We have developed this community over the course of several years in response to the lack of agency teachers and schools often have over their professional learning journey. We were noticing that professional development (or professional "learning" as we call it):
In short, professional learning opportunities often seemed to be "one size fits all" and put all your learning eggs in one basket.
Through listening to and collaborating with our members, we have fine-tuned our approach and system to make it the incredible learning community it is today. We continue to learn, grow and adapt together. Lead thinkers love what we are doing too. Check out what James Nottingham and Trevor MacKenzie have to say about our learning community:
Hey! I'm Becky Carlzon, an educator just like you. At its best, I absolutely love teaching - I love the creativity it involves, connecting deeply with the children and families I work with and being in a profession that is always learning and adapting. There is no better feeling, in my opinion, than being in the middle of a buzzing classroom, surrounded by enthusiastic, curious, caring learners.
It hasn't always been this way though.
I have hit rock bottom in this profession. It has been the absolute opposite I hoped it would be. I went from loving every minute of my job, to working every waking hour of the day, buried in paperwork, overwhelmed by changes beyond my control, and, quite frankly, in fear that I might be sacked for no apparent reason. This is a terrible place. If you have been in this place too, you may have felt the same as I did. "The only way out is to quit", my mind told me. So I did. For a while.
But, somehow, I picked myself back up. I recovered. I got coaching and therapy and found my way back to the profession I love. One of the key things that got me back in the classroom was a community of caring colleagues. People around me who encouraged me, told me I "could", supported me and cared for me. Another thing that got me back was the memory that it could be great. More than great - The best! When I'm learning with others, improving my craft, engaging in a co-creative learning journey with the children in my care, I love my job.
And this is why I created Learning Pioneers - So that others can have this connection and support, ideally before they feel they have to quit! Teachers are incredible. YOU are incredible. And I want that to be reflected back to you every single day. So that when the going gets tough, you will have the resilience, support and ideas to carry on. So that when you take a brave risk and apply amazing learning, you have a crew to celebrate with you (even if you don't always have this in your school yet!).
Some people say the incredible speakers, like Kath Murdoch and James Nottingham, we have in Learning Pioneers is its highlight and strength; others say its the opportunities to contribute to world-leading practice; others say it's being coached and mentored by leading, knowledgeable practitioners. Personally, I think it's the people in the community that make Learning Pioneers. Birg Car, one of our long-standing members, and Learning Pioneer Advocate summarises it perfectly below: