"Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest places if you look at it right." ~ The Grateful Dead "Scarlet Begonias"
Last night while watching The Voice on NBC, I witnessed a couple of special minutes. After 17 year-old Bryce Sherlow's audition didn't make the cut, she graciously accepted the feedback and encouragement from the celebrity judges. When Bryce mentioned to Pharrell Williams that she had sung his hit "Happy" at the a cappella nationals, he asked her to sing a little.
"Get up there and sing it with her," instructed fellow judge Christina Aguilera...and he did.
This is the essence of what professional learning should be. Pharrell the mega star gave this young start-up a thrill of a lifetime by leaving his pedestal and putting himself on the same level as her. By him taking a step down so to speak, he lifted her up. The good educational presenters do that. They may have tens of thousands or Twitter followers and receive thousands per day from school districts to present, but to have lasting impact they have to meet their workshop attendees on a common level. That is how you move the craft of teaching forward. That is how you inspire the next wave to join you in moving the craft of teaching forward. That is also how any teacher inspires and moves their students forward.
The "Faculty members aren't the rock stars. Attendees are the rock stars." mantra of the CUE Rock Star Teacher Camps is the core value that has made them so impactful and why people attend multiple camps each year. It is why I have gotten so involved with them. When I watched Pharrell get on stage, I told my wife, "That is Rock Star to a tee. That is exactly what it is all about."
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