Igniting the Passion: Celebrating Our Learning

“People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation.”
Joshua Heschel

Celebration is a choice: we choose to appreciate and value something that we feel is significant. It is an opportunity we create to acknowledge, appreciate and extend gratitude for the good things that are being done in schools–by both students and teachers. We are fortunate to be in a district where we can engage in new learning and transform education to better meet the needs of our learners. A collective of 300 educators gathered together to mark the occasion.

What is it that we are doing well? How do others see us? We asked some people both inside and outside our district this question.  How might they describe our district or what does meant to be part of our district? Their responses can be found here:

During the evening we had several presenters share with us their passion through the form of five minute Ignite presentations. Participants were limited to 20  slides that automatically moved every 15 seconds . The purpose is expressed in the motto, “Enlighten us, but make it quick!” We had the opportunity to learn from our peers and to engage in thoughtful conversations about our learning. Facilitators guided table groups around key questions that examined both our thinking on the presentation as well as how the topic might affect our future behaviour and teaching practice.  Thanks you to Robynn Thiessen, Sally Song, Shauna Nero, Antonio Vendramin, Karen Steffensen, and Jordan Tinney for sharing their passion. You can enjoy their live-streamed stories here.

We ended the evening with a video montage of students, teachers, administrators and out-of-district guests to help us with our celebration.

Author’s Note: Thank you to Helping Teachers @amboe_k, @shelagh09, @librarymall, @kowalyshyn, @ipadtestkitchen and Sarah Guilmant-Smith for planning and organizing the evening and supporting our projects. Thank you to Donna VanSant and Forrest Smith for their assistance with the videos.


6 responses to “Igniting the Passion: Celebrating Our Learning

  1. What a wonderful celebration of all the learning and innovation going on in our district. Its also so great to celebrate the growth of our professional discourse on our district hashtag #sd36learn. This is a wonderful milestone and I am so pleased to have been part of this personally and professionally. Thank you Elisa @EMSCarlson and your IML team for making all this amazing learning happen in classrooms all across our district. We are leading the way and doing our very best work.

    • innovativelearningdesigns

      Thanks for the comment. We really wanted to honour the work of educators in our district. Hopefully we succeeded!

  2. Hey Elisa,

    What a wonderful celebration it was on Wednesday evening. It was so energizing to listen to everyone’s Ignite talks and then have the table discussion around the questions generated for us. These past three years have been truly transformative in so many way. So much of it is about the relationships we have all formed – locally and globally. It was so fun to see some of the non-locals (adopted #sd36learn people) who have contributed to our learning in the celebration video.

    Thanks to you and your amazing team for a wonderful year and a fabulous past 3 years of ongoing learning and growth.

    • innovativelearningdesigns

      Thanks. It was actually a lot of fun putting it together. I am continually amazed by the work of your teachers in this district!

  3. Love it!
    I think the community you have built around #sd36Learn is amazing. I talked about it in my EdCamp West reflection podcast last summer, and I think it has gotten even better since! Wonderful to be able to learn from and with such a vibrant, innovative (and fun) network! 🙂

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