Today I am feeling thankful. I just viewed a tweet from Highlander Institute which made me laugh (they usually do!), but which also gave me a huge flashback to my time in their FuseRI Fellowship as part of their very first group of fellows: Cohort 1. They are currently choosing their Fuse Fellows for Cohort 4 and the teachers chosen will be lucky enough to experience what I experienced – an enormous shift in their thinking about and practice of educating and interacting with students.
Laughing – a lot – is certainly a big part of what I did while working with them. That is reflection of the kind of people they are: positive, spirited, fun, and smart. More important than that however was the knowledge and experience I gained from each and every interaction I had with them and the experiences they designed for me to engage in. Their emphasis on hands-on learning and authentic experiences for their fellows results in a level of competence that truly changes a teacher’s practice.
I am ending another year in the classroom and still learning all of the time. My work with my students now incorporates choice, differentiation in pace and place, and a whole toolbox full of apps, extensions, techniques and models. I reach back towards my Fuse training over and over again to inform what I do daily in the classroom. The experience was truly career changing for me and I would encourage anyone who doesn’t mind a bit of extra work to just go for it! It is so worth it!
We are ending our year green screening “Advice for Incoming 7th Graders” using Doink on my student’s phones. The kids are having a blast and they are developing video recording and editing skills that are impressing everyone around them. They are pretty proud of themselves and we should have some funny and very real advice for next year’s kids when they are complete.
Before my Fuse RI Fellowship I would never have taken on a project like this; now it is part of what we do and how we learn. Thanks Highlander Institute! I am moving forward more confident, smarter, and, I think, more fun!