Sometimes I feel pretty fortunate to be able to do what I do.
Yesterday, I got to join fellow educators at the KPL to discuss ways in which we can connect and collaborate with teachers and students within our board and beyond. It was energizing to hear colleagues speak about the great work they are doing and the ideas that they have.
I tagged along with Katrina Gouett and together we led a session on Google Hangouts in which we tried to illustrate how Hangouts could lead to opportunities to connect classrooms. I absolutely loved looking at people's faces when they learned that Hangouts could be recorded or broadcasted live -- you could just see the light bulbs going off; the possibilities for learning, for connecting. It was very cool!
After the second session as people were starting to transition to another space, a young man with a beard and glasses, wearing an overcoat and toque, approached our table and said, "Mr. Rodrigue, I knew that was you." He went on to speak about his time as a student in my grade 7 class (he's now 21) and the impact that I had on him. I can't begin to express how grateful and humbled I am by this experience. I've been teaching for almost 18 years and I still question what I do, how I do it and how I can improve at it. The internal dialogue and self-reflection is constant as I believe it is for many teachers, particularly the group of teachers who attended yesterday's conference.
While walking home from the KPL, I felt doubly fortunate: I got to start my week by learning with colleagues about how we can better connect with teachers and students and, as luck would have it, I was able to see how important these connections are to the students we are working with.