Monthly Archives: February 2017

NCCAT – A (very quick) Review

It’s incredibly difficult to choose ONE highlight of my NCCAT experience.  Already, this has been the most enriching, meaningful professional development experiences I have had in my short teaching career.  I’m almost worried that I’ve set the bar too high for future PD!  I’ll remember that for when I reach the point of my career where I’m creating and delivering PD….

I really enjoyed and learned a lot from our Kenan Fellows EdCamp.  This was the 3rd EdCamp I’ve attended, and certainly the most riveting.  I was almost overwhelmed with how many ideas and how much knowledge was being shared – I’m hoping that the notes I took will do the experience justice when I go back through them searching for ideas and inspiration during the school year.  I’ve never been with a group of such passionate, knowledgeable, talented educators – it was slightly intimidating as a new teacher, and certainly humbling to know that I’m among them.  My favorite session, and the one that I’m hoping to bring back to my classroom and my school at large was Paul’s session on creating independent learners using BYOD.  BYOD is a concept that I find intriguing, even more so now that I’ve seen how Paul has implemented it in his classroom not just to have technology for technology’s sake, but to grow independent learners.   

The whitewater rafting was another amazing experience for me, personally!  As someone who (thank you, Myers-Briggs test, for helping me realize this) is an introverted, planning type, experiences like this are not what I’m innately drawn to.  However, I really challenged myself to be in the spirit of Nike and JUST DO IT!  I sat in the front of my boat, where I got completely soaked, I ran across the troll bridge, and I even encouraged my boat to do some daring tricks.  Even if it’s indirectly, this is another experience I’ll be bringing back to my classroom – one that serves as a constant reminder that taking risks can result in awesome outcomes, that my students may see my classroom as a risk as great as I saw the whitewater rapids, and that teamwork really can make the dream work.  

Hopes and Goals

Going into my Kenan Fellows experience, I have a lot of hopes and goals.  As a soon-to-be second year teacher, I feel I have lots of room for growth.  One of my biggest hopes is that I connect both with other new/excited/risk-taking teachers as well as seasoned/wise/experienced teachers, all who, hopefully, share the same passion for teaching and learning.  

I think the shorter answer may be how could being a Kenan Fellow NOT elevate my teaching career.  So far, it seems like an experience that will be enriching in all aspects – ideologically, pedagogically, expanding and deepening my content knowledge, growing as a teacher leader.  The amount of potential growth from this experience is almost overwhelming.  

I’ve been on the receiving end of Kenan Fellow leadership and innovation this past year through my colleague and great friend, Taylar Flythe.  I’ve seen how she has used her experience to enhance her teaching, and also used it to help me enhance my teaching as well as to help other teachers throughout the school.  I’m hoping that my reach will have the same gravity that hers has.  I’d love to inspire other teachers to open their horizons, bring back ideas and energy that I could not have found elsewhere, and become a strong teacher leader at my school.