety of options – college, career technical education, and/or vocational apprenticeships.

I believe that all students should be taught in a manner that respects their readiness level, interest, and learning style.

I believe that students should be provided with an education that will prepare them for a global society that treasures problem-solving, creative and critical thinking, and technology.

I believe that all new teachers should be provided with the support needed to meet the educational and professional needs that impact student learning.

I believe that all schools, teachers, and students should have access to the technology necessary to prepare themselves for ethical citizenship in the future.

I hope that my role as a mentor helps teachers fulfill their obligations in the profession, in the classroom, and in their personal lives.

If my dreams were to come true, I would like to see all our students become life-long learners, citizens in a free society, a society that promotes liberty and freedom for all.

If my dreams were to come true, our students would lead the future with scientific endeavors, impressive inventions, and positive words that inspire others to be the best that they can be.

This is My Manifesto.


Other Manifestos you should check out …

5 Favorite Blog “Posts” This Month – July

Oh my! I’m behind … #RSCON3 consumed me this past week – in a very positive way!

After my last post of this fashion, I realized that sometimes blogs have great posts, including some of my favorite posts from previous months.  So this month, I am going to feature posts that were the most enlightening for me.

1.  “6 Reasons Why ‘Conflicted’ is Good for Your Life and Organization” by Aaron Biebert (@Biebert) … When I read this post, I realized that although I do not particularly like conflict, there is something good that can result from that internal dilemma.  If I am conflicted, there is evidence that I am still learning, or at least desiring to learn.

2.  “10 Ways to Become an Inspirational Teacher” by Terry Freedman … I know it looks as though “lists” attract my attention … but in this case, the “inspirational teacher” grabbed me – they reminded me of Shelly Terrell’s #30Goals – which were SO motivating last year.  As a mentor, I really want to help my new teachers inspire.  So I am definitely going to share these 10 ways with my 2nd year (and other veteran) teachers at the beginning of the year.

3.  “Mentors: The One You’re Assigned and The Ones You Find” by David Ginsburg … This post supports all that our district has taught new teachers this summer.  In my district, we have 75ish full-release mentor that work with 1st and 2nd year teachers.  I am blessed to be one of them!  Even though we have been assigned to these new teachers, one lesson that we absorbing and spreading this year is the idea that we all need more than 1 mentor.  In our case, though, this extends to Professional Learning Communities (PLC).  In some schools, these are very prescribed … no matter their intentions, some of the best PLCs are formed through natural friendships, they evolve to fulfill needs in our professional lives.

4.  Several posts that I enjoyed and learned from were reflections on #RSCON3 – so in combination … “Keynote: how a blog post and a Twitter conversation started a school #RSCON3” by Kelly Tenkely (provided is the link to the keynote – a must hear … Kelly tells her story in such a beautiful fashion), “Mapping Our Connections: My RSCON3 Session” by Denise Krebs (as her moderator, I have truly enjoyed getting to know Denise … her story includes me, but I chose it more because of her story of courage and the results of her willingness to share), “An Important Milestone – #RSCON3” by Michael Graffin (although I did not get to watch his session live, I did enjoy his post and have enjoyed listening to the archive … what inspired me by this post was the similarity in our stories – both of us just recently started our online connections, and at RSCON3 he was a presenter while I was a moderator), “Defying Gravity – My RSCON3 Transformation” by Sara Hunter (Sara was a newbie to RSCON3, and the conference inspired her … I loved her 5 words to describe the experience … Feel – Imagine – Do – Share – Continue … Can you imagine if all of us carried that mantra? :-), and “Now Go Make it Happen” by Paula White (this post is so refreshing with her story of The Spyglass … and her desire to revolutionize education … through RSCON3 we did see what was possible, and now each of us has a calling on us to “go make  it happen.”)

