Inflatable Flattening

flatbarry smelling the flowers with @caliliypso, superb Kentucky educator!

Educators have the ability to inflate people’s minds, souls, and hearts.

Sometimes, they even inflate all three while they deflate,….err, flatten.

If you’ve seen #flatbarry socializing via social media, you know what I’m referring to. But, it’s more important that you know what flatbarry means, and represents, both to this educator, and to the field as a whole.

flatbarry gets hug from Cultivate a Calling Speaker, co-mod of #ecet2 chat, friend @jarauxw.

There’s a convening in San Diego that is going on this weekend. I was invited to attend, present, and learn with 300+ exceptional educators from all over the globe. It doesn’t matter why I’m not there. That’s a now recycled story that’s neither uplifting or inflating. It takes away from the real message, which is: teacher to teacher, teachers do for one another. That’s how we pay the field forward, and everyone wins.

Educators lead, despite whatever roadblocks find us. We can lead from home. We can help plan convenings, and take pride in the pre-convening effort we put in to support the growth of current and future teacher-leaders. We can lead on Monday, with a group of students and their families who need, rely, and should expect our best. And, we’ll be elevated by our neighbors across the hall, next door, and in the main office. All are strong, passionate, powerful educators.

One powerful educator I have met and work alongside remotely is Peter Haun, from Detroit. We serve The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with 46 other teachers to provide focused guidance and constructive feedback regarding potential education policy the Foundation is interested in. Peter took it upon himself to bring a two-dimensional flat version of me, flatbarry, to the convening. Peter ends many conversations with, “Deuces from the D.” By creating a two-dimensional version of me, deuces takes on a whole new meaning for me. Deuces back at you, Peter.

Flatbarry checking out the sights in the airport with his creator, @haunpeter.

Peter, fellow members of the Teacher Advisory Group I serve with, and attendees of the convening took pictures of themselves with flatbarry. He sat in on colleague circle conversations. He spent time in The Social Media Lounge. He had breakfast with a friend. And, he spent the night in someone’s room. (on their couch, flatbarry is a married man, and a gentleman). Flatbarry is being celebrated for being him. For being me. And, for what we do for one another with the goal of supporting one another and the field at large. We’ll all be better on Monday for it. I know I will be.

flatbarry getting his breakfast on with friend @mizter_a. Pass the syrup Will.
Flatbarry joins a Colleague Circle. He is a very active listener and hears everything.
flatbarry w/Colleague Circle “Whisperer”, and good friend @arsant10.