Day 111 (of 188) unexpected visitor….?
I decided to pay some unexpected visits to some (not all!) of my #pln while I was driving to a noon meeting on the coast. The “surprise” nature was mindful because a) winter roads can sometimes lead to unexpected delays and b) I just wanted to catch some educators that I admire via Twitter (and have had some recent direct messages with) and see what a moment in their day looks like.
My first visit was to @mauimickey and her kindy class – seeing the kids ‘just using’ their smart board (at a low heat) and then very independently work on or wonder books (thinking about a play version of Cinderella they saw) was amazing. Even better was the appearance of @halessharon who happened to be spending a pro-d day with Michelle! The power of peer networking!
I then stopped by @chriswejr – an education leader who always makes me think about my thinking (and be in awe of his ease of working with all members of his learning community. And then I made my first realization as he took me to the classroom of @vwoelders (didn’t realize she was on the same school – oops) but had a stunning look at independent learners reading in different methodologies and incorporating technology (ipads) as needed – not as something unique and special – just another tool!
From there I popped in on @sdavids an inspiring leader (and not just because he’s a rabid seahawks fan) but his ease and comfort in pushing thinking around technology to support learning and as a tool for his staff to make even stronger assessment connections with the learning community – it’s not one size fits all…..And then he had to (got to?) help a student fix a problem!
I then snuck over to see @tracycramer who shocked me because she was in the foyer of her school! I wasn’t expecting that. She was t waiting for me but instead was waiting to take her class into a jam packed gym to celebrate the lunar new year and have a multicultural day! It was crazy busy in the best possible ways! I didn’t want to distract, but I probably should have because tonight I got a tweet asking why I didn’t say hi to Tracy’s principal who I also know via Twitter. And now I feel bad I didn’t see @lucylenko – but I may pop in late (she said I could!)r! It was amazing to see so many excited and happy faces on students as they waited patiently (?) for their turn to go into the gym for their turn to be overwhelmed!!
I then popped in quickly (as I had gotten turned around a couple times – hard to admit “lost” – but I had a meeting to make!!) on @msvictoriaolson whose secretary was a tad reluctant to let me sneak down to her classroom….! But she finally relented (I smiled and begged) and when I at first couldn’t see Ms Victoria, I just looked for where the biggest crowd of kids were…..and they graciously let me interrupt their guided math class (mix of manipulatives, paper, transparencies and tech!!!) and have a brief chat – I didn’t want to interrupt the great learning I could see happening throughout the room! Great engagement everywhere I looked!
I know I could’ve seen more (PLN, teachers, principals, school tours) if I had the time – but I only had a few short hours – oh! and a limited number of books. It’s something I have been trying out – sharing books that I’ve liked with others with a catch: they can’t keep them. Each person who I interrupted today got a book of thanks to pass on. But really I was the winner as I got to see some fantastic schools and classrooms in action!
Best of all – nobody minded being interrupted……I got to see some amazing ‘everyday moments’ of learning down the trans canada highway that made me even more impressed with my #pln! Even in the middle of very busy days they took the time to welcome in an unexpected visitor.