5.  The final post that spoke to me this month was also a reflection of RSCON3, but it also reminded me of a training I did the week before … “Diversity or Tokenism — What images are you using?” by Mike Yule (?).  This post reminded me to be cognizant of all the privileges I have had in my lifetime.  Often, those of us that grow up with privilege – not necessarily the wealthy kind of privilege – have blinders on and often do not “see,” or are unaware of, the difficulties of those that do not have privilege.  In my naivete, I, too, did not notice the similarities in the images.

There is so much to learn, and these blog posts just seem to scrape the surface.  It’s so fun learning from others – no matter what part of the globe they are from! 🙂  Thanks everyone for sharing!

#RSCON3 – Reflection Part 2

It’s been almost 24 hours since the closing session, and I am still amazed at all that I have learned.  So, I think this reflection is going to focus on the technology that I witnessed this weekend.

A couple of months ago, a dear colleague of mine asked me to help her create, write, and present a training regarding the use of technology.  Our purpose was to show what was available for teachers to use in their classroom. At first we talked and emailed back and forth some ideas.  We had yet to formulate the big picture until Christie (my co-trainer) attended a similar training in another area — and so was born, “100 Tools in 100 Minutes (a.k.a. Tech-speed-dating).”

So, we each decided to write each of our ideas on post-it notes – just small ones, one tech tool per post-it – just to see if we had 50 ideas.  From blogs to math sites, presentation sites to resources, we tallied, sorted, and evaluated all our ideas.   (We had 108 tools.)  As we divided the categories, we each had about 54 tools each – we each had to cut 4.  Ultimately, as shared in a previous post, we used 1 of our tools as a “sneaked it in” idea and posted them all in a Symbaloo.

The bottom line is this – we thought that between my Web 1.0 skills (finding ideas for teachers and resources for teachers to use with and for students) and her massive Web 2.0 skills (using tools for students to publish and produce), we thought we had so much to share.  Little did I know!  (Duh!)

This weekend, through keynote speakers, “Technology Smackdown,” break-out/concurrent sessions, I now have 7 (SEVEN!!!!) pages of links to ideas, tools, sites, resources to use and share.  I guess the point is this … as teachers we often get so overwhelmed, caught-up-in, consumed by our own little kingdom (our classroom), that we forget that there is a huge, massive, global market of resources available.  #RSCON3 reminded me that technology – listening to and speaking with people via a virtual conference – just scratches the surface of what we as teachers should know about 21st Century learning.

I may not have the right names with these tools, but I am going to try to share a few of the best tools that I learned about this weekend:

1.  In Dave Dodgson‘s course on Teaching ELT’s with NO Codes, I was able to collaboratively edit a piece of text with 3 other people from around the world.  http://www.typewith.me/JYVFMloQ3E is the text we worked on.  By each of choosing a specific color (and while in progress there is a location for “Insert Name”), we all were able to make the writing better.  Depending on our strengths, we contributed in different ways. (This one hit number 1, I believe, because I experienced it, so I remember it more than the others I saw!)

2. I have recently discovered QR Codes (as you can see from the one on my website).  I really found this through Twitter, but on Friday, there was a conference on these codes.  I am not sure who the speaker was, but I did catch the final minutes (and cannot wait for the archive!) with a couple of links from Shamblesguru.  The first one is photos on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/csmith/sets/72157627239815750/).  When I scanned the QR code, WOW!, I discovered a gallery of ideas on using QR Codes in the classroom.  (In an upcoming Technology training, Christie and I are using QR codes as a type of Anticipation Guide for our colleagues.)  I specifically like the idea of a Treasure Hunt … “Get students using their mobile devices to move and learn.)

3.  I have been a long-time (well in technology age 🙂 ) fan of David Warr.  I found his blog after #RSCON2, and fell in love with his word pictures.  As a fan of Wordle and Tagxedo, his images were simple yet profound.  The odd thing was, I couldn’t put my finger on why they were so captivating.  So when I was given the opportunity to moderate his session, I snatched it up!  David allowed us to play with his program – The Language Garden.  While listening to him teach us (and a master teacher is he!), he explained the color-coding system so that students know if they have used the right part of speech (if not it remains black [like ink] it’s not correct; when correct it changes to match the category – i.e., red for verbs, etc.)  Can’t wait to play some more!

