by Cheryl Arnett, guest Blogger
It is just a little over a week until we leave for the WWIEF in Cape Town and I couldn't be more excited! There is the obvious anticipation of visiting a faraway place on a different continent to experience the culture and surroundings. Having never traveled beyond North America before, I am a little nervous, but feel secure knowing that there will be familiar faces and friends there. For me, the experience has already begun. Through the community on the Partners in Learning Network, I have connected with several people that I am excited to meet in person. It is absolutely amazing how much learning can take place through interactions online. I have now added Twitter to my online resources and my wonderful new tweeting friends in the UK have led me to several new tools and sites. I know that the connections and networks formed in Cape Town will be rich and beneficial to my teaching and my students. One of my greatest frustrations in teaching has been the difficulty of inspiring other teachers to break free of the traditional lessons and try new ways of engaging children. I know that if they would only take the time to learn and try, they would be amazed at the response from their students. The problem is a complicated one, however, and will not change quickly or soon. There is rarely time for technology and innovation during professional development in our district. I am so hopeful that I the experience I am about to have will be an inspiration to others and will open a few more minds to the possibilities. I want to learn how to engage teachers and convince administrators that we don't have time "not" to explore innovative teaching. I want to immerse myself in the sea of inspirational teachers that are traveling to Cape Town. I want to enjoy the feeling of being celebrated for my profession. I want to learn and I want to share. Look out, Cape Town, here we come!