Listening to Torres
In our professional lives we meet many colleagues who have similar ideas or approaches, we meet fewer who share our values and beliefs, and then we meet a very few who do all of the above and also inspire us to 'just be better teachers' and who become good friends.
I first met Marco Torres six years ago and he continues to 'keep me real' no matter what the technological tool, big idea or high concept. We are both Apple Distinguished Educators which means we are lucky enough to have the distance between the USA and New Zealand bridged by us being brought together at education conferences and events. Email, Facebook and instant messenger are not substitutes for real conversations with your friends. Last month we were both keynote speakers at the Middle Years Schooling conference in Brisbane. The messages we delivered to the conference were similar - never before in history have we had the tools in our schools for our children to be producers of, not just consumers of, information.
Marco and I had a mutual (and sadly late) friend Jim Ferguson who left with both of us a burning driver for our work "the kids you have in your class today only have one shot at being kids, you will be a teacher for a long time but they only have one time in their particular year group. Don't plan to make it better next year, do it now!"
You can listen to a radio interview with Marco here, and to part two of the interview here as you reflect on how we can make every moment for our students at Waimairi School more about producing ideas rather than consuming ideas.