I’m a bit of a dreamer. I love to read and consequently, I have quite an imagination. Over the past school year, I’ve been inspired by all the conferences I’ve attended (ECOO, RCAC, Educon) but by far, the largest factor has been all the passionate educators I’ve met online and face to face. One educator is Ben Hazzard and after the ECOO conference, he and I discussed that we should do something for Ontario educators. We didn’t really know what, but we knew we didn’t want it to be a day conference. Low and behold, TedxOntarioEd was born.
Ben and I knew that we couldn’t plan an event of this magnitude ourselves and therefore we asked Rodd Lucier, