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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. So here it is!
This is a re-post of our Massachusetts Educator of the Week interview on September 13, 2013.
Peter Reynolds book, The Dot, is the inspiration for a great day of learning called Dot DayLets All Connect For Dot Day and Make Our Mark On The World! Click here for more resources for International Dot Day!
Peter Reynolds: Connected Educator of the Week

What is your current job of position?

Man of many hats.

What is your educational background?

Public school, daydreaming, mentors.

Describe your educational philosophy and educational vision?

Help every child navigate their true potential by every creative means available. Believe in each learner even before they believe in themselves.

How do you grow and engage your professional learning network?

Facebook, twitter, coffee shops, snail mail.

What is the greatest benefit of your professional network?

Finding, being connected to, and being inspired by kindred spirits. Reminds me that WE are moving things forward.

If you blog, what is the focus of it?

I blog when I have something to share – some insights on creativity and seeing things differently.

How long have you been writing?

Since first grade. I never stop. Never will. Well, hoping Heaven has great cafes to write in.

Who is your audience?

Kids, grown up kids and adults who need to be reminded to be grown up kids.

How do you use social media to connect with other educators?

I share a lot about my work, learning, creativity and notice who retweets, comments on a post, follows m e -and I quickly add them to my Kindred Spirit Rolodex. I learn from THEM. I get inspired by their work, their love for their craft and their kids.

What is your advice to teachers on social media and education?

Broadcast the good stuff you are doing. Show the world what creativity looks like. Make your classroom as unique as you. Show your kids who you are and what interests you even if it has “supposedly” nothing to do with the subjects you are charged to teach. Show them that you are still learning. Show them what bravery looks like. What creativity looks like. What dreaming looks like. What compassion looks like.

Ask your kids who THEY are and who they would like to become. Urge them to work hard to make their dreams real.

What advice in general do you have to teachers today?

Be a gentle rebel. Change things as slowly as you need to, but change things. The test-centic days are almost over. The next chapter is going to be the most creative one education has ever seen – and YOU will have a big hand in writing that new chapter.

Describe a teacher who has had a significant impact on your professional development?

I have a few. My 7th grade math teacher who challenged me to teach math with my art, storytelling and animation. My 11th grade Shakespeare teacher who urged us to “connect the dots” from the books to popular songs. My newspaper advisor in 12th grade who taught me that journalism without compassion is dangerous.

My 11th grade Social Studies teacher who dared our class to have an original idea. The foreign language chairperson who commissioned me to illustrate a French text book because it had none – to be used to teach other students. None of these lessons were assessed by a high-stakes bubble test.

What book would you recommend to teachers?

A blank book. Write your own story. Dip it in art and words. Share your wisdom. Share with your students and the world.