About a month ago I wrote a post about finding inspiration and identifying my passions. I decided to dedicate time to research areas of interest and to reach out to other educators whose work interests me.
I found inspiration in the work of by a former primary teacher in Canada who designs creative spaces for children. You can see her work at Brillante Design. She recently decided to start a school, a small private Kindergarten for girls, based on the work of John Dewey, Jean Piaget and a research-based approach that includes play and inquiry. You can read more about the school at Brillante Beginnings. Once upon a time, opening my own school was a dream goal…but I need more time to think about what I can do now and in the coming year.
I had the opportunity to exchange e-mail with Dr. Donna Ford a professor of education at Vanderbilt University. She is involved in research that addresses issues of equity in gifted education. I am very interested in advocating for children from unrepresented groups and special populations, especially English language learners and I asked her how I can get involved. Dr. Ford began her own advocacy group. She mentioned there is no advocacy group for bilingual gifted learners. She suggested that if I am interested in advocating for bilingual students students I should start my own advocacy group. I haven’t ever thought about starting an advocacy group and I am not sure how one does it (she gave me a few tips) so this is something I need to learn more about.
I also had a chance to have lunch with a retired reading specialist who recently started own LLC, Monica Creates, LLC. She makes Printables for teachers and sells them on Teachers Pay Teachers. Before meeting her for brunch, I had looked into making my own worksheets for personal use and it hadn’t occurred to me to sell them. I explored the Teacher Pay Teachers site and I can tell you there is a plethora of Printables made by very creative teachers. Monica was able to explain the entire process of creating, selling and marketing Printables on social media sites. I was completely overwhelmed by the process and the time it takes to build a following and brand etc…things I have never thought about before. I am don’t think selling Printables is the direction I am headed in. I am thankful to the many creative teachers who create them and sell them. I have bought quite a few in last couple weeks to use with the student I tutor.
I am passionate about education and about issues of equity in education AND I’ve noticed that what I enjoy most of all is working with learners from preschoolers to middle school students. I enjoy learning about their strengths and areas of need. What I enjoy the most is the challenge of finding the ways to engage them with the concepts and ideas they need to learn.
I dedicated time and effort to find my inspiration, to research the areas of education that I am interested in. I found that I still have big dream goals. By reaching out to others, I am better able to see how I can make use of my experience and knowledge. I am not ruling out starting a school or an advocacy group just yet, those big dreams scare me…a lot.
- I will start by offering more tutoring services to students the next school year.
- I would also like to offer a combination math and art class for middle school girls this summer (inspired by Anna Chernecki at Brillante Beginnings).
- I want to find a way to address issues of equity in education in my local community.