Friday, April 25, 2014

My Reflections ~Choose2Matter LIVE! ~ Estherville, Iowa ~ April 17

First and foremost I have to thank the leader of our district, Tara Paul for making this all a possibility. When Angela Maiers first came to ELC in January, she spoke of Choose2Matter and many thought this would not be possible in Estherville. BUT Mrs. Paul believed in our students and community and pursued the opportunity! I am honored to be a part of her staff and believe that we are headed in the right direction!

It is really hard to put into words what took place over those 2 days. It was awesome to observe 1500+ students, staff and community members working on passion projects TOGETHER!

As Ms. Maiers was opening the day with her keynote talk, I looked around wondering, "Is this really happening here at ELC?" What a special and powerful day our students get to be a part of. I believe it is very important that we give our students the opportunity to work on these types of passion projects whether it be through an event like this or a genius hour.

As I look back to this WONDERFUL day, here are some of my thoughts:
  • The day really wasn't about the projects although we had/have great ideas and things our students are continuing to work on after the fact.
  • It was about
    • Being Brave - tears come to my eyes at the bravery of some of our students! WOW!
    • #YouMatter - Each one of our kids by the end of the day had a t-shirt with their genius on the back. Each student hopefully left the day knowing that they do matter and they can make a difference.
    • Their contributions to our world can make it better! Our students have the power to change the world. Each one of them is a masterpiece and special in their own way! Together we can make that difference by using each other's genius.
    • Collaboration
    • Creation
    • Communication
As I sat in a very special place one day and the speaker said, "Turn to your neighbor and tell them they are a masterpiece", I barely kept it together! I truly believe that statement and the #Choose2Matter event just reiterates that. 

We have many students that do not believe they matter and it breaks my heart! Somewhere along the years they have stopped believing. How do we keep this fire lit? As teachers, we can play a big part in keeping the fire burning.

Our kids here at ELC are amazing and they all matter. They can and will make a difference.

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