4.  The Saturday night keynote with Dr. George Couros and Dr. Alex Couros, while humorous and entertaining, was also memorable.  To be honest, we listened a lot, but the key to their presentation was the wonderful, extended metaphor. (Yes, I am an English teacher! 🙂 ) In their presentation, they compared excellent schools to family owned restaurants – they have a loyal following, somebody always knows your name, people always come back for more, excellent product and service … The list goes own.  This theme resonated with me simply because my family is just like that (without the restaurant – although there are some that eat at regularly).  One that I think of immediately, the manager/owner actually walks out, sits at our table and talks with us about life.  He asks about the family and about life – never mentioning whether or not we’ve been missed or if we’re bringing new people in.  For him, it’s not about the money or the business, it’s about relationships!  (Can’t wait to download that podcast to list again … oh yeah, BTW, Dr. A. Couros is offering one of his classes for free to anyone who would like to register.  Will post more as I find it!  So much to learn!)

5.  Finally – this is a long post already! – I must give the final reflection in technology to Jo Hart’s presentation about creating a PLE to help organize your PLN using iGoogle.  Now, I must admit, I have an iGoogle account that I never used … and although I really want to do what she has done, I am not sure when I will have the time.  I think this is one of those “if-I-learn-the-tool-it-will-save-time-in-the-future” things. 🙂  So, I am going to take time to re-listen to her presentation (combined with Denise Krebs’ presentation on mapping my PLN) to create a PLE (Professional Learning Environment).  From #RSCON2, I established my PLN; with #RSCON3 … my PLE.  Nice rhyme and rhythm, huh! 🙂

WOW!  It still boggles the brain all that I have learned.  Tomorrow, I really want to reflect on Lyn Hilt‘s presentation as a foundational piece to Differentiation in Professional Development.  Can’t wait for that one!  I’d love to hear your thoughts .. if you wish. 🙂

#RSCON3 – Reflection Part 1

As we finished this weekend’s conference, I knew that I was going to blog about what I had learned.  Yet the more I thought, the more I knew that 1 blog post was not going to even scratch the surface of all that I have discovered.

So in Part 1, I am going to reflect on my role as a moderator – what did I learn as someone who served other professionals.

1.  Global connections are made by invitation, by circumstances, and by people.  When I agreed to moderate the first 4 sessions, I recognized 1 name from the list David Warr.  The others I chose because their topics sounded interesting and the times suited by schedule.  First, let me say, that all 5 sessions I moderated (I added 1 more as a favor to the organizers – whom I will name later) were tremendous, full of information presented by beautiful, intelligent people that I now consider my friends.  Evridiki Davos was in Turkey.  As my first session, she was gracious and kind, supportive and knowledgeable.  Through her, I had my first Skype experience and my first conversation with a person across the globe – Instanbul, Turkey.  Following that session, I met Denise Krebs, from Iowa who shared some amazing technology.  I finished Saturday with Scott Newcomb, from Ohio, who presented his plan on MLDs (Mobile Learning Devices) in the classroom. On Sunday, I started my day with David Warr, where he shared his Language Garden technology – something I have dreamed of for a long time :-).  And finally, Lyn Hilt combined two of my passions – professional development and differentiation.  Her plans for PD match my own ideas, hopes, and dreams – what an amazing administrator.

2.  As a moderator, I learned the value of ensuring that all voices are heard.  While the presenters shared their information, some were able to notice the events in the classroom, yet my job was ensure that the session was recorded (for archive purposes – so that the presentations could be heard by an even greater audience) and that people were able to chat and speak.  At the end of sessions, we had Q&A moments.  I was able to remind (and for some, teach) participants the tools and protocols for sharing.  It was amazing the questions people asked.  The eagerness to learn was evident in their words.

