Originally posted here: A Chance to Celebrate & Share:#TLLP2016 – Educators Tell Us

Through the 2015 – 2016 school year I had the pleasure of leading a Teacher Learning and Leadership project at Holy Cross in Malton, Ontario, the school I called home for 10 years. The project is explained in the video loop here: TLLP explained and the work that we shared has been made accessible on TeachOntario and on twitter as well.

On November 24th and 25th my colleague Joe Florio and I traveled to the Hilton Meadowvale to participate in the TLLP Sharing the Learning Summit. The summit featured 100 projects proudly displayed and explained by over 200 educators from all over Ontario.

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Joe and I taking our mandatory selfie (double selife?) just after setting up

 

With most of the participants coming in from out of town, the summit easily carried a culture of celebration and discussion; teachers almost always appreciate the chance to share the work they’re so passionate about with like-minded colleagues. As things started to come together at our display I realized that taking the time to stop, reflect and share my learning was EXACTLY what I needed before I stepped beyond this great experience and onto new challenges.

 

Summit participants were treated to inspiring talks from previous notable TLLP participants including keynote speaker, Michelle Cordy. We also had the privilege of hearing about how the TLLP is sparking other similar programs internationally and setting the tone for positive change within the profession through shared leadership and genuine teacher-led professional development. Ann Lieberman, Carol Campbell and Anna Yashkina shared the significant research and collaboration that they’re all a part of in this important initiative.

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The DPCDSB secondary (led by Linda Primier) and elementary panel TLLP teams

 

Joanne Myers from the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario inspired us sharing her stories of success and learning throughout a career where she “woke up every morning to go to work as if she’d won the lottery”. Her passion reached everyone in the room.

We were even treated to visits from Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter and Ontario Teacher’s Federation President, Mike Foulds who both gave talks that made us all feel appreciated, important and certainly validated in our efforts for the students of Ontario.

Despite the clear value provided by the summit’s guest speakers, the most meaningful discussions and connections happened during the market place sessions where TLLP leaders had the chance to share our projects with each other. The opportunity to strengthen and expand our professional/personal learning networks will lead to continued learning and exposure to different perspectives. Many of the educators we connect with at the summit will serve as sounding boards for our future ideas, co-planners for lessons or an inspirational spark through some work, idea or reflection they’ve shared, typically through social media. Despite the fact that many of us will only have the chance to see one another perhaps once or twice a year, these connections with like-minded professionals, facilitated through digital mediums, can keep us energized and creative at times where our motivation might be at risk of fading.

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In front of my display with Rolland Chidiac who has led two TLLP projects so far and is a part of my PLN via twitter

 

After two days of reflecting and sharing with colleagues I’m recharged and ready to continue doing what I love and supporting the efforts of the many teachers and students I’m so fortunate to work with each day. Beyond that I have new ideas for ways that I can have a positive impact on the teaching profession and, perhaps most importantly, an ever-expanding PLN to learn with and from.