In case you were unaware of this, we now have to read and then approve any comments that are submitted before they can be posted. Recently, DEN member Scott Johnson submitted a comment in response to the thoughts of Guest Blogger Ed Warkentin. While Scott claimed that they were just the 4:00AM ramblings of a veteran educator, I felt that they were worthy of their own guest spot on our blog. I have the very fortunate position of being in the middle of peer collaboration every day. I have seen and heard and learned an incredible amount from each and every one of you. My conversations with Ed and Scott have inspired me to want to try something new. For many of the larger conferences, the DEN has Pre-Conference events…and don’t get me wrong, these are invaluable in and of themselves! But, here’s a question for you? Could we get even more out of the experience by sharing in POST-Conference festivities? Something to think about.
Here is the post by our Guest Blogger, Scott Johnson:
After seventeen years of teaching, the single thing that motivates me the most is peer collaboration. I enjoy going to conferences and I do learn a few things from the presenters. However, I get more out of discussing the sessions with my colleagues who are attending with me as well as the new ones I meet. This concept was validated even further when I attended the DEN West Coast Regional Event at Sea World in San Diego last spring. We had the crème of the crop speakers and presenters (Hall Davidson and David Warlick) and their knowledge was paramount, but what really allowed me to take it to the next level was my new found peers and our discussions, brainstorming, sharing, and team building. I left there more rejuvenated than I had been in years. I found myself asking why and how was this so different. The answer was just what guest blogger Ed Warkentin and Steve Dembo have shared. It was the collaboration. I believe this could revolutionize future "conferences" and the way teachers learn. The DEN is on the cutting edge of it. That is why I have become involved with them and continue to be as active as I can.
Another testimony to this is my frustration when districts hire outside consultants to come in and train us. Don’t get me wrong, many are very good and have great things to share. But, there are also so many great resources within our very own district and they are often overlooked or the opportunity for them to share is not given.
Recently, I have been fortunate to share the importance of this collaboration model with the people within my district. By chance, they have coordinated our early release days so that we can partner and collaborate with other schools in the district. I have already started working with other teachers on our new social studies adoption and we have collectively come up ways to incorporate technology into our lessons to make them even more engaging and meaningful for the students.
This collaboration model is right on track and I think the DEN is the locomotive pulling the train.
(This is one of my favorite photos of Scott! That smile is contagious.)