Living in a Beginner’s Mindset

As I wrote about last month, being in a new job is hard. There is so much to learn, new people to work with, and challenges that arise. It is a change that can be scary and overwhelming, so much so that often many people will not take the leap even if they are unhappy in their job. Comfort sometimes trumps happiness. Sticking with what you know and what you’ve done is easier

But what if being new was a mindset that everyone adopted, even when we aren’t? For several years now, I have participated in a concept we created at Bay View Middle School called BVOW. It stands for Bay View One Word. It comes from the One Word movement created to eliminate the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. Resolutions often fail, but choosing one word is a simple concept – pick one word for the year that you live by. Then see your life transform. We started BVOW at Bay View to help us with professional transformations. The great thing about the One Word concept is it really causes you to reflect. A lot. Before, during, and after you choose your word. That’s really where the transformation comes in.

In my recent reflections, I started to think about all of the great things that come with being new. The way that you look at things changes. You don’t have that comfort of going through the motions or already knowing the answers to all of the questions. There is a feeling inside of you that makes you stop and listen, seek understanding, and look at things that you never have before. I felt like the best way to describe this feeling was with the word WONDER. Wonder as in a sense of awe, but also wonder as in seeking answers. And just like every year before, I really thought that I had just picked my one word.

I truly believe that often our biggest fear with being new, or any change in general, is a temporary loss in control. It feels safe to know that we have everything handled. Even when it comes to choosing a one word, I feel a security in deciding how I am going to impact my work for the year. But I never seem to get that security, as my real one word comes forth to make its presence known. It always chooses me, no matter how much I think I’ve got it handled.

This year was no different. As I approached the year believing my word would be wonder, I happened to literally stumble upon my real one word. (Full disclosure – I never really seem satisfied after choosing my one word, so I often go looking again.) Many times in my search for a word, I encounter beautiful foreign words. Foreign words often embody meanings that go beyond what our words in English can. They are deep and full of energy. I have always decided against choosing one, until this year.

In the spirit of being new, I have decided to let the word SHOSHIN choose me. Shoshin is the first of four Zen states of mind and it means the Beginner’s Mind. Shoshin is the act of letting go of preconceived notions and looking at things from a fresh perspective. It opens our minds to new ideas and possibilities, creativity and innovation, and acceptance of your and others true selves. I found this quote particularly impactful on my research of this concept:

“If your mind is empty, it is ready for anything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” –ZEN MASTER SHUNRYU SUZUKI

What if we all worked at having a beginner’s mindset? How might things be different? What would we see that we often don’t? I feel privileged to be exploring those very questions this school year.


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When you know better…


Learning isn’t simply an activity to help us get a job and earn a living in life. We are creatures who have adapted to change through knowledge over the course of our history. The human brain has been studied heavily, and it has been shown that as we learn, our brain actually changes. Literally changes. It can change shape, move location of processes, create new connections, and can even compensate for damage. Your brain is made to directly adapt to your experiences in life.

Growing up as children, we learn quickly. I, like everyone else, have had experiences where we learn to NEVER do something again. Who knew that a hamster could be so smart that if it shoved wood chips under the wheel, climbed up, and pushed the top of the cage off it could escape out of a bedroom, down 12 stairs and end up downstairs in the basement late at night? Lesson learned: put a book on top of the hamster’s cage! Or how about having a great idea to film a creative video with a lit match that ends up burning your finger and getting dropped onto a rug on the floor? Lesson learned: be more wary about using matches as a prop, even if it will make a great video. Although these are small humorous examples, the adaptation in the brain to apply what we learn in situations happens daily in both big and small situations.

Our brain sets us up to survive by finding mistakes and ensuring we don’t continue to make them. When we know better, it strives to to make us do better. So the question I feel is begging to be asked is: In a very old profession, the education profession, we know better on many topics but why aren’t more of us working to do better? Right now, our students need an education more than any other time in history. We are living right in the middle of a transformative era. We will depend on our nation’s children to lead us through continued challenging times. And to do that, I believe we have several issues to address.

Teacher Attrition

Teachers are leaving the profession. In some places in our country, they are leaving in droves. Take a look at a report published this month that states 90% of the teacher vacancies in our country are from teachers leaving the profession (and 2/3 of those are leaving for a reason other than retirement). 90%! This is a staggering statistic, and it’s not new information, folks.

