Right now, my province is facing the biggest evacuation effort in our history because of wildfires in the North. More than 13 000 people have been displaced from their homes and their communities and relocated in shelters being taken care of by the Red Cross, the generosity of our people, and other companies and organizations. My family has a cabin that is located in the middle of some of those fires and miraculously our subdivision has remained unscathed as of yet. We remain optimistic and hopeful, always knowing that all it takes is a spark of ember to ignite a disaster. My most sincere thanks and appreciation to all of those men and women who are working to save what they can from Mother Nature’s wrath.
Sparks can cause damage, but after the fire, there will be regrowth and rebuilding. Nature and the human spirit are both extremely resilient like that. In our learning, all it takes is a spark to ignite a movement, an activity, or a change in our teaching style. The sparks that can do that for me and that drive my continued journey as a life-long learning come from a variety of places.
Twitter: So many good ideas on Twitter! The people who I follow and who I consider my PLN are so smart and so interesting. All it takes is an interesting idea and I find myself drawn to research more and make it happen! Find me here.
Colleagues: So many talented people doing so many interesting things! My colleague Bonnie is an absolutely gifted teacher. She is a Daily 5 Guru, and having seen what she does with that structure I was motivated to learn more, even going to a Daily 5 Conference led by The Sisters. I love to collaborate with colleagues – some of the best ideas are ones that came up accidentally in a chat session and have created the most memorable experiences for me and for the students!
Real life: I love being able to take things that are happening in our real world and connect them to my students’ learning, as well as my own. Often, we are learning together!
Students: What are the kids interested in? That often drives how I teach, what I teach, and physical structures in my classroom. This past year involved a lot of changes in my room as I transformed it to a space that I feel was a better fit for more of my kids.
The thing about sparks is that it takes a very small one to lead to a very big result. A simple idea becomes a unit. A student request becomes a project. An interest becomes a leadership opportunity.
I love when I have an opportunity to try something new. The small sparks often become wildfires by the time I am done with them! I love, in this case, that there is an uncertainty about how it will work out. I love that I can tell my students, “I’m not sure about this, but let’s give it a go and find out!” I hope that I am always able to find those sparks to guide me as an educator because if those particular sparks are ever snuffed out, it will be time for me to pack it up.