Connect. Elevate. Celebrate.
Connect. Elevate. Celebrate.That is exactly what happened this summer when 23 Teachers of students who are deaf/hard of hearing gathered online for this summer’s book club exclusively for Indiana educators for students who are deaf/hard of hearing. They got the chance to connect, elevate each other, and celebrate their talents and passions as educators through summer book club possible via a mini-grant awarded to PATINS Specialist, Katie Taylor (psst, that's me) with PATINS Project in Indiana from Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers (ECET2) Deaf Education Central. ECET2 Deaf Education Central is a 4 state-wide group working hard to elevate and celebrate educators in the deaf education field.
ECET2 stands for Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers. It was born out of a desire to provide a forum for exceptional teachers to learn from one another and to celebrate the teaching profession. ECET2 is designed, led and facilitated by teachers, to inspire each other to become effective leaders inside and outside their classrooms. ECET2 seeks to realize a teacher’s potential by ensuring each convening aligns with its six key beliefs:
- Nurturing trust among teachers
- Focusing on each teacher’s potential for growth
- Inspiring both the intellect and the passion that drives teachers in their work
- Providing time for collaboration and learning
- Putting teachers in the lead
- Recognizing teachers as talented professionals
As part of this book club, these teachers shared their "why" through the hashtag #whyIteachDeafEd
So, 23 of the 53 currently active Teachers of students who are deaf/hard of hearing from all over the state of Indiana participated in the summer book club. Take a look at this google map image of how far the book club reached this summer!
They got to choose which book fits their interest. 6 were recommended:
- Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
- Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
- Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
- Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
- Start With Why by Simon Sinek
- The End of Average by Todd Rose
At the end of the month of June, the book club educators got the chance to meet online via zoom meeting room. This was a great way to end the book up and introduce themselves in a more personal, interactive way. One of the best parts was making plans for potential future meetups and then that next week to meet up at the Indiana Deaf Educator and Educational Interpreters Conference as well as potential ideas to continue this collaborative nature of the book club.
Because of the book club, many got to meet up, informally, in person with their newly found connected educators at the Indiana Deaf Educator’s and Educational Interpreter’s Conference at the end of June 2019. It was so fun to meet the participants in person and hear how their book was helping them think of innovative ideas for their students for this upcoming school year. They were meeting other teachers that they had not met before growing their personal learning network.
Lastly, each participant received mail with a certificate for their dedication to serving Indiana’s students who are deaf/hard of hearing and recognizing their years of service. As well as a computer decal with the wording, “deaf educator”. Participants also received professional growth points for their participation in the book club through the PATINS Project.
I am so excited to have gotten the chance to help connect, elevate, and celebrate our precious Indiana Teachers of students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Keep doing the amazing work in supporting the best possible outcomes for our students in Indiana!
Please comment on your summer book selections and what you will take away from your reading to inspire your next school year with our amazing students. Don’t forget to take some time to remember your “why” as you refresh and look onto the new school year.
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Connecting nearly half the active teachers of students who are deaf/hard of hearing in Indiana through an online book club is an impressive feat! I love that many were able to meet up in person after the book club finished up!
Currently reading Inheritance by Dani Shapiro and Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat. I'm only halfway through Inheritance, but one major theme I am reading is the importance of identity and how when we lose a part of our identity it can be very unsettling. This reminds me to choose topics, literature, videos, etc that reflect our students' identities. From Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, I hope just an ounce of her true passion for cooking rubs off on me so I can bring that same excitement into my work.