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So why are teachers leaving, and more importantly, what can we do about it? The most cited reasons for teacher attrition have been testing/accountability, lack of support, dissatisfaction with career, and dissatisfaction with working conditions. One of the main issues here is we need better educational programs to prepare our teachers for today’s students. Honestly, higher ed needs to step it up. For the most part, the preparatory coursework that preservice teachers receive is not up-to-date nor is there a trained readiness for standards and curriculum work, technology, or the issues that our students are currently facing. In addition, administratively at the school and district level, we need to provide increased support to help teachers navigate the course of a very difficult, but very rewarding, profession. When it becomes the real deal, teachers are often left on their own to figure it out and are lucky if they have someone to check in with every few days.

I know universities and districts who have come a long way in both of these efforts, but we need more. We know better, we must do better. For an example of what is being done here in the Madison area, check out the Dane County New Teacher Project.

Student Disengagement

Students are disengaged. That statement might be shocking, but it’s true. I first came across some statistics last year when we read an article as a staff called “9 Elephants in the Classroom.” In the article, there is a link to a Gallup poll with these statistics:

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I then started to research this idea that many students are disengaged and I stumbled upon this report from last year that showed 39,000 high school students in Connecticut either dropped out or were disengaged. That’s 22% of the state’s high school enrollment!

We have known for quite some time that our current students and their needs do not fit into our educational system that has been around for the most part since the Industrial Revolution. This has been met with a lot of head nodding from the educational community…even after an extremely popular video came out called “I Just Sued the School System.” But as we nod our heads, what are we doing in our practice to change this? It isn’t about “kids these days.” These kids are the students we are challenged to teach every day in our classrooms. We must reach them. We know better, we must do better.

It’s time to change teaching and learning. It’s time to engage our students. We need to make sure that they are ready to leave us and go out in the world to make a difference. For examples of how we can engage students, check out The Institute’s Personalized Learning, Jon Bergmann’s Flipped Learning (also see my website on Flipped PD), The Buck Institute PBL, and the National Center on Universal Design for Learning.

The Racial Achievement Gap

After 50 years, the racial achievement gap between white and black students hasn’t narrowed. The numbers below show, aside from the South, how little progress has been made between 1965 and 2013 in both reading and math. This is highly disappointing to those schools and teachers who have the best intentions to close the achievement gap in many schools around the country.

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So even with schools and teachers who have made efforts to close the racial achievement gap, why has there been so little progress? In reading the book Despite the Best Intentions, my eyes have been opened to how complex this issue is. One can truly believe in their heart they want to help students of color achieve, but when trying to putting that into practice, it often doesn’t happen. I won’t steal the book’s thunder, but it does share several different reasons why this happens. There are deep rooted ideologies that we often hold and act upon without knowing it.

So if we know better, how can we begin to really do better? I highly suggest educators read relevant books and attend PD to begin the process of understanding. But even more so, we need to make a personal promise that we will work toward equity in education. Like so many things in our lives, it is incredibly important to surround yourself with people who are different than you, ones who think different, look different, believe different. It is very challenging for us to see beyond ourselves and our culture if we continue to always surround ourselves with it. And that isn’t often a comfortable situation for us. One of the first things I was told as a leader was to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That’s how we learn. That’s how we grow. That’s how we change. In order to fully reverse these ingrained ideologies, it will take time, patience, and trust. We have to talk about it. We have to listen. It has to always be on our minds. The kids need us. We know better, we must do better.

I hold hope that our profession, the education profession, will allow the learning process to take over. We have made mistakes, we have done the best we can with what we know, we have put our hearts and souls into teaching the children of our country. But we have more work to do. We have a family of colleagues to support. We have a very different world to prepare our students for. We have wrongs that need to be made right. This will be hard work. But I am confident that in a profession of inspiring educators and one that prides itself on learning, now that we know better, we will do better…together.

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To Those Starting A New Job This School Year…


Well, I’m officially one month into my new position as Director of Technology and Personalized Learning in the Verona Area School District! I am one of many educators making a move this summer to a new position and/or district. It seems this has become the norm today for schools and districts, watching teachers and administrators flow in and out. There have been many studies done about why education is seeing such unstable employment. But really when it comes down to it, every person who makes a move is doing it for extremely personal reasons. There is no magical easy button to press to retain educational staff.