3.  As a volunteer, I loved being part of a greater community, providing a service that some professionals around the world do not have access to in their local areas.  I feel blessed to be a trainer in my school district because our leaders believe in professional development of teachers.  With budget constraints, my time as a volunteer allowed other teachers to learn from other amazing volunteers.  That does not happen in the business world (at least, not that I am aware of).  Yet, together with these excellent organizers, we have connected teachers around the globe through a common pursuit – lifelong learners.

4.  Finally, I learned something new.  Because of the #30Goals challenger, Shelly Terrell, I stretched myself.  Last January, when I discovered #RSCON2, I was not a member of Twitter, I did not blog, and I had never heard of a PLN.  Now, at #RSCON3, I can say that not only do I Twitter, I focus that avenue on learning.  (I must admit – and ask for forgiveness for – the occasional mundane tweet or awesome photo of my children – and I do like the inspirational quotes that are tangential to education.)  As you are aware, I do now blog.  Someone today described blogging as a personal reflection and professional development all in one.  Finally, not only do I now know what a PLN is, but I also know that I have one that spans the world.  Being a moderator for #RSCON3 gave me the opportunity of a lifetime … through this conference, I was able to help establish a virtual table that allowed multiple voices to be heard at one time, across time zones, in both hemispheres.  (I hope to have that chance again.  Maybe next summer, I’ll have something to share as a presenter.  Do I dare? :-))

As I reflect this week on my experience, I would love your feedback … if you wish. 🙂

100 Tools in 100 Minutes

Today, I had an awesome opportunity to co-train other mentors in the value of technology.  My co-trainer, Christie, and I gathered 100 sites to provide others with a survey of the Internet.  As our director checked on our progress, we admitted that she was “enabling our addiction.”  (We weren’t very productive simply because we “played” with some amazing tools that we shared with each other!)

We actually began by sharing 3 ways to organize your web favorites so that you can find them on any computer and share them with others.

web201.  Symbaloo … I actually introduced this tool to ALL the participants (no one had seen or used in before today :-).  Last April, I discovered Symbaloo through a Twitter feed.  BBEC is the owner of record (http://www.symbaloo.com/profile/!AAABKdtlUKgAEVYMAAAAAIzWM78).  When I shared the idea with Christie, she designed 1 page and I designed another page … 100 Tools Part I.  (During this time I chose 6 blogs to review – based on technology; and then created another mix of all the blogs I have in my RSS feeder … Sylvia’s Mix.)

2.  Delicious … Although this program has undergone some changes that makes users question its reliability, I have not had difficulties.  I use my Delicious page to bookmark sites quickly from a variety of locations.  Today, I shared my full bookmark links as a sample of what Delicious can be over time.

3.  Tizmo … This site was new for me … Christie introduced me!  She uses a Tizmo site for students.  As they finish their work, they can open the Internet, find this Tizmo home page as a means of learning more in a fun way.  The coolest feature of Tizmo is the screen shot it provides on each icon.  You may not remember the name of the site, but the screen shot is usually a good reminder.

There are so many tools available on the Internet.  I really appreciate the bloggers from RSCom11 that helped me get started … Lisa Dabbs, Shelly Terrell, Kelly Tenkely, Justin Tarte, David Ginsburg, Jo Hart, Josh Stumpenhorst, Dave Craig, and Melissa Tran.  (I’m sure I may have missed some names, so please forgive.)

Oh yeah … the results?  The mentors who participated in our training were able to “shop” for sights and create their own web-based listing.  (It was like speed-dating the Internet! FUN!) This year, it looks like Christie and I will get 15 minutes at each Mentor Forum (weekly meetings) to teach a new technology tool!  We are so EXCITED!  Any you think we should share?

7 Favorite Blogs This Month

InspirationPointAs I was considering what to write about, I began reading some blogs of my favorite educators.  As a new blogger, I have found wisdom and a value in writing from reading other posts.  In honor of their inspiration this year, I thought I would promote their writing.

1.  Justin Tarte’s Life of an Educator

I have been following Justin since my beginning.  I met him (virtually) as RSCon11 and discovered his blog through some comments made in sessions.  I like Justin’s aspirations and leadership.  I enjoy Justin’s blogs because of their variety in nature and his progressive ideas for education and educational leadership.

