2017: An Incredible Year of Growth
2017 has been an amazing year for me and although I’m sad to see it coming to an end, I’m excited for the future, and what another year of growth will look like. I feel as though lately, I’ve been in a little bit of a slump when it comes to writing. I’ve been trying to step back and allow myself to recharge so that I can get back to the place where inspiration flows and I am motivated to write down my thoughts and reflections in order to share them… but even with my break, I felt the need to sit down today and blog about 2017. This year was just that amazing!
In 2017, I started my new dream job at École Sage Creek School; a brand new school that just opened up this September. I am so fortunate to be among absolutely amazing staff members who push my thinking beyond belief, inspire me daily, while also offering me an incredible amount of support. The start up of this school has been harder than anyone could ever imagine, but working with this staff and being surrounded by an amazing community has made it all worth it. I feel as though we are finally starting to find a bit of a groove and I’m super excited to see what the rest of the school year will bring.
In 2017, I had the incredible opportunity to help lead the IMMOOC (the Innovator’s Mindset Massive Open Online Course) twitter chats with Katie Martin and Tara Martin. These chats are the fastest chats I’ve ever been a part of (truth be told, in the second round of IMMOOC, I couldn’t even keep up with the chats) but somehow I pushed myself and decided to take a risk by offering to help with the chats in the 3rd round. I’m forever grateful for Katie and Tara who took me under their wings and showed me the ropes, and for the friendships we’ve developed along the way. I learned so much through that experience and can’t wait to see what round 4 will look like. Rumor has it that it will include a few books that nicely compliment The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros… Empowerby AJ Juliani and John Spencer (which is an AMAZING read) and Learner Centered Innovation, Katie Martin‘s new book that isn’t even out yet.
In 2017, I got to meet not one of, but both of my biggest EDU heros. First, George Couros came and spoke to our newly hired staff back in April. It was incredible to hear him speak after I’d been following his work so closely. George has been and continues to be instrumental in my growth through all of the IMMOOC rounds, through blogging (both his and mine), and of course, through his book. I’ve read it at least 3 times now, have listened to the audiobook (which is a real treat), and have gifted his book to countless educators! Second, earlier this month, my best friend Nycol Didcote and I headed to Minneapolis for the #ties17 conference. One of the reasons we chose this conference was because we knew that Dave Burgess would be speaking there. I first read his book just over a year ago and have been hooked ever since (see what I did there? :)). Nycol and I attended both the “Teach Like A Pirate” session and the “Teaching Outside the Box” session, and although my expectations were sky high after hearing all of the hype from my Twitter PLN, I was still completely blown away. I haven’t even gotten around to blogging about it, but I also don’t believe it’s humanly possible to explain what it’s like. It’s one of those things that you have to experience… no words will ever do it justice. If you haven’t read The Innovator’s Mindset or Teach Like a Pirate yet, do yourself a favour, and put this at the very top of your list of things to do in 2018! And if you have the opportunity (or if you don’t, create it), go see George and Dave speak!!
In 2017, Nycol and I also attended Connect 2017 in Niagara Falls and had so many takeaways. There, we had the opportunity to connect with so many amazing educators and meet some incredibly inspiring people who we had been following on Twitter. Unfortunately, Social LEADia by Jennifer Casa-Todd and Code Breaker by Brian Aspinall weren’t out yet when we met them, but I’ve since read both (and blogged about Social LEADia) and look forward to the day where I’ll be able to meet up with those two again to get my books signed. Watch out Jenn and Brian, I’m coming for you! 🙂
In 2017, I read more than I’ve ever read before. I discovered Dave Burgess Consulting Inc. in 2016, but really made a point to read more in 2017. I currently have 20 DBC books and although I haven’t read them all yet, I’ve been inspired and have grown so much thanks to many of these books! I really need a #tlap shirt…
There is so much more to my growth this year than what I’ve shared in this blog, including countless new incredible educators that I’ve added to my PLN, but these are definitely some of the highlights! Cheers to another great year under my belt and starting a new one in a few hours! Wishing you all health, happiness and a lot of learning and growing in 2018!