IGNITE 35 – Mixtape

“We are in the business of learning. We should be talking about learning all of the time.”

Yes. This is the line that I totally gapped on during my IGNITE 35 presentation on May 31st. I looked at the slide and thought… “Share your learning” as the written prompt on my PowerPoint slide but could not for the life of me retrieve this concept. WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF LEARNING. I believe that we should all be talking about learning… about student learning, professional learning, and learning in general. There. I blogged it.

Thank you IGNITE 35 organizers and volunteers for making the night so wonderful. Loved the new venue. So local, intimate, and quaint. It’s very much unlike a pub and I appreciated all those who had presented that night. As many of you know (in SD35), I always love visiting your school district and embedding myself (as much as I can) into your professional learning opportunities. I could not resist applying this year (even though I presented at the first IGNITE 35) because I loved the theme: MIXTAPE. It was challenging. What song best represented my educational practice? Good one. My educational practice has evolved over time and to find an element that has stayed tried and true is my love for professional learning. I am an avid consumer of professional learning, I love being a contributor to professional learning, and my dissertation is all about professional learning. How do we share this learning?

What I find curious about professional learning is what do we do with what we’ve learned. I wonder about the staying power of professional learning and how we as educators use it to benefit student learning. My friend and I always talk about education change, making the most impact, and leadership (you know, the light topics in education). We wonder about what matters, where does it happen, and how do we get there. It’s the HEART OF EDUCATION. Anyway, we are all in some way contribute to education and student learning but I often wonder about leveraging change. We talk about change. We participate in professional learning. But… is change really happening? This thinking was the underpinning of my IGNITE 35 presentation.

The song I chose was SING by Ed Sheeran. Thank you to all those who were tweeting that night. I conveniently stole this photo… and, I am also grateful for you tweeting the other two key messages aside from “we’re in the business of learning.” First, “don’t be a closet learner.” Second, “when you learn something, pay it forward.” It’s so easy to forget what you have learned if you don’t bring it to your practice. I’ll admit it… I’ve been inspired many times at conferences and workshops thinking “hey, that’s an awesome idea”… and that’s it. An idea. Then I forget about it and move back into the routine of my practice. My message for IGNITE 35 was… SHARE YOUR LEARNING. It could be an IGNITE presentation, a blog, a tweet, a face-to-face convo with colleagues or with your students. Do something with what you have learned. Create change. This is a challenge for all those in the education. What’s the point of learning if you’re not going to use it, share it, and celebrate it? I encourage you to SING. Sing loud.

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