By Tony Coppola
It is a privilege and an honor to be considered a member of the Education Never Dies crew. I am humbled to be thought of as a leader by my peers as I merely set out on this social media journey to learn from and develop relationships with like-minded educators. While I’m confident in my abilities as a classroom teacher, I know I could be so much better. I now realize this is an overwhelmingly common mindset among educators in the Twittersphere. We want to be even better tomorrow than we are today!
When I think about the ideas behind Education Never Dies I’m comforted to know we are not afraid of making mistakes or failing. We often talk about how we fail in some way along this journey. We stumble, and we fall. We skin our knees and bruise our elbows. We even bloody our lip some days. But we get back up every time and keep moving forward no matter what. We hope it is the same way for you too!
It could be that you’re not quite there yet, but you want to be. Maybe you just need a little nudge from a group of people who believe in you. I’m here to tell you we believe in you and we are here to walk along side you on this journey. Moreover, we want you to walk along side us, believe in us, and help make us better just the same!
It’s important to me as we move forward that I share the impact the Education Never Dies team has already had on me. First and foremost, I’ve learned our hope is that we all help each other grow as educators. We want to put our all into each other and our students, and move education beyond the confines of program and testing. Each member of this group brings a unique perspective to working towards our mission, with a “doing it my own way” attitude, as well!
I’m getting to know Christine and I already think she’s AMAZING! I think about her determined nature and how honest she is, and then I realize all she overcomes to be that way. She makes me want to be determined and honest too. The possibilities are endless … as long as you step out and give it a shot!
I’m getting to know a crazy punk rock skateboarding principal named Mike. He happens to inspire a whole school while riding his skateboard to slow things down. I wish I could be more like Mike. He does it right by putting relationships first. Period. The stronger our relationships, the more we can accomplish!
I’m getting to know a spectacular human you probably know as Pav. I think of her by her real name; such a beautiful name. I know there’s an important story behind who she is. She has a heart so, so deeply filled with calming love. She is an overcomer! I’d definitely get to know her if I were you.
Chey has more energy and passion in his little pinkie finger than I do any day of the week. He is an open-minded, infectious energizer fighting the good fight. Chey shows me how to be confident in my abilities. I’m sticking close to Chey!
I’m getting to know another punk rocker named Joshua. Joshua is a gnarly dude. He’ll punk rock you out with his guitar in hand sometimes. He’ll also fight for you whether you know it or not. Josh has your back!
I’m getting to know a humble, yet passionate man named Michael Murphy. I wish I were as kind as Michael Murphy. He reminds me about the importance of peace. He makes me feel safe and free. He whispers nuggets of wisdom if you’re listening!
Y’all know Taylor! We’re finding north together; his idea. My gut tells me there’s so much more to know about Taylor. He’s so humble I’ll bet he’s laying up a palace full of treasures in heaven, about which, rightfully, we know nothing. I think I’ll keep heading north with my brother, Taylor!
I’m getting to know a soulful spirit who the gang calls Meza. I say soulful because of his brotherly loyalty. I’ve got best friends who are just like Meza. We come from different cultures, but that doesn’t matter. With Meza, iron sharpens iron so get ready!
I don’t know about you, but I OFTEN think about the last days of my life. I think about visualizing the story of my life and hoping, longingly hoping it was worth it. I want to know that in some way I did something that made a difference. I think about that almost daily at times. And while my family and the legacy I want to leave with them is what drives this thinking, I know the work I do in education is a part of my story.
I see Education Never Dies as an open-door opportunity. Not just for this small group of people, but for anyone else wanting to impact the future for our students, our communities, and our families.
We hope you will join us as we begin this journey again today. The END is just the beginning!!