Dare to Care

construct, create, communicate, collaborate, and think critically

20/Jun/2019
by Denise Krebs
4 Comments

Inviting Innovation

This post is week 2 of 8 in the 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge for educators.

Who or what experiences have built you up into the educator you are today?

Joy Kirr’s post is the first I read during Week 2 of the challenge. Her story is familiar to me, as I’ve heard her tell it before. It also runs parallel to my own story, which began at about the same time.

I had been teaching since 1984–sometimes to a group of grade 2, grade 3, grade 7, grade 8, as a reading specialist with small groups of children, or for ten years as a stay-at-home mom with my two daughters. I loved all my students and schools. I always felt I was out-of-the-box and looking for how to be better.

However, in late 2010, something switched for me. Two colleagues came back from the Iowa Technology Education Conference and told me that teachers were using Twitter. OK, I thought. So what. They continued telling me about the connections they made, the Web 2.0 tools they discovered, the people that inspired them. They told me enough that I got interested and began exploring with them.

One of my first tweets happened while I sat at a Digital Literacy conference with Angela Maiers. I was at a table with Erin OlsonStacy Brown, Brenda Ortmann, and Eileen Kinney listening to Angela’s challenging message. As you can see that uphill was a steep learning curve for me in more ways than one. I had to figure out the difference between # and @ on Twitter.

Angela Maiers was inspiring and challenging. Here is the post referred to in the tweet below. The people I met on Twitter enabled me to learn much more than I was used to learning. I began to read more books, read and write more blog posts, and I learned in a new and exciting way how to own my own learning, how to take responsibility for making a new way.

When I was searching for my first tweets, I also ran across this one I wrote in 2011 to Jee Young Kim. At that time, I was helping someone find resources to teach overseas. I myself had never been out of North America, but here I was saying, “Maybe someday I’ll be able to teach overseas!” What? I was sure I was making that up to be polite or make conversation. I had never had that thought before. But three years later I was doing just that!

I have now been teaching in Bahrain for six years. Thankfully, the things I learned from others and my commitment to innovation and improvement have not stopped.

I’m still connected with educators all over the world through Twitter.  Even though education is much more traditional here, we are still growing professionally at each turn. Soon we will have the third annual EdCampBahrain. We have quarterly TeachMeets and hashtags to share our learning in the Middle East (#bahrainedu, #edchatMENA)

Then today I humbly received one of my Principal’s Innovation Awards at our school for engaging my students with things like blogging, Pearls of Wisdom, and Genius Hour.

Life is sweet, and there is such joy in this journey. I am very thankful for those who taught me what I know and for those who continually teach and challenge me.

 

18/Feb/2012
by Denise Krebs
10 Comments

Goal #5: Feed Yourself Inspiration

After a tough week, it was good to consider Goal #5: Feed Yourself Inspiration for the #30 Goals Challenge 2012. Here are some of the thoughts that inspire me and keep me going as a teacher…

Why not? What fun is it in limiting our thoughts to only what we think is possible? Think the impossible!

I teach junior highers, and, because of their age, they don’t fully understand that education is “the golden door of freedom.” I try to help them become literate and educated because I know our democracy is at stake if they don’t.

My goal is to inspire students to be lifelong learners, not only so they can preserve our democracy, but so they can change the world.

We are hoping to become a 1:1 junior high next year. Every chance we get, we practice doing authentic work on the computers.

Angela Maiers is an important inspiration in my teaching. “You are a genius, and the world demands your contribution,” is my mantra, learned from Angela.

Another from Angela Maiers. #YouMatter–that’s what I want my students to know. It makes a difference when one believes this!

When I’m not the chief learner, I need to do a checkup and get back to learning.

I strive for excellence, but, at the same time I wait, fear and hope in God, my ultimate inspiration.

All images from my Flickr Photostream.

18/Nov/2011
by Denise Krebs
1 Comment

Joining Our Students in the e Wild West

My favorite quote by Angela Maiers


For the past year, Angela Maiers has been a transformative influence in my teaching. She is a passionate 21st century literacy education leader and visionary.

In one year, my teaching has experienced a thorough metamorphosis, starting with colleagues Mary and Brenda going to ITEC10 and telling me all about what they learned. A few months later I went to a conference led by Angela, and she has sealed the deal. I’ll never be the same.

I just read an article by Julia Steiny on the Standing with the Kids blog (Love her tagline: Education is intellectual parenting, or it should be.)

Anyway, in the article, “Most Kids Way Ahead of Us as Digital Learners, for Better and Worse,” the second in a series of interviews with Angela, Julia and Angela say so eloquently what I believe so passionately. Simply: adults need to be out in the digital Wild West with our children, learning with them and protecting them from dangers. (See the first article here.)

Bonus: My mentor Angela mentioned my genius students & me in her interview.

Thanks, Julia, for a great article.
Thanks, Angela! You matter in my life!

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