1, 7, and 830. Three simple numbers that have had a profound impact on my educational career. Education is can be a profession practiced in isolation. Some choose to operate as such. Others find themselves in situations that force them to do so. I am fortunate that my situation doesn’t lend itself to either. I am blessed that once a year…for seven days…I get to join 830 of my closest friends to work together, play together, and (most importantly) learn from each other. Few would think leaving their home for a week to read student responses to the Advance Placement Statistics Exam would generate the excitement that it does for me and my ‘statlete’ friends. But it does.  Boy, does it ever! For those who find themselves teaching statistics on an island in their school or district, the annual pilgrimage to the AP Reading is a welcome escape from their teaching isolation to a setting in which they are the norm. Imagine being surrounded by 800 other individuals that share the exact same passion for your field as you do. Imagine being able to work directly with the leaders in your profession, side-by-side, to accomplish a significant task. Imagine being able to talk, laugh, learn, question, challenge, plan, innovate, and develop friendships with 800 other people who ‘get’ you. 1, 7, and 830. Those three numbers are the reasons I love the Reading. While I wish the first number was 2 or 3 or … or 365, I’m thankful it’s not 0.

It’s that last number that inspires me every year. It nudges me to do something new. It encourages me to stretch myself. It reignites my passion for education that can sometimes get beat up, dragged out, badgered around after a long year. It makes me want to seek more ways in which to improve. It inspires me.

It’s that last number…thanks to some great connections with a subset of it and a great deal of professional growth this year…that has led me to try something new. To learn, to grow, to seek to transform.  I seek to be a change agent. I love to facilitate growth and learning. I love connecting with others who share the same passion for education as I do. And I hope to contribute to the conversation.

This blog will be a new adventure for me. It won’t be pretty at first. I know I’ll need to find my footing and my path won’t always be clear. But I’ll keep trudging along. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from that 830, it’s that we’re all seeking to improve. We have a lot to offer each other…and I’m looking forward to the conversation!

Let’s do this thing.

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