When I joined Twitter this past April, I was fresh out of teacher's college and eager to connect with experienced teachers -- I was not ready for my learning journey to come to an end, simply because I had graduated from my education program.
Little did I know what was in store! At the time, I was clueless as to what a PLN [Professional Learning Network] was or how to create my own. Instead, I searched "teacher" hoping to find others online and slowly, my list of influential educators grew.
Inspirational Educators Who Challenge Me to be a Better Teacher
1. Pernille Ripp -- Blogging through the Fourth Dimension
When I joined Twitter, Pernille Ripp was the first person I added, long before I knew how influential this elementary teacher would be in the development of my own teaching career. To me, Pernille is akin to that of a “teaching conscience” – as she reflects daily, I am continually inspired to reflect on my own teaching practice, pedagogy, and biases.
2. Greta Sandler -- About A Teacher
Greta Sandler is an ESL teacher in Buenos Aires, Argentina – and though it may seem as though we live worlds apart, I am continually challenged through her reflective posts on learning!
3. Jill Thompson -- Inside the Classroom, Outside the Box
Jill Thompson is a science and math facilitator who is passionate about bettering curriculum instruction and assessment. Through her reflections, I have been learning how to better make use of student-driven data!
4. Justin Storz -- Pursuing Context
There are three reasons I enjoy reading Justin Stortz’s blog – his reflections are truly sincere, his posts often include a touch of wit, and he tells it like it is!
5. Josh Stumpenhorst -- Stump the Teacher
Josh Stumpenhorst, a Grade 6 teacher in Chicago, has opened his mind and welcomed us in to follow his questioning and personal reflections on learning and assessment.
6. Tania Ash -- The Agora
I have enjoyed learning from Tania Ash, a Grade 5 teacher in Morocco and cofounder of #elemchat. Her reflections on classroom practices and reporting have influenced my own philosophies for effective and respectful teaching.
7. Krissy Venosdale -- Venspired
Krissy Venosdale first captured my attention through her creative and inspirational posters for the classroom. Over time, I have grown to appreciate this gifted educator’s passion for learning – she has truly inspired me to be a more thankful and reflective teacher!
Canadian Teachers I LOVE Learning With!
8. Heidi Siwak -- 21st Century Classroom: The Amaryllis
Having met Heidi in person, I can indeed attest to her passion for transformative education and digital learning! I have enjoyed following along as she reflects on the inquiry-based teaching process in her Grade 6 classroom!
9. Jennifer Brokofsky -- A Work in Progress
Jennifer Brokofsky is an Instruction Consultant with Saskatoon Public Schools who passionately shares about mathematics, science, and the transformative use technology in education.
10. Aviva Dunsinger -- Grade 1 and 2 at Ancaster Meadow School
Though I have yet to meet Aviva face-to-face, I have enjoyed learning from her expeditions in edtech! Through her reflective and informative posts, I have gained a much greater understanding on how to purposefully integrate web tools in the primary classroom.
11. Kathy Rice -- Mrs. Rice's Professional Musings
Kathy Rice is a Grade 1 teacher in British Columbia from whom I am learning about integrating global projects and the Daily 5 in the primary classroom!
12. Kathy Cassidy -- Primary Preoccupation
I have enjoyed learning from the “Primary Preoccupations” of Kathy Cassidy, a Grade 1 teacher in Saskatchewan. In her blog, she reflects everything from virtual collaboration to problem-solving in math!
13. Sheila Stewart -- Sheila Speaking
When Sheila Stewart is speaking, I am listening! As a teacher recently focused on helping adult newcomers in Ontario with English Language Learning, she has created a space for thinking, sharing, and reflecting about education.
14. Marcie Lewis -- Teachnology Adventures
I had the pleasure of meeting Marcie Lewis at EdCampToronto and have enjoyed following her “teachnology adventures” since! Marcie is a Grade 4 teacher in Ontario dedicated to the meaningful use of edtech tools in the classroom and focused on teaching for conceptual understanding.
15. Royan Lee -- Spicy Learning
Royan Lee is an intermediate literacy teacher in Ontario whose focus is on assessment practices, passion-based learning and the effective use of social media in the classroom. Not only are his posts reflective and thought-provoking, they often include just the right touch of humour every teacher would enjoy!
16. Shelley Wright -- Wright's Room
Shelley Wright is a high school educator in Saskatchewan who is passionate about inquiry-based learning, global awareness and purposeful use of technology in the classroom. Her reflections on teaching and learning with a purpose continue to challenge me as a new teacher!
