While one saying may be "one rises to the occasion", I also believe one rises to their influences- good or bad. In each of my three sessions, I learnt a huge amount even thought I was "presenting." Being open to learning and new discoveries, both the "students" and this "teacher" quickly established a productive, engaging and fun learning environment. The more enthusiastic and inquisitive they got, the more I rose in wanting to be of assistance and be a likewise discoverer.
In a similar light, Gareth's award recognition has been well-received not just by the Aorere College teaching community but the wider Aorere College family as well. One only has to see the statistics for the school's Facebook posting to understand that this achievement has impacted on people way beyond just Gareth.
Whereas many in professions such as Law or Medicine are very, very confident in their abilities and their demeanour, teachers particularly in New Zealand tend to take the criticism of impact but feel very uncomfortable with being acknowledged for the positive achievement and empowerment impacts they have on students, parents and the wider communities.
The older I get and the more experienced I become as an educator, the more I realise that teachers may indeed be limiting the impact of their effectiveness by being so humble. A case-in-point is the incredible success of the #NZreadaloud literacy initiative led by Kerri Thompson, a teacher at Tamatea Intermediate in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. After becoming aware of the successful #globalreadaloud project, Kerri took it upon herself to do likewise in a New Zealand school context. Who says one person can't have an impact? A mere two years after initiation, almost two hundred classes across New Zealand (including now many in Years 9 & 10) are now in the programme studying a common text and collaborating weekly via the online platform Edmodo.
Although Kerri now and forever will dismiss the success of this reading initiative as "something pretty simple that anyone could have done it", the reality is that is often the simple is the most brilliant and yes "anyone could have done it" but no-one had until Kerri did! Interface Magazine also recognised the impact of Kerri's leadership awarding #NZreadaloud the 2015 award for Best ICT in Teaching. Kerri's leadership and drive has also had significant secondary impacts as well. A example of this is the initiation of @ChapterChatNZ starting up in Term 2 this year by Stephen Barker of Russell Street School in Palmerston North. As you can see by the image below, through replicating Kerri's initiative while substituting Edmodo for a weekly twitter chat, he too is having an impact. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! Through Kerri leading, it enables others such as Stephen among other educators, to follow.
Lastly when one presents or has an impact, one hopes that it is for the best now and in the future. This was clearly and powerfully brought home to me by the following tweet posted after I had presented my Google Forms session at the Auckland GAFE Summit to a group of people I had never met before.
I hope and to a large extent know, that other similar educators around the world think and do likewise. Let's go!