Districts have been scrambling to put energy into retention in an effort to diminish the amount of hiring that needs to be done. And who can blame them? Hiring is extremely costly, both in dollars and in time. There are so many outcomes. You can go through a whole hiring process, unable to find a suitable candidate, and need to start over, or worse, not fill the position. You can find an amazing person, only to have them leave the following year (or sooner!). You can hire someone and personalities don’t mesh. And the list goes on.

But without that easy button, as there are just too many reasons why staff choose a change, more efforts have recently been put into recruitment of new staff. Efforts to find the best person for each position have taken a multitude of efforts, whether it be the best salary and benefits package or advertisement of a district’s accolades or even bonuses. Districts and personnel want to find the right fit as quickly as possible, all for the single reason why we work in education: the kids.

Whether you are someone making a big change this next school year or not, here are some things to think about to make everyone’s transition smooth and bring us together in our mission to serve our nation’s future. Each section gives both the new hire and existing staff something to think about.

1. Change your mindset


New Staff: Be prepared to walk in and learn. No matter how long you’ve been doing this job or working in a district, you will not know everything. Each job, school, and district have their own culture and climate, rules, staff, and history. It’s crucial that you set yourself up with a growth mindset from day one. You have a wealth of knowledge you are bringing with you, but until you know how that fits (or if it fits), learn, ask, and listen

Suggestion for current staff: Have a person (or two) who will mentor all of your new employees. Handing over a manual or making them learn as they go will never be better than in person mentoring. This is an added “cost” but in reality will help in the long run. Feeling connected to someone can make employees stay longer, learn faster, and work harder. Because of this, even those who’ve been in the business for a long time can benefit from a mentor!

2. Make new friends, but keep the old


New Staff: Some of you are leaving jobs where you have long lasting friendships. Those will be crucial to your success in a new position! These friends and/or former colleagues used to be your support and the people you innovated with every single day. They still hold a great value to your professional journey, and with technology, are only a few clicks away. Don’t forget about them when you are feeling alone or you need advice or you still want to create and innovate with them. They are still part of who you are.

But remember that you will meet new people and make new friends. They will be integral to your success and journey as well. Embrace both, value both, invest in both.

Suggestion for current staff: You’ve probably lost some friends and colleagues from past school years that you are missing as well. This process can be difficult for all. Respect that all new staff members are coming into your school/district with friends and former colleagues that they’ve left, some painfully so. Understand some days might be tough for them (and you!). Listen if needed. Then invite them to events and gatherings, start a new project together, include them in conversations, and build relationships. It’s healthy for all as transitions are made to move forward.

3. Propel yourself forward with mistakes


New Staff: Let’s face it…you’ll make mistakes in your new job. Some might be because you didn’t know, or maybe your forgot, or maybe you want to try something new and out of the box. But inevitably you’ll mess up, stick your foot in your mouth, or embarrass yourself. Time to learn from your experiences, both good and bad. If you do this, you never really fail. Take these times as opportunities to improve and become a better version of yourself. Although you can’t have that moment back, you can use it to propel you.

Suggestion for current staff: While new staff have a lot to learn from you and your school/district, you also have things you can learn from them. Encourage risk taking, thinking outside of the box, and walking out of your comfort zone. Give new ideas a chance. And if things don’t work or they make a mistake, cut the newbie a little slack. Being new is hard and so is change. Failure, especially in a new setting, is rough. Help pick him/her off the ground, dust them off, and motivate them to start again.

Bonus for new and current staff


The start of a new year is refreshing for all – educators and students alike. You have an amazing opportunity as the new school year begins: Add to your tribe. These people are your professional family. Be on the look out for people you connect with. They are the ones who share your passion, work ethic, and goals. They inspire, challenge, and motivate you. Then, if you are lucky enough to find more tribe-mates, go be amazing together!

Best of luck to all educators who are taking on a new position this school year! I hope that it brings you new opportunities, challenges, learning and lots of happiness.

What other thoughts do you have for those making a change this school year? Post them below or reach out on Twitter – @amyarbogash!

