Who makes you a better teacher? I have many people I turn to for support, for ideas, and for innovative thoughts. One of the best, is Kory Graham (@tritonkory). She has done things with her class that have directly benefited my classroom despite being half way across the country.
I have known Kory only through digital connections for the past year. She has inspired me outside of the classroom to write more, share more, and try more things with my class. Teaching 1st Grade, creating digitally innovative programs is not always easy. Kory has inspired me to take more chances both in my classroom and personally in my professional life. After reading about Kory’s experiences at EdCamp, I was inspired to lead a session at EdCamp Leadership last summer. From there I have gone on to be a presenter at several conferences and even helped organize an EdCamp in Southern New Jersey.
Kory also has improved my classroom. She has read to my class more than once. I have also had the opportunity to read to her class through Google Hang Outs. I would never have tried this if it weren’t for her. In doing so, I have also developed connections with several other classes, including some that have helped my students develop a stronger cultural sense. This has in turn led to more presentation opportunities for me personally. I also modeled an event for Read Across America in my class that was a condensed version of her #KoryTellers program.
In hearing Kory talk about leading in her school as an innovator, it has inspired me to try many new things with my youngest kids. I have implemented genius hour, taught coding, and used Padlet to get student responses to read aloud texts. These are just the direct ways that Kory has impacted my instruction and personal professional growth. There are many other amazing things she has done to help me become a better, more innovative educator (See Here and Here). Kory has a cape because she has the amazing super power of making everyone around her better. I am grateful for our connection and our friendship.