It isn't often you get to work alongside someone who greatly inspires you; who you regularly look to for motivation and direction to become a better educator. Many of these people I follow on Twitter, see at conferences, and read their blogs; but rarely do I ever truly get to "work" with them (I intentionally use parenthesis there, as work in this case is hardly work!). Today however, was one of those rare, and very lucky days.
I saw George Couros speak for the first time a couple of years ago at #TLDWpeel and walked away wanting to change the world. He has an affect on people that few have; and is one of those leaders that can make people laugh, cry, truly engage with one another, nod their heads in complete agreement with everything he says, and get them up on their feet dancing to whatever the fad song is of the day. It's truly remarkable.
I could go on this whole post and talk about how amazing it is to work with someone like that; and in a way, I set out with somewhat of an intention to do so. However, today I bore witness to something else that was maybe even more amazing. Sorry George ;)
We set out on the day without a roadmap, or any real plan of how the day was going to go. It was really about responding to the needs of the 20 educators in the room, and what they felt they really wanted to accomplish. The one main idea that we had however, was to connect these educators with others that exist outside the walls of their school - open the doors to a wealth of expertise, ideas, innovation, and sharing.
The real amazing moment came when we were signing all of them up on Twitter and showing them the ins & outs of the social media platform. One teacher in particular George signed up himself, just to show the rest the process of tweeting, retweeting, mentioning others, and following people who are worthwhile to follow. He then proceeded to demonstrate the true power of Twitter, and how one tweet can develop so many new connections. From his own account he tweeted out the following:
The rest of us watched. In an instant there were 5 new followers; 30 seconds later, 12 new followers; a minute, and 15 were now following her. After just a couple of minutes, Lisa had already developed connections with many educators from around the world. In that moment, she realized what she had just done. She turned to George and softly, but profoundly stated "This just changed my life."