As part of being involved in #savmp, the School Admin Virtual Mentor Program, I have been asked to reflect on one of two questions: Why do I lead? or Why I am an educator? I have chosen the second question because at this point, being fresh into a leadership position in my school district, I am still in the design stage of the structure and systems surrounding my position.
The last three years I was a computer lab teacher in two elementary schools in Victoria, BC, Canada. My focus began in establishing a computer lab program and website for K-5 students, where I provided a digital space for students to explore, create, and re-create. My position quickly grew to using iPads in literacy classrooms when the school district purchased them for our school. I began sharing a blog, networking with other teachers with a similar position, and sharing my new findings and resources with colleagues. Just recently, I became an employee at the district as an Educational Technology Co-Ordinator. The job change entails even more learning, researching, connecting, and sharing with colleagues and students. I will be focusing on connecting with colleagues and supporting pedagogy and use of new tools in the classroom. Greater Victoria School District 61 has recognized the needs that many of my colleagues in the district were identifying: the need for a greater support regarding the use of technology in the classroom. Hopefully, with my position, I will be heading straight towards this need while problem solving and growing throughout the whole process to find solutions and systems that work.
Why am I an Educator?
I am an educator first and foremost because I love to learn. I am curious about all things and I love to investigate, problem solve, and creatively search for solutions. I am consistently searching out answers to things that I don’t know, or the history of buildings and cities, or natural world, or why people are the way they are. Even as I write this blog post, a million questions are flying through my mind about this coming year, this position, this blog, and the new people I get to connect with and meet.
I am an educator also because I love people. I love developing new relationships with people and finding out what makes them tick. I love encouraging others to act in their gifting and to help people. I love being a mentee, and I love being able to mentor and share with others. There is nothing more rich than a relationship that causes insight, reflection, and discovery of who I am as a person. I see how I am personally involved in my professional life, how there is an overlap, and how there is a disconnect. Ultimately, I see how education is based around learning relationships, mentorship, and professional learning network development.
In order to properly answer the original question, I came to reflect on the core values of my educational philosophy. Although this will always be a work in progress. Here are a few values/goals of my educational philosophy:
- instill and restore a curiosity of the unknown for students
- create spaces in school for students to imagine, create, and innovate
- inspire a motivation to learn, explore and challenge
- motivate to build relationships and engage in the various mentorship levels
- support in learning and provide insight into who we are
- prepare students with skills required in our 21st century world
- challenge how education is shaped and help innovate new directions for schools
In closing, one particular person I want to acknowledge in this blog post is George Couros. I am so thankful for him and how he has set up the #savmp. I recognize how he is responding to a need in education, and the creative pairing of the need with the new ability to connect and mentor online across the world. Also, of the hundreds of educators involved in the mentor/mentee system #savmp, I am feeling thankful, excited, and nervous to be one of the three mentees that mentor George Couros has chosen.