“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision.” T. Hesburgh

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I love this idea of REBEL ed reform! It is through Twitter, again, that I get my inspiration for staying strong. From the moment I walked into a classroom as a new teacher right out of college, I have believed in student learning. I still have a picture of me with my class – I am in the middle surrounded by all the kids. I loved my first job and wonder where all those kids are now. I was young, probably naieve, and did what I needed to get the kids to learn. I didn’t have technology, resources, but I had one of the most important factors any school needs. I had a principal who expected excellence and had vision.

As I read all the blogs today (and everyday) I keep going back to one of the most important factors in success. I have worked in public, parochial, and had my own child at a private school, and the one common denominator is leadership expecting teachers to go beyond the traditional. I had a responsibility, but that was inspired by leadership that had student learning and success in the forefront. It was like Will Richardson says about professional development – teachers need to come prepared to be able to jump into the process, whether it is using technology, or understanding new paradigms. Teachers need to do what we expect students to do – collaborate, learn, and be open to possibilities.

It is frustrating not to have the school leadership but I know I need to be the vision, to keep what is imporant – students. I stay focused on my vision of what a classroom can be and what a classroom should be- student focused. I still do not use worksheets after all these years, and I only use the textbook as a reference. My classroom is project based, student focused, and collaborative.

Thank you to all of the great educators who have become my leadership inspiration (even if I never meet you face to face). Every day I wake up and want the best for my students. I am certainly a different teacher than when I walked into my first classroom, but I still understand the power of student learning, vision, and great leadership. Let’s keep the vision and conversation going.

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