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Being AWESOME is a Choice

This came across my Twitter feed this morning:

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It gave me pause to think about what it means to be “awesome.” Originally a word that appeared in the Oxford Dictionary in 1598 to mean awe-inspiring, awesome became an overused slang term when it was found in the Official Preppy Handbook in 1980. We now use the word awesome to describe just about anything.

So…what does it mean to be awesome – not just in slang, but to actually be awe-inspiring? And how do we reach that potential every day? Here are my daily goals in an effort to be AWESOME:

A – All

There are students and staff that we connect with better than others. But to be awe-inspiring, you have to find a way to to build relationships with all of them. It doesn’t take much to reach out and ask a question, give a compliment, tell a joke, share a laugh, or listen. We must do this even with the most challenging, because sometimes they are the ones who need us most. Each week I talk to students who look lonely, those who visit the office a lot, those who look like they are creating something unique, and even the ones that are laughing and having fun. And I pride myself in knowing something about each staff member as a way to connect and build a relationship. Every student and staff member deserves to feel like they belong and are loved within the school community.


W – Wonder

There is wonder all around us. I try to look for it as much as possible. When you live looking at things differently, like everything is a miracle, the world looks different. I’m constantly in awe and wonder of people, events, and things around me. But beyond that, wonder is also a state of curiosity. It’s asking questions and looking for the answers. It’s looking at life as if it is a riddle to be solved. I live with an insatiable curiosity as to learn as much as possible to be better, do better, achieve, and make an impact. I know that the possibilities for me, and all of those around me, are endless.


E – Empathy

I feel empathy is something we are severely lacking right now in this world. The ability to understand the feelings of someone else is not an innate skill. As humans, it’s easier to focus on how we are feeling than people around us. Empathy help us to make better decisions. It helps us support each other as members of society. Empathy helps us understand rather than judge. But just a word of caution with empathy: it shouldn’t cause more sadness and/or anger. In fact, empathy should have the complete opposite effect. It isn’t about retaliation, but about making time in your day and a place in your heart for someone else. I’ll be honest, while empathy is not the the thing that comes easiest for me, every day I consciously work on seeking first to understand.


S – Speak up

The skill of speaking up and being honest has never alluded me. 🙂 When we stay silent, there is perceived approval of what is being said. It is important to make sure people know you, to share your unique perspective, to stand up for what you believe is right. Some are afraid to have their opinion be heard or speak against what is being said. That fear comes from believing that we are alone in how we feel, even though more often than not there are others who feel the exact same way. Although it is essential to listen, it is just as important to speak up and have your voice heard. And let it be heard not just on behalf of yourself, but on behalf of those that you serve and that serve alongside you.


O – Opportunity

In everything that happens, looking for opportunity is the key. It’s easy to see opportunity when things are going well, but it’s more important to look for opportunity when we are in a difficult situation. Seeing the silver lining amongst the storm clouds. And expanding on this theme, seeing opportunities is only the first step. You also have to be able to decipher which opportunities are worth it, weighing risk vs. reward. I look for opportunities every day – for it affects my creativity, innovation, and impact.


M – Mirror

It’s hard to look in the mirror. Yet, in order to grow, we must reflect. We must look at ourselves first. What can we do to change, to improve, to be our best? Instead of pointing my finger at someone else, I first point it at myself. I hold myself accountable to my own high expectations, leading the way for others to pursue excellence as well.Even with all of the efforts I have listed above, in the end, I really only have control over myself and my actions. I choose to put all of my energy there instead of worrying and talking about others.


E – Encourage

Finally, I believe strongly in encouragement, praise, and appreciation. We all need a little help to get by in this thing called life. You never know what people are going through. Giving the gift of hope, support, or even confidence, could mean all the difference to someone, for both child and adult alike. Often as life gets busy, we forget to encourage those around us, and this may be the time they need it the most. Kindness goes a long way. Challenge yourself to give it more than you receive it.



Although some days are more difficult than others, these are the things I strive to do each day, and I hope that other people in my life see how I choose to use my talents to be AWESOME. The world, our communities, our families, our districts and schools, our colleagues, and our students deserve our best. Each of us have that ability – to use our talents and strengths – to achieve greatness. So…what does being AWESOME mean to you?