2.  Shelly Terrell’s Teacher Reboot Camp

Shelly inspired me with her #30Goals challenge.  After sharing her goals with my fellow mentors, a colleague of mine recently said, “This Shelly Terrell is awesome.” Many people in our district have been inspired by her ideas and her writings.

3.  Lee Ann Spillane’s The Portable Teacher

I have recently rediscovered this blog.  What drew me back to her blog was the practical, wonderful ideas that I could use for my English teachers.  “You Can Only Teach 5 Scenes: Which Would You Choose?” and “Are You Building a Classroom Library?” provide great ideas for new and veteran teachers as they make decisions about instruction and their classroom.

4.  Tom Whitby’s My Island View

This week, Tom wrote an controversial blog that I found interesting and awesome …”The Homework Option Plan.”  I, too, had always labored over my homework policy because of the difficulties I have as a parent and as a teacher.  I understand the value of homework as an educator, and I recognize the drudgery of homework as a parent.  His ideas throughout my time as a blogger have helped inspire a lot of my new teachers.

5.  Shannon Smith’s Shannon in Ottawa

Through Shannon’s blogs, I have learned more about social media in education.  As an educational leader, Shannon shares “how to’s” in her blog, including “Twitter for Teachers,” as well as ideas of reflection, i.e. “Pause. Then Play.”  As an administrator, I enjoy her perspective on education pedagogy and leadership.

6.  David Ginsburg’s Coach G’s Teaching Tips

Coach G is actually the catalyst to my PLN.  I discovered his blog through a Smartbrief from National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).  His teaching tips have helped shape decisions of teachers that are in the classroom.  They spark collegial discussion and guide classroom environments.

7.  Eric Sheninger’s A Principal’s Reflections

If I had to move to another part of the country, I would want to move to this principal’s school.  His innovation in education, I believe, could lead America to a new, better level of educational leadership.  His blog shares what he is doing at his school and provides fresh ideas that could be used by other principals across our nation.  His boldness is inspiring and innovating.

Although there are so many more possibilities, these are the blogs/people that have inspired me the most.  I know there are others, and I cannot wait to highlight their blogs in future posts.  What blogs/people do you follow? I’d love to add to my list.

Goal 28: Teach Digital Citizenship

Goal 28: Teach Digital Citizenship

As our world continues to unite through the various medias available – MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, Skype, Edublogs, etc. – we have an even greater moral obligation to teach our students appropriate social norms.  These common courtesies that we expect in our students should not be assumed. We need to teach them – especially when it comes to the digital realm.  Goal 28_Picture-1-1y2saoq-300x224

I find it amazing how many other professions are using social medias and digital literacies to promote their business and spread their message.  Our message is as equal if not more important, yet we lag behind in the area of technology.  We could play the blame game – “our school doesn’t have any technology” or “all those sites are blocked.”  Yet, what good does that do for our students.  Why can’t we teach digital citizenship in every environment? Aren’t social norms required in every situation? Are we not to lead the way that protects our students from harm?

So what are the features of Digital Citizenship?  I must admit that I am still discovering how to use social networks for learning.  I think the greatest fear that we have as teachers is the primary reason we MUST teach our students how to become digital citizens – we fear the results:  what if something is misread? what about what is posted about us? what about the information posted before we became teachers?  One thing we are certain of — we know that whatever posted is permanent!

So, with our students, we need to discuss the dangers of abusing the Internet – negative comments, inappropriate videos or images, abusive language – and how to avoid these dangers by showing the value of positive networking.  If we demonstrate the proper way to communicate and the appropriate ways to share important, safe information (without sharing too many details!), then our students can be proactive in utilizing these tools to promote positive aspects, to discover success, and to contribute to the global conversation.

