2 Bloggers to Watch – and Why.

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I currently have two favorite bloggers. One is a teacher I worked with in Yokohama. The other, I only know through his blog and through friends who have previously worked with him – such is the six degrees of international school teaching.

These two bloggers I would recommend you check out and decide for yourself if they are worth following.  I would say they are.

Kristen Blum – Solid Ground

Kristen is a PYP teacher in Bangladesh. Her blog is one of the most honest I have read about the challenges and celebrations of being a PYP teacher. She is first and foremost an educator who is trying to engage, inspire, and build relationships with her students and her blog is an honest reflection of how this looks in her classroom.

Graeme Anshaw – Enquiry-Based Maths

Graeme’s tagline says it all: “Rescuing children from textbook or worksheet ‘learning'”. Graeme’s blog documents his experience with taking a deep inquiry approach to math education. He provides the theory behind his teaching but (best of all) loads of examples of how the theory translates into classroom practice. This blog should inspire you to rethink the way you teach math and show you how developing a mathematical mindset in all your students is really possible.

The thing I love most about both of these bloggers is that they put their work out there for others to look at, question, and wonder. I don’t think either would say their work is perfect, their practice a model to be duplicated, or their methods the most PYP (although they both COULD say that!). What they would (probably) say is, “Look…here’s what I am doing and if you find it at all useful or inspiring or it makes you think differently, then by all means take my ideas and mould them into your own teaching, your own thinking, your own way of doing.”

That’s why I like people who share their art. Who take the time and effort to put their thinking ‘out there’. I’ve learned a ton from these two, and I hope you do too.

Change, Mindset, Thinking

(Un)Professional Development

I recently saw this heading somewhere (Facebook? Twitter?) and was naturally intrigued. And then I was in love. Here’s why.  First, take a look at the premise for this organization that offers training for teachers:


But professional development rarely acknowledges – or inspires – the courage and curiosity that educators bring to their own classrooms. Unprofessional Development is based on the belief that teachers must be celebrated as professional learners who find truth in discovery and joy in taking bold risks. It is a call to ignite a rigorous and personal creative habit. It is a challenge to resist judgment, perfectionism, discomfort and procrastination, and to put creativity at the root of all learning. Unprofessional Development is a charge to write, weld, cook, construct, jury-rig, sketch, stitch, bend and build both in and out of our classrooms.

Pretty cool, huh?

And then it got better when I scrolled further to their credo:


So who is behind all this?  Unprofessional Development is an initiative of the non-profit Project H Design and is led by Emily Pilloton and Christina Jenkins. If you live in NYC, Oakland or Berkeley, CA then, lucky you! They have courses in your area that you can sign up for.

But what about those of us in Munich – or elsewhere? (Un)Professional Development offers a tailored service to your school (contact them for further information).

But what if you can’t afford that right now? Well, start with yourself. Take a look again about what they said about traditional professional development and what they do differently.  Ask yourself what it would look like if you were:

  • celebrated as a professional learner
  • finding joy in taking bold risks
  • resisting judgement, procrastination, perfectionism and discomfort
  • putting creativity in the root of all learning

How would you be a different teacher? How would your classroom change? What if you said “yes” more often? What if you disrupted the status quo?

One of my favorite thinkers had this to say about disruption:

The journey to disruption may be lonely but fundamental to our ability to serve and add value.

-Will Northrop

What are you doing to disrupt, to serve, to add value in your classroom?

Digital Life, Tech, Technology

What Is Your Favorite Tech Tool?

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This morning I was on Twitter when #bfc530 came up with their daily topic: What is your favorite tech tool?

I quickly responded:

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I then sat back and watched the tweets pour in.  Later today, I went through the tweets and made the following word cloud of all the tools.


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Google was a clear winner and some of my favorites stood out but there were also a bunch of new (to me) tools I will be taking a look at. In particular:

I haven’t heard of or used any of these but they were all tweeted by educators who (for the most part!) were up at 5:30am to tweet about education so I am going to guess they are pretty passionate about it!

I will investigate and report back on their usefulness!




I have added a new page to my blog titled “Publications”.

Please take a look in order to access free downloads from the iTunes store to your iBookshelf!

Currently, there are two titles to download with more planned in the near future.
iTunes store link
iTunes store link