He roots for a different ballclub than I do. He taught science and I taught English. He never wanted to be a site administrator and as a principal I’m happy as a the proverbial clam. Different? Yes. And…
I’ve met few people as passionate about teaching and learning as Kevin Fairchild.
Kevin is leaving our district to start a new adventure up the highway a few miles. That I’ll miss him is a difficult reality I’m choosing not to write about, not after this sentence anyway. He’s off to do great work in a new position, and while I know how rewarding he found what he did when he was under our banner, this new job allows him to stretch his professional wings and make a difference in the lives of teachers and kids. It was, as Vito Corleone might say, an offer he couldn’t refuse.
This change in my local Professional Learning Network (PLN) comes, ironically, on the week the #YourEdustory blogging prompt reads: “Say thanks to a member of you PLN for inspiring, encouraging, and helping make you a better educator.”
I can think of no member of my PLN who has done all three of these things more.
Years ago, a friend who was serving as an assistant principal with me kidded me about my not being on Twitter. Clueless, I nodded. Twitter? …and then I called Kevin. Kevin came out and asked all the right questions. He didn’t walk me through Twitter; he prompted me to dive right in and learn about it for myself. That I’m still tweeting is a testament, at least in part, to the possibility he helped me see.
Over the next few years, Kevin introduced me to EdCamp, encouraged me to blog, and inspired me through his own work on our district’s tech blog. With a smile and resonant laugh, Kevin showed me technological doors that have opened into opportunities I never would have dreamed of.
His work, on my campus, in our district, and all over this interweb thing have made a real difference time after time after time.
For that I thank him.
And now this man in the Cardinals cap flies north.
The good news is that a PLN in 2016 isn’t constrained by geography. That he tweets and blogs from a different zip code matters not at all. Heck, one of the first things I noticed on the day after he took the new job was a question about screenshots sent to him through Twitter by one of my teachers. Of course he answered it.
So I say “thank you.” Thank you for the inspiration, encouragement, connections, humor, and support. I wish you luck making a difference in the lives you’ll touch. You certainly have made a difference in mine.
…and it’s not like you’re headed to Mongolia. I’ll see you at CUE!