"Who are your EduHeroes?" The question was asked. Who has made an important impression on me that has affected the course of my educational life in some form or fashion? I could go for the easy answer and give the names of several authors whose books I have read, whose Keynote speeches have inspired me, but can I honestly say that they have had the deepest impression on me?
Everyone leaves fingerprints wherever they go. Doors, phones, tables, chairs. But have you ever thought that you leave fingerprints on people, as well? Maybe not an actual fingerprint that can be dusted like you see on crime movies, but a fingerprint just the same. The smiles, words, interactions, and relationships that we have with other people on a daily basis leave an impression even if we are not aware of it!
A smile for a teacher that might be having a hard day, a hug for a student that is needing a comforting touch, a note of encouragement for a coworker that is having personal struggles, a suggestion to try something that they haven't tried before, a listening ear for a friend that needs to get their words out so that they can think clearly. These are the fingerprints that can leave the biggest impression when shared on a regular basis. The deepest impressions become bonds that can continue to support and uplift even after the initial contact is no longer present.
The EduHeroes that have left their imprint on my educational life include people like Carol Gunnels (@gunnels5G) who encouraged me to get on Twitter for Professional Development. Although originally hesitant, I made the leap and soon made connections through Twitter chats. The contacts that I had on Twitter helped me grow my professional reading library, learn about educational conferences and Edcamps, and extend my learning to Voxer!
I joined a Voxer book study on The Four O'Clock Faculty by Rich Czyz (@RACzyz) led by Matthew Larson (@mlarson_nj) and Ricardo Garcia (@rokstar19). The connections that I made through this book study were so incredible that at the end of the book study, no one wanted to leave! I talk on a daily basis with educators from all across the United States, from all levels of teaching (classroom, coach, specialists, administrators). Hearing the perspectives of others encourages me to examine my own beliefs, understandings, and my Why. This group, the #4OCFpln, has become, in a sense, a family.
This family has not only bonded together to encourage, grow, and support each other, but we have also made an effort to share our beliefs and our learning with others on Twitter, Voxer, Instagram, Periscope, Facebook, etc. Some of us had an opportunity to share our story with others at #ISTE19 in Philadelphia this past summer.
So when people ask me who are my EduHeroes, I would say they are the people that have made an indelible imprint on my educational life. Their fingerprints on my life have brought me to the path I am on today as a connected educator. And for that I am truly grateful!
Who has left their fingerprint on you?