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Interview Date: December 26, 2013
One of our most popular posts is our Connected Educators list. Our followers love connected educators who are willing to share there knowledge and experience, however our list only includes twitter profiles. Many of our followers want to learn more about some of these incredible individuals! That is why we will highlight one connected educator during each week of 2013 – 2014 School year. So here it is!
Connected Educators of the Week
What is your current job of position?
I am the founder of Choose2Matter, Inc., a not-for-profit that challenges students and other people to live up to and into their genius to effect change. I am also an author, speaker and education consultant.
What is your educational background?
I have an undergraduate degree in Education with a minor in biology from the University of Iowa. I did my post grad work at Drake University and hold a Masters degree in Education Supervision and Literacy.
Describe your educational philosophy and educational vision?
I believe there is genius is in all of us. But it can only be realized if we take intentional steps to illuminate, liberate and celebrate the unique gifts we have to share with the world.
My vision is to put in place processes to help all of us uncover and utilize the untapped and unrecognized talents in our students and school communities.
How do you grow and engage your professional learning network?
By being interested. By asking great questions. By listening.
Each day I try to share something that reflects what I see, what I hear and most importantly that respects what my network is feeling. When your contribution aligns with what your community needs; your network will grow.
What is the greatest benefit of your professional network?
My network is my superpower. Without my community giving me constant inspiration and support, I could not be nearly as successful in moving the needle towards these audacious goals.
There is not a single day personally and professionally that I do not pull insight, inspiration and strength from the collective genius of my network.
If you blog, what is the focus of it? How long have you been writing? Who is your audience?
I have been writing for a lifetime. I moved that writing to the web seven years ago when I started my own blog. My primary blog community is in education, so I write a great deal about teaching, learning, and our vision of what they can be.
I also have a regular columns on the Huffington Post and the Switch and Shift Leadership blog, where I tackle broader conversations and audiences around the topics of education, leadership, emerging literacies, technologies and social media.
How do you use social media to connect with other educators? What is your advice to teachers on social media and education?
You can start without a Twitter account. Use the hashtags and discover entire communities of passionate teachers and leaders talking about what YOU want and need.
My friend Jerry Blumengarten; known in the Twittersphere as @cybraryman1 has organized 100’s of education hashtags for us here: Education Hashtags. When you are comfortable, jump in. Here are a few resources to get you started or move you to the next level if you are a Twitter veteran: Twitter Presentation and Resources
What advice in general do you have to teachers today?
The same advice I give students: Own Your Genius!
Don’t hold back. Don’t hide your best. And don’t underestimate the contribution and impact you can have in another’s life and learning. You have something the world needs and it is your responsibility and obligation to contribute it.
Describe a teacher who has had a significant impact on your professional development?
It would be a college professor. I was pursuing a career in medicine and a few weeks before the MCAT exam he asked me why I wanted to be a doctor.
I had no answer. I was passionate about the learning. I was excited about the experiences I had gained in the classroom and field, but I had no desire to be a doctor.
He helped me understand that my true passion was teaching. It has been almost 25 years since I changed course and have not regretted one single day.
Any teacher who helps a student recognize what they were meant to do; is a gift a learner will never forget.
I strive to be that teacher because I was that learner.
What book would you recommend to teachers?
Ah, that is such a hard question, there are so many powerful books that enhance our teaching and help us craft remarkable learning experiences for our students.
In No More Mediocre Me, John lays out so clearly the importance of liberating our own genius and demanding of ourselves what we demand of students. To be remarkable. To be bold. To be adaptable. And most importantly to never accept and be mediocre.
Be sure to check out more from Angela here: