Kenan Fellows Summer Institute Top 10 List

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This week I had the AMAZING opportunity to participate in a professional development conference like no other!  If you ever get the chance to go to NCCAT as a Kenan Fellow or otherwise do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to Cullowhee, NC!  The Kenan Summer Institute staff and steering committee as well as the NCCAT staff put on an event worthy of praise.  There was the perfect mix of PD, networking, and relaxation that really began to fulfill my wish in the previous post.  I leave the institute exhausted (in a good way) yet rejuvenated and ready to march on.  I learned so much from fellow educators that I can take back and apply directly to my classroom.  My favorite bit of information came from the App Smackdown.  I am returning to my classroom with a plethora of computer software and app options to enrich my curriculum.  I especially enjoyed the special treatment we got from the Nantahala Outdoor Center and our fantastic guides.  Being able to learn about the flora of the Nantahala National Forest from our knowledgeable and talented whitewater guides gave the trip a little extra flair just for teachers!  In honor of the wonderful experience I had, I will leave you with my Top 10 List with the hope that it encourages you to take your learning and professional growth into your own hands. I encourage you to check out NCCAT and the programs it offers or to take advantage of the  opportunity to apply to a program such as Kenan Fellows.

10.  The wonderful accommodations at NCCAT Cullowhee

9. Movie Night & S’mores

8. Ice breaker sessions

7. Strawberry Shortcake

6. App Smackdown

5. Professional development choices to meet my needs.

4. Patio PD

3. Meeting fellow educators and expanding my professional network outside of my school

2. EdCamp

drum roll please…….

1. Whitewater Rafting at the Nantahala Outdoor Center

Nantahala Falls, a class 3 rapids with our AMAZING guide Stefan!

Hopes & Dreams

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Many have asked the question, “Why?” or “What are you hoping to get out of your time as a Kenan Fellow?”  Each time I feel as though I give a different answer.  I guess that means I have high expectations for my fellowship!

Ultimately, I hope to learn things that create an enriching experience for my students.  I also see this as a year to rebuild my enthusiasm for education.  In the past 4 years many things have been thrown my way and I have discovered a great deal about the field of education that I did not learn in my formal education.  I couldn’t have been blessed with better mentors,  teammates, and role models.  I have been given advice and heard many opinions from more seasoned educators then myself.  I’ve observed, tried, succeeded, and sometimes failed.  In short it’s been exhausting!

Now it is my time to sift through the advice and knowledge that has been passed on to me from those people.  Through my Kenan Fellowship I hope to spend time creating my own list of advice points and knowledge that I can begin to pay forward to the fresh new educators around me.  I want to solidify my plan for becoming a leader in the education world and spend some time shaping my career into something that is fulfilling and enriching not only to my students but also to colleagues.  I want to help teachers feel like valued professionals so that their students feel valued as well.