In addition to Shelly Terrell’s resources – That’s Not Cool (videos and website – which allows students to discover the consequences of their online choices), I am providing articles and blogs from educators and other medias that will help you teach your students important aspects of digital citizenship… if you have time, take it.  If not, consider embedding these skills in your curriculum.  We can’t afford to ignore them!


Short-term – Write down one aspect of digital citizenship that you think is important to teach students and suggest a resource.

Long-term – Host a workshop on digital citizenship and e-safety to educate parents and fellow staff members.

Great Posts and Educators!

That’s Not Cool Two Sided Story Videos
That’s Not Cool website
E-Safety resources by Simon Finch
The Case for Digital Citizenship in Schools by Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher)
Citizenship in the Digital Age by Donald Grimshaw (@MrGrimshaw)
Schools taking responsibility for digital citizenship (heyjude.wordpress.com)
Digital Citizenship Lesson from Gilbert Gottfried: The (former) Voice of the Aflac Duck (speedofcreativity.org)
Why Should We Care About Digital Citizenship? (mediatechparenting.net)
Facebook Friending 101 for Schools (coolcatteacher.blogspot.com)
You: Poisoned Web: A Girl’s Nude Photo, and Altered Lives (nytimes.com)
Web 2.0 Leadership for Students (coolcatteacher.blogspot.com)
Sexting in Lacey: A cautionary tale (NY Times) (seattlepi.com)
Teaching in the 21st Century

Teach digital citizenship!

Goal 27: Establish a Web Presence

Goal 27:  Establish a Web Presence

“In the Web 2.0 world, self-directed learners must be adept at building and sustaining networks.” ~ Will Richardson

In this day of a global community, establishing a web presence will allow us to leave digital footprints that have positive messages.  Think of all the politicians, professional athletes, musicians, business CEOs, and others that have their messages broadcast globally through the world wide web. Isn’t it about time that we as educators spread our legacy … the value of education? Why should we not have the power and influence as others?  Why isn’t our message as strong if not stronger than theirs?

After attending the RSCon11 (Reform Symposium Conference 2011 – a virtual conferencefor education reform), I realized how important it is to network with other professionals outside of our visual circle.  The value of being part of a Professional Learning Network (PLN) allows me to interact with other cultures learning about their ways and discovering that their issues are similar to my own.  As a result of this symposium, I have started a Blog about mentoring and reflection.  I use it to share my positive message about working together, educating and learning from others, and describing the joy of what we do as teachers.  I also use my blog to connect with other online personas.  At the end of each blog, I use the “trackback” feature to connect with the others that helped influence that post.

As a mentor, I am so excited to see the teaching ideas that my new teachers are using.  As a member of Twitter and Edublogs, as part of this #30Goals project, I am learning new ideas all the time.  Through Twitter, I discovered some blogs with great ideas through a university professor who assigned the blog as part of their course requirements.  Providing feedback to them was encouraging not only to me, but also to them.  As educators, we are a profession that needs to unite all around the world.  Establishing a web presence is a brave step in that direction.


Short-term – Check your online profile on one of the search engines listed below and study this in retrospect to another educator’s online profile. Study someone who has a well established online profile such as Angela Maiers, Silvia Tolisano, Dr. Alec Couros, Will Richardson, David Warlick, or others. You can even check Shelly Terrell‘s profile or my own. What did you observe about their digital footprints? What are keywords and messages associated with them? What message and key words do you want to be associated with you and how will you get there?

Long-term – Continue to build and monitor your web presence.

How to Establish a Web Presence

1st: Check your digital footprint


2nd: Create an online profile

LinkedIn – A free website to post professional profiles that also works as a social network for professionals.
Google Profiles – One of the most common free websites to post an online profile that integrates with other Google applications.
Flavors.me – Create a free online profile page that looks extremely professional and offers many templates.
About.me – Similar to Flavors.me. Create a free online professional profile page.
Visualcv.com – This free service offers a more detailed online profile that works as a web portfolio, resume, or CV.

