Yesterday we had two learning opportunities for staff to share strategies and ideas for gaming, gamification and coding in the classroom. Now I have to confess, I’m not a gamer. It may be hard to believe but I have never played Angry Birds or Candy Crush. My nephew will always know more about Minecraft then me. I know there are many benefits but not being immersed in the world myself, I think sometimes I miss some of the potential.

“Ooooo” he said.

I was rushing out of our network meeting as I bumped in to two friendly high schoolers. You could tell they knew something was just not right but curiosity kept them from leaving. I politely said the library was closed and they politely responded with ok.

On their way out, one gentlemen turned around and said “Miss, would you mind telling us what is going on?”

“It is a group of teachers looking at how they can use games, gamification and coding in school.” I responded.

You should have seen his eyes light up! “Ooooo”, he said tapping his chin. “I better leave them to it so they can use it with us.” 

Part of me wanted to invite them to stay, to hear from teachers and kids, to share their own expertise but left with a perfectly timed reminder of why our conversations yesterday were so important.

As I left I wondered when the last time was that I went ‘Ooooo’ about a learning prospect.


My “To The Moon with Google”

As I scrolled through my tweets earlier this week I saw a post by Doug Pete (Thanks Aviva!). He shared an inspiring clip To the Moon with Google. Of course it didn’t stop there, the post came with a challenge to share our story. I have had so many great moments and love to share stories but this is a story I often keep to myself.

When I was a little girl I told my parents I wanted to be a teacher. They tell me I never changed my mind after that day in grade 1.

I remember playing school with my brother, standing in front of the class. After playing school for many years the real job began.

There were…

  • the stickers
  • the garage sales
  • the accidents (primary teachers know what I’m talking about)
  • the emergency snacks
  • hours searching for just the right book or the perfect clip
  • professional reading stacks
  • the pep talks
  • constructive feedback
  • the “aha moment’ smiles and confidence
  • cherished relationships
  • daily learning opportunities

Then one day, on the last day of the AQ course, she came to me and said “You made me a better teacher“. I have to admit I was fighting back the tears.

I don’t think that six year old girl ever planned for that moment. A moment where the dream of being a teacher became inspiring teachers. Till the day I retire, even if it was just for that one person that one day, it will remain my “To the Moon” story.

When I was a little girl I told my parents I wanted to be a teacher.