Leaders in Education that I Follow
17. Eric Sheninger -- A Principal's Reflections
Here, principal Eric Sheninger presents his reflections on educational leadership, effective technology integration, best practices, and student-centered learning.
18. Andrew Miller -- Andrew K. Miller
Andrew Miller is an educational consultant whose focus in on learning through online tools and games, as well as culturally responsive teaching. Think – innovation, inclusion, and engagement!
19. Carmel Crevola -- The Carmel Crevola Blog
During my practicum at a rural elementary school in Ontario, I was introduced to Carmel Crevola by way of a posted quote in the staff room – it read, “Teaching is the art of reflection, not perfection.” This philosophy has helped frame my understanding of professional practice, and is the reason why I enjoy learning from Carmel.
20. Inquire Within
Inquire Within is a blog dedicated to inquiry-based learning, authored by experts in education, such as Edna Sackson, Jessica Allen, Pernille Ripp, Tania Ash, Shelley Wright, and many more!
21. Jeff Delp -- Molehills Out of Mountains
Jeff Delp is a K-12 educator whose blog is focused on making “Molehills out of Mountains”, reminding me to take the challenges of teaching in stride and turn them into learning opportunities!
22. Patrick Tucker -- Mr. P's Tucker Teacher Education Blog
Patrick Tucker is an intermediate teacher in Ontario who presents thought-provoking posts on social media in education, challenging me as a teacher to think critically about purposeful use.
23. Kim McGill -- Open School Network
Authored by Kim McGill, The Open School Network is comprised of teacher inquiry teams in the Avon Maitland District School Board in Ontario – their focus is on improving student writing.
24. Greg Miller -- Principal Greg Miller
Greg Miller is an elementary school principal in Alberta who reflects on critical issues in education, such as collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving, and digital literacies. I like to think of Greg as my personal administrator, guiding me through my journey as a new teacher!
25. Rebecca Alber -- Edutopia's Spiral Notebook
I am always learning from Rebecca Alber, the consulting online editor for Edutopia. As a new teacher, I have greatly benefited from her educational tips in the development of my own teaching practice.
26. Shannon Smith -- Shannon in Ottawa
Shannon Smith is a reflective elementary school vice principal in Ottawa. As she shares about her own professional learning and creative and engaging ideas for instructional practice, I have enjoyed learning under her leadership!
27. John T. Spencer --Education Rethink
John T. Spencer challenges me to do just as his blog suggests – rethink education. His humourous, yet thought-provoking posts on “the pencil” and shifts in education have led me to think critically about the purposeful and relevant integration of educational tools.
28. George Couros -- The Principal of Change
George Couros is the Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning for Parkland School Division in Alberta. I have been challenged through his posts on personal learning and leadership in education, and further have enjoyed catching up on the recommended issues “You Should Read…”
29. The Science of Learning -- The Science of Learning
The Science of Learning blog is authored by a team of educational experts whose focus is on brain-based teaching strategies to support literacy and the purposeful use of technology in the classroom.
30. Chris Wejr -- The Wejr Board
Chris Wejr is an elementary school principal in British Columbia who is passionate about the future direction of education. His posts on meaningful technology integration and dedication to building relationships with students and their parents has come to influence the way I communicate in the classroom!
31. Neil Stephenson -- Thinking In Mind
I have enjoyed learning from Neil Stephenson, the Professional Development and Outreach Coordinator at the Calgary Science School. His practical advice for creating authentic tasks through inquiry and assessment for learning has greatly influenced my understanding of effective teaching practices.
32. Chris Kennedy -- Culture of Yes
Chris Kennedy is the Superintendent of the West Vancouver School District in British Columbia. His commitment to personalized learning and development has provided a guide for my own, and rather than taking a system down approach, he welcomes new and experienced educators alike to learn under his wing.
33. Tom Schimmer -- Tom Schimmer
Tom Schimmer is a District Principal in British Columbia whose focus is on assessment for learning, sound grading and reporting, as well as professional learning and educational leadership. His recent series called “Implement THAT!” has been a challenging read on why good ideas can fail.
34. Edna Sackson -- What Ed Said
I have come to learn that what Edna Sackson says is worth reading! From her reflections on global inquiry to the relevancy of student blogging, this teaching and learning coordinator has provided a personal guide for meaningful technology integration in the classroom!
35. ASCD -- What Works: The Whole Child Blog
The Whole Child Blog is comprised of educational experts from the ASCD Initiative dedicated to ensuring each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged in schools.
I plan to share more subject-specific teachers from whom I have been learning in the weeks to come -- so stay tuned!