3rd: Maintain Your Web Presence

Participate in web projects, online communities, e-conferences
Post a digital copy of all/part of your presentations online/offline on Slideshare, your blog, or on a wiki!
Monitor your web presence with Google Alerts!
Join Twitter and Facebook if you haven’t and post education related materials or join teacher communities
These are 2 of the most popular social networks and will tend to show up first when doing searches about yourself


Footprints in the Digital Age by Will Richardson
Using Social Media for Transformative Teaching & Learning by Dr. Alec Couros
Digital Footprint- Your Online Data Trail by Silvia Tolisano (Langwitches)

Establish a web presence!

Goal 26: Support a Movement

Goal 26:  Support a Movement

“We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history.” ~ Sonia Johnson

Tonight, I was training new teachers in an “orientation to our district” course that is usually taught to newly hired teachers in August.  After we talked about the phases of teaching, and laughed about how we all were feeling the disillusionment of the year as we prepare for all the standardized testing, we began a discussion about professionalism – specifically, contributing to a service project in your school or district.

One new teacher, Leslie, told a story about her homeroom, a class of 9 exceptional students (ESE). Her school had an annual food drive, and the number of can goods the students in each class brought would always determine the winning homeroom.  With only 9 students, this teacher felt that her students were at a disadvantage to win the contest.  Interesting enough, she boldy approached her principal to discussion her concerns.  She also suggested that the winner be determined by the ratio of cans per student.  The principal told her that not to worry, “it’s okay, your class has never really participated.”

Well, because of her support, the rules were changed to the ratio determination.  Leslie went back to her class and said, “I’ve gone to bat for you, now what can we do.”  (Hopefully my paraphrase is correct.)  Not only did her students win the contest, they brought in more cans than any other homeroom that year.  What was the difference?  This teacher believed in her students, supported that movement, and motivated her students to victory.

What movement can you support?  My support right now goes to the #30Goals challenge.  I have never felt so inspired as I hear the results of my sharing 30 Goals Iconthese stories with my mentees, colleagues, and peers.  So ….. Catch a vision … or start one!  The results are worth it. 


Short-term –Write down your vision of how you would improve education, then describe a movement that supports this vision.

Long-term – Find ways to encourage other educators, parents, and students to support the movement to transform education.

Great Posts and Educators!


Find a movement to support!

Goal #24 … Support Character Development

Goal 24: Support Character Development

“The unfinished character of human beings and the transformational character of reality necessitate that education be an ongoing activity.” ~Paulo Freire

How often have you seen people serving others with kindness?  I am reminded of the insurance commercial that shows people doing kind things for others simply because they witnessed another person performing a kind deed for someone they did not know.  This character development allows students to develop empathy for other people.

Goal 24_Johnny the BaggerRecently, I received a story about a young man from a local grocery store chain – The Simple Truths of Service:  Inspired by Johnny the Bagger (View video for the complete story).  You see Johnny was a simple bagger a local grocery store.  At the start of this story, Johnny had heard a lecture/speech on making a difference in the store, specifically in how to develop loyal customers.  Johnny, being very considerate, thought about what he could do because “I’m only a bagger.”  With his thinking, he began finding an inspirational quote for each day. At home, he would print copies of his quote, and place these in people’s bags.  Pretty soon, the manager started noticing repeat customers … those who would come back on days Johnny worked and would stand only in his line. When asked, some people would say that they found a reason to shop everyday just so they could get Johnny’s quote.

Johnny’s story should inspire all of us to try to positively impact the lives of others.  What can you students do for less fortunate students in your school?  What about students at another school?  What about classes around the world?  In Japan? In Egypt?

The goal of character development is to help students understand that there is a world beyond their own lives.  We are blessed with free public education, yet we take for granted sometimes the safety of our classrooms.  Considers these goals as a means of helping our students to develop character traits that could help them think critically about the world around them.


Short-term – Present a world problem, tragedy, or situation to your students and have them brainstorm ways to improve the situation.

Long-term – Organize an event in which your students help people in a profound way and are able to realize they are able to improve their world.


Passion Driven Classroom by Angela Maiers and Amy Sandvold

Empower your students to be world changers!