Well, I’m a day late but it’s been a long week since last Tuesday. Lots going on that I’ve needed time to process (in an out of school) but life continues and I’m enjoying my time in class with students.
Today is about that one time I connected with someone via social media and how it impacted my real life. I mentioned in a previous week the hashtag #GeniusHour…
My little story involves Joy Kirr. She’s a 7th grade ELA teacher. I came across her name last summer. I don’t remember exactly how I found or started reading about Genius Hour, what it is, how teachers use it in the classroom. What I do remember is the gold mine of resources related to Genius Hour that I came across that were connected with her name. I was very intrigued by the idea. At the time I was also reading Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess (HIGHLY recommend). It is possible I came across the Genius Hour idea as I looked through the #tlap tag on Twitter. The two ideas seemed to meld together very well – teaching with passion and students learning about things they are passionate about.
As I mentioned, I found several sites that were treasure troves of information on Genius Hour. I’ll share those links below. One site I found listed the names and Twitter ids of teachers who use Genius Hour in their classroom (Joy was one) and that the 1st Thursday of each month there is a #GeniusHour chat on Twitter for teachers to get together, ask questions, share ideas and discuss. I learned so much and absorbed the archives that were saved.
As I started out on the journey, Joy tweeted me a couple of times with ideas, suggestions and encouragement. She’s retweeted questions and ideas I’ve shared. Her help, insights and encouragement as I was starting out on the journey of implementing Genius Hour in my classroom was invaluable and so appreciated. I’m now in my second year implementing Genius Hour and it’s better than ever. I’m also using my school Instagram account (@globallycre8ive) to post pictures of student work to share their genius with the world.
Thank you, Joy!! Even though we’ve never met face to face, you are making an impact beyond your classroom walls and in turn touching the lives of my students in North Carolina with your Genius. 🙂
I have to also mention Gallit Zvi and Hugh McDonald because they have been huge in my Genius Hour journey as well with their resources, insights and presence on social media. Thank you both!!
The 3 of you are Genius Hour pros! Because of the community of encouragement, ideas and support that’s grown through the #GeniusHour hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, etc, I know I’ve become a better and more passionate teacher. It’s the forward, positive, dynamic and innovative thinking and ideas that come through those monthly chats that are truly making an impact on teachers and students. This is moving forward with education and going beyond memorization or tests – this is reaching students where they are and challenging them to push themselves (not just because a teacher said so or because of a due date).
Coming across this tag on Twitter and the community and people I’ve had the chance to interact with – I’ve gained a new perspective on education, what it is, how it’s done and it makes me excited for the future and possibilities that are out there. A connection on social media can have a huge impact in your every day life if you let it and are open to it.
Here are some links if you’re curious about Genius Hour or want to check out the Genius of these folks:
Joy Kirr’s blog My Own Genius Hour
Genius Hour LiveBinder (put together by Joy – BRILLIANT resources)
Gallit Zvi’s blog Integrating Technology & Genius Hour: My Journey as a Teacher & Learner
Genius Hour Wiki (put together by Gallit Zvi)
Genius Hour: What Students Can Learn From Failure (CNN story featuring Joy and several other schools/teachers who use Genius Hour)
Hugh McDonald’s blog Today is a Great Day for Learning