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Teachable Moments

As teachers, we often talk about teachable moments – those unplanned opportunities in the classroom to share our thoughts, insights, or wisdom with our students. Teachable moments can be fleeting. If you don’t take advantage of the opportunity, it’s gone in seconds. It takes great skill to hear and take a child’s lead in their learning. Sometimes, these moments are the most memorable for the student, and for the teacher.

But I wonder what would happen if we looked at teachable moments from a different perspective. Instead of only thinking of it as a one way street to transfer our knowledge to another, could we also look at them as opportunities that reveal themselves as a way for us to learn and grow? Do we ever open our minds to our own teachable moments?

Yesterday, I saw this tweet from a great thinker and leader in my PLN, Dr. Justin Tarte:


Justin is challenging us to have our own teachable moments! How many times do we browse Twitter, have a conversation with a colleague, read an educational article, or attend PD? When we leave those moments, do we leave changed? Do we leave having engaged in a deeper level of thinking? Or do we only allow those things to scratch the surface, blaming time, resources, and our bosses?

Today’s educational system, in fact the very same educational system that we have had in this country for quite some time, is being called into question. It’s being challenged. Change for change sake because it MAY be better is not what we need. Many have ideas, but to be our best, what we need is dialogue. What we need is deeper thinking. What we need is lots and lots of voices involved in this conversation. What we need is educators open to having their own teachable moments.

Because the only way we are going to get to the right answer of what is ailing our system, is to be learners ourselves, be willing to challenge both the status quo and change, and be open to teachable moments. It’s going to take all of us and our collective energy and focus.

Here are a few of my own attempts at doing just as Justin said, getting you “to reflect, ponder, agree, or disagree; any level of thinking beyond the actual tweet.” #teachablemoment

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Asking Why: The Power of Questions

Have you ever noticed how many questions young children ask? Raising my own two children, I was amazed at their persistence in finding answers to their questions. ‘Why’ seemed to be the most popular question. Children ask questions to understand the world: its rules, its procedures, its functions, its quirks. Although parents, and teachers, can be exhausted by young little minds and their constant questions, questioning is the way we learn.

But have you also noticed that as children get older, questioning takes on a new meaning? Older children are thought of as pests when they ask a lot of questions. Often, adults shut them down and stop answering. And as we graduate into adulthood, many times questioning is viewed as disagreement, causing trouble, and challenging authority. We eventually learn to stop…stop questioning, stop wondering, stop learning.

The invention and popularity of the Internet has been a catalyst for humans to be able to question. If I want an answer to something, often Google can find it for me. Just today I wanted to find out how to get to someone’s house. Google showed me how long it would take, if there was any construction going on, multiple routes, and even what it looked like if I was standing in front of the house. We have more information at our fingertips than we ever have before, and Google doesn’t make me feel dumb for asking a question.

But even though Google can quench our thirst for knowledge and satiate our curiosity, what about those things that Google can’t answer? Humans are built for interaction and a search engine just won’t cut it. Technology definitely has it’s place in our lives, but most often, we see great strides in innovation, transformation, and change when we can interact with each other face to face.

That’s where we should take advantage of the power of questions. I always find it odd that there are people who view questions as a form of disrespect, an annoyance, or someone just being nosy. Maybe a question is interest. Maybe a question is to understand better. Maybe a question is a springboard. Maybe a question is a chance to learn.

But the funny thing about questions is that chance to learn isn’t one sided. You see, the questioner may be attempting to learn through the question, but we as the receiver have the chance to learn as well. We gain insight into someone else’s mind and thoughts. We gain a new perspective. That may spark something in us, change our minds, inspire new ideas, or even make us rethink everything.

Sometimes as leaders, we view questions as a threat. When we have made a decision, and sometimes spent a great deal of time thinking about all of our options, we don’t like someone coming in a questioning that decision. Honestly, it’s downright scary. I am lucky to work closely with two people who encourage just that. And even though it’s still really challenging, they have taught me to not be afraid, not to be self centered, not to be embarrassed, and most importantly, to trust.

If we can disconnect ourselves from the fear of questions, we will find what makes us great. The interaction we receive will be worth the risk. No amount of Googling will give us the power of the questions of the human beings around us. Learn from that power. Capitalize on it. For every great idea started with a small thought that was built on by many, asking questions all along the way.

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The Impact of your Words

“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.” – Anita Roddick

Your words are powerful. As a teacher or administrator, you use them to impact students, parents, and others in your building and district every day. Sometimes our voice is something we take for granted. We don’t realize how much of an impact our words can make in the lives of others. Your local impact is after all why you probably got into education, but have you ever thought of sharing your words beyond your daily work?

I work at an amazing middle school, one where innovative things are going on every class period. Our 1:1 digital transformation initiative that started two years ago has made a huge impact on the teaching and learning in our classrooms. But often as a classroom teacher, you get stuck in your room with little ability to share with others who are even next door to you.

To try to remedy this, we recently held a professional development during our staff meeting this past week called Edu Fest – Innovation Showcase where 35 of our teachers and administrators took 10 minutes to share something innovative that they do in their classroom or in our school. The staff was able to choose, much like a conference, which sessions they wanted to attend. Furthermore, the staff voted on the sessions they want to make into 30 minute in depth share shops to be held in a couple of weeks.

Edu Fest, something we have done for the last three years, was again a hit with our teachers. It was engaging, collaborative, active, meaningful, and most importantly, it gave our teachers the ability to have an impact on others. But what I found interesting as we put this PD together was teachers would tell me they didn’t do anything in their classroom worth sharing. My jaw dropped. Every teacher has something to share! Educators really are among the most humble professionals, but I think there is another factor that is holding them back.


I have teachers in my building, much like each of you reading this blog, that should be blogging, creating podcasts, and presenting at conferences. Yet they are afraid to take 10 minutes to share a creative and innovative practice from their classroom. And believe me, I get it; I’ve been there. Standing in front of your colleagues is much more intimidating than standing in front of your students. Even worse yet, writing for or presenting in front of a group of educators you have never met is even scarier.

Prior to my first blog and presentation (which were actually one week apart), I had a multitude of fears. My thought process went a little something like this: I don’t have anything interesting or ‘new’ to share. And even if I do, no one will want to read or hear what I have to say. Or worse yet, they will but won’t like it. And I’m not a good writer/speaker anyway. And so on…

But after reading the book Linchpin: Are you Indispensable by Seth Godin last fall, I used one of his quotes to propel me into the public forum of presenting and blogging:

“Fear for a linchpin is a clue that you’re getting close to doing something important.” -Seth Godin

The topic I chose to share was how our school flips staff meetings, patterned off of the flipped classroom that Jon Bergmann and Aaron Samms have made popular. Our flipped staff meetings have enabled us to capture a much needed additional 25 hour of professional learning for our staff, allowing us to do the conference-like PD I referenced above.

My first presentation on flipping staff meetings with Paul Hermes at the TIES conference in Minneapolis, MN was a whirlwind. After a lot of hard work, and facing the fears of presenting in front of a large group of professionals, we felt like we had made an impact. But that impact was limited to those in the room. So we decided to make a flipped video for anyone to be able to hear our presentation. 

Screen Shot 2015-08-08 at 7.42.15 AMAnd although we were able to reach more educators with our video, I wanted the impact to go further. So, this summer I contacted Te@chThought about writing a post on their national education blog. Te@chThought published my blog post, and as I watched it circle the globe being tweeted out by nationally recognized educators, the fears of rejection and ridicule remained. Yet, I was in awe of the impact technology had afforded me.

I didn’t quite grasp that impact until I received an email a month later from the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL), who had read my Te@chThought blog post, to write an article for their October e-leading magazine. And just as that article was being published, I was contacted by an ICT in Ireland who had read the blog post as well and wanted to design a course through the National Association for Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) for Irish principals and deputies on how to flip staff meetings. Just last week, Paul and I were interview as the international experts to kick off this course.

 Interview about flipping staff meetings with John Gavin for NAPD

If someone would have told me three years ago that my words and work would have a global impact, I would have said they were crazy! I was living through all the fears that hold people back. In fact, I still do. Every time a submit a piece of writing or present our ideas, those fears still plague me. But if you face those fears, if you put yourself and your ideas out there, maybe, just maybe, your words will have an impact…an impact beyond the four walls of your classroom and school. And isn’t that what we as educators really want: to have a lasting impact on students, teachers, education, and the world? We have technology now that can help you do just that.

And now it’s your turn to face your fears. Stop letting them get the best of you. Stop allowing them to hold you back. Your words can have an impact. How can you use them to influence the world?

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