My Top 5 Gurus – Who Are Yours?

Thank you, Melville Publishing for picture....
These people, places, and collections of great knowledge have made me a better teacher.  They are my gurus, my distant teachers, and my life-savers when the screws are put to me in the classroom, and for the 987th time, when the students have “turned the tables” on me, as my new favorite artist Adele sings.  Thank you, gurus, for moving me.  Thank you for holding the mirror up.  Thank you for forcing me to look into the teacher I thought I was after 11 years and igniting a flame that has burned up the dross in my classroom on a daily basis.  What remains after such an intellectual bonfire amidst the students and myself are the ashes from which knowledge, compassion, inspiration, communication, and fellowship arise.  It truly is a “beautiful collision” (thank you, David Crowder).

#1. The Buck Institute for Education – This organization acts as my collective teacher, from its web resources to its handbooks in print to its well-trained educators, whose blogs and conference opportunities have inspired me to let project based learning completely change my life.  I love teaching because of what BIE has taught me.  Check out their website and their blogs for new educators in PBL.  Fantastic research and downloadable resources! (PBL Do-It-Yourself is a life-saver!)

#2.  Aimee Buckner – Her tried and true suggestions for using reader’s/writer’s notebooks in Notebook Know-How and Notebook Connections have given me many ideas that actually work.  I wanted to know how someone specifically used the notebooks in an authentic and real way, and she even included actual copies of posts from her kids!  It’s fantastic!

#3. Cooperative Catalyst – This is an amazing consortium of bloggers, writers, teachers, and others who write about education, trends, needs for change, pedagogy, social issues, etc.  I have found all sorts of new gurus here!  Posts are by various authors – thus, the “cooperative.”  It is said of this blog that the more voices that join, the deeper the discussion goes.  Many of the authors here can also be followed on Twitter.

#4. Don Tapscott – His books Growing Up Digital and Grown Up Digital have exceeded my expectations of what I thought I might learn about technology.  Not only did I learn about the digital natives I teach, or the “hand-held” generation who have never known life with a record player, 8-track, or rotary phone….  But through his work I learned about myself.  My modeling of appropriate use of technology and my role as a respectful contributor in the digital marketplace is equally important to what they can teach me about new tech and devices.  Follow him on Twitter, where the nuggets of wisdom just keep coming…. (@dtapscott)

#5. TED – Two words: pure awesomeness.  TED is so awesome it might actually make you go blind.  Watch videos, learn what’s out there, [if you have cash – ha!] go to a conference and get goodies (then tell me what they were!), or just download the talks.  This conglomeration of cutting edge technology, insightful and charismatic speakers, and world-changing ideas has really given me great classroom engagement pieces.  The videos are mind-blowing at times, sobering at others.  If you haven’t tuned in to TED, run, don’t walk, and start with this amazing video, with technology now a few years old: “The Sixth Sense.”  Follow TED on Twitter: @tedtalks, @TEDnews, @ted_com.

Now, to you: who are your gurus and distant teachers?  And who will you then teach “everything you know”?

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One thought on “My Top 5 Gurus – Who Are Yours?

  1. My Top 5 Gurus | After Some Reflection July 20, 2011 at 10:47 am Reply

    […] morning’s reading included the NWP Daily and a post from Three Teachers Talk . The link brings you to a cool reflection by @finchesrule where she writes, “These people, […]


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