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One Voice

It starts with one voice. Every conversation, every call to action, every change in policy, every change in mindset...they all started with one voice. One person who stood up and said, "I have something to add to the conversation."

I was thinking about this as I thought about my students, both present and past. This morning I heard a pastor make a pretty powerful statement. He was referring to our perspective of ourselves in God's eyes in comparison to how we really feel about ourselves. He said we should remind ourselves of this statement...

"I am who YOU say I am."

How powerful is that?  If our students made that statement what words of ours would they hear in their hearts and minds?

One voice can change everything. As I thought about this I was reminded of some of my #EduHeroes who started with one small voice, but made a huge impact in education.

@smgaillard Sean Gaillard started with a simple idea. Let's #CelebrateMonday and lose the Garfield attitude! His choice to use his voice to #trendthepositive changed Mondays forever. His movement to celebrate mondays forced a lot of educators to look for the positive in their day. This simple request changed my entire perspective! I felt a complete mindset shift in myself. I began searching out positive things to celebrate and before I knew it I found myself on other days thinking "Oh man I wish it was Monday so I could celebrate  this moment with a #CelebrateMonday." Intentionally seeking out things to #trendthepositive made me feel more joyful, my students were being acknowledged and celebrated more often, and our building culture shifted a little more towards the joyful side. Sean's voice will forever be credited with launching a positive movement that impacted many students, their families, and a whole lot of educators too! Be on the lookout for his upcoming book #ThePepperEffect. It's sure to be as inspirational as he is!

@topdogteaching Kayla Delzer led the way in flexible seating with an article she wrote about redesigning her classroom to look and feel like her local Starbucks. She has since used her voice to speak out on the many benefits of flexible seating. Her voice initiated a nation wide...and then worldwide...movement where teachers stopped and reflected on how functional their classrooms really were. Better yet, teachers began to think about and redesign learning environments with their students' needs in mind. Kayla's passions extend past flexible seating and into technology integration in the classroom. She was named in the top 100 Innovative Educators Worldwide. She is the co-founder of @HappyGoTeach where she and @hellojenjones provide a flipped approach to PD that inspires teachers and leaves them feeling ready to take on the job of teaching their hearts out. What Kayla is best known for, though, is her passionate belief that relationships are the heart of the classroom. I look forward to reading her up and coming book #flexEDbook!

@TechNinjaTodd and @awelcome Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome's voices speak loud and clear. They are the reason why so many educators across the world are reflecting on what kids deserve. They are the founders of the #kidsdeserveit movement which sparked a movement so strong that I dare say every educator has their book and probably a shirt or two also! It is everywhere I look and more than that the mantra, the very idea that kids deserve nothing less than the best is now at the forefront of the conversations we are having in education today. They stood up and used their voices to change the conversation and it was powerful!

@bethhill2829  You can't think of Bethany Hill, founder of #JoyfulLeaders and co-founder of #EduAR and not think of the word JOY. She is passionate about students and advocates for them daily. She is a firm believer in the power of a positive mindset. She is our daily reminder, through joyful graphics, that it is our choice to be joyful. WE CHOOSE JOY! I am blessed to get to work alongside her daily. She joined forces with @Lindsey_Bohler and @nortnik (the #Edusistas) to open up a dialogue between educators through their #EduAR twitter chat. Educators from around the world log in every Thursday at 8:30 CST to share collaboratively through their PLN. If you haven't joined in the conversation let me encourage you to check it out this Thursday. You'll be glad you did!

@burgessdave Dave Burgess is an innovator that changed the way we look at education. He ramped it up and gave educators around the world the go ahead to boldly teach their students with an out of the box formula that hooks them from the beginning. He is the founder of #tlap where educators around the world join in and discuss every part of education and how to be the best educator you can be. He is inspiring, and his book Teach Like a Pirate has led the way for other educators to actively engage their students in a more meaningful approach to learning. He and wife @burgess_shelley use their publishing company Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. to publish authors who are also working to change the way we educate students.  I am always looking out for the next DBC book!

All of these #EduHeroes are dear to me because each one of them impacted my teaching in different ways. Their voice reached out to me and led me to reflect on my learning environment, my relationships, my mindset, and how I engaged my students. Their words resonated with me, shaped my teaching, and led me to a new perspective of myself. Their words...their voice...changed me.

So I'm back to my first thought...

My voice.                                             

A voice that can change the conversation, impact a future, lead to a change in mindset. When I look out at my students, ALL of them, am I using my voice to empower them? Am I empowering even the toughest students, the ones who are struggling academically, behaviorally...especially the ones with extreme behaviors. When they make the statement, "I am who YOU say I am," what will they hear? What has my voice told them they are? My hope is that I have used my voice to tell them they are wonderful, amazing, capable, and hard working. I hope that my voice has taught them that I think they are worthy, and deserving of only the best. I hope...they heard me loud and clear say they are strong enough to do anything they put their mind to.

What are you using your voice to say? One voice can make an impact. Are you making the right one?

Liz Savage


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