M is for Mark

“… teachers  really care about they are doing. ….. Teachers are trusted.”

” Quality in many different ways.”

“… what is important is being open and flexible. ”

“… learning through progressive inquiry..”

 

Thank you Mark for your time to talk about education in Finland, education management, and this global program for change!

 

You can follow Mark @macurcher or find out more about  21st Century Educators

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Stories are Meant to be Told

Mind Mirrors started off as a small project, giving voice to agents of change, regardless of field or study. With professional commitments stretching me out, this space has been through a silence phase. However, it is Spring and so another entry is coming to open up reflections and possible discussions.

As an educator, I have worked in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Packing, unpacking, adapting, re-adapting is an essential part of my life. Over the years, I have met many other professionals, who like me, whether growing up in different environments or working in foreign countries, have shared many of their wonderful stories with me.

My next visitor is an example of how one learns, adapts, re-adapts to changes – both in landscapes and educational management. With a vision to share and stories to tell, Mark Curcher is an exceptional case of talent, inspiration and vision.

Currently, Mark is the Director for 21st Century Educators – A Passion for Learning , an educational program offered by TAMK, in Finland.

As an educator and educational leader, Mark also has much to share as someone who has travelled the world in pursuit of the best practices for educational change.

Let me offer you a taster:

What if by Mark Curcher

From lands of sand and sun, Mark now lives in a land of trees and never ending Summer days. Join us here as we find out more about what it takes to be a successful expat, global educator and educational innovator.

Because, after all, stories are meant to be told.

THE STAVES WINTER TREES from Karni and Saul on Vimeo.

 

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Leadership Connections in Times of Disruption

My world – a universe of connections, random, deliberate, global.  As I reflect on the connectivity I engage in and with, it does not seem unusual to me. I have spent my life living across the world, in places that no longer exist other than in memories. Bubbles of memories make up who I am.

Memories?  Love lines written across the sky. Nothing more, nothing less.

As I quietly navigate information, ideas, personalities in the cyberseas of the internet, there are others who, like me, share the same concerns, interests and dreams. Dreams of equality, dreams of creativity and innovation, transforming education into a more joyful, effective and transformational space. Our thought bubbles coincide and connections are sometimes made. At times, these connections take place silently, almost intrepidly as I read their web writings and share their inspiration with others.

Among all the debated and constantly referred to issues in education today, there are two which glare out, desperately screaming for attention: effective leadership and the need to transform education. Before one goes on, possibly agreeing with me, these two issues are not new nor only required for our current times. They have always hung over our heads, looming needs with few practical answers. What has caused the current disruptions in education is, among other factors, digital learning – from OER to MOOCs, to all the tools and platforms which enable open communication and creativity in self-expression, which is open and accessible to all. Just as the printing press caused havoc and mayhem in regard to leadership in education, just as societies began making education accessible to all, today’s digital devices have opened up deep questions on educational and social change.

My next guest is no outsider nor stranger with these issues.

George Couros is the Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning for Parkland School Division. He resides at the Centre for Education working closely with the all schools in the division, as well as the Future PlanningTeam, Lead Team, Learning Services Department and Information Technology Department where he pushes the leading edge in implementing Alberta Education’s new Goal Two – Educational Transformation. George has worked with all levels of school from K-12 as a teacher, technology facilitator, and school based administrator.

He additionally co-facilitates Great Leaders, Great Teams, Great Results leadership training, is a leader on the effective use of social media to improve student learning. He is a sought after speaker on the topic of innovative student learning and engagement. George is also the creator of the Connected Principals blog site as well as the founder of Connected Canada.  His focus is to help organizations create optimal learning environments for innovation within schools.

Although George is a leader in the area of innovation, his focus is always the development of leadership and people and what is best for kids.  He uses humour as a way to connecting with all of those that he works with.  His presentations are known to be both informative and entertaining, yet creating an emotional connection that helps people move to the next level.  His mix of research, personal stories, and practical ways to implement new learning help participants feel comfortable in taking risks in their own learning.

You can learn more about George at his site georgecouros.ca.

Join us here as George reveals his reflections on leadership, connecting with others and how education is at best, a wonder of social transformation.

If you have questions on these topics, please feel welcome to leave them here.

What qualities do you think educational leaders should have? Is education for confirming a society’s leadership or for transforming societies?

Towards the Future

I carry the past, present, future, with me.

There is no present without past, no future without breathing the present. With every step, every breathe, every sunrise, I face the future.

And find myself on the blade where all pasts, presents and futures intertwine. In silence.

For there is no need to disturb the order of the universe when all moves forward in harmony.

Tony Gurr is  a professional who faces the future, bearing in mind past and present. Tony is a seasoned teacher, trainer, consultant, writer, keynote speaker – and as he himself, defines it, a  LEARNer.

qualified teacher with a wide range of experiences in ELT, EAP, ESP and business / workforce training, he is also a trained Instructional Skills Facilitator (both ISW and FSW). He has worked with a wide range of disciplines and academics on improving classroom learning and teaching in the UK, Middle East, the US, Australia and Turkey.

Tony is also an experienced educational managertrained coach, and leadership mentor and has supported the learning and growth of a wide range of teacher leaders, supervisors and educational planning teams. He has worked on a series of major learning and teaching transformation initiatives, managed innovative curriculum and assessment renewal projects, and led a range of quality and institutional effectiveness programmes in Dubai and across the Gulf. He has also collaborated with a number of innovative US colleges and Australian educational providers on a wide range of workforce development programmes and capacity-building partnerships.

He draws on his wide range of practical, ‘hands-on’ experience in schools, colleges and higher education institutions and is most often described as a ‘thinking doer’ who really loves learning,  change and  improvement – and helping others ‘do more’ with what they know. He is currently based in Ankara and heads up Momentum Learning Solutions – as its lead consultant and CLO (Chief Learning Officer).

Tony is married (to a Turkish national) and has one daughter (currently at university in London). He is an avid blogger and his blog – allthingslearning – is popular with educators, trainers, curriculum and assessment specialists and educational managers (as well as his mother-in-law).

Join us here as Tony candidly reflects on training teachers today, issues which arise in teacher training and gives us a peek review of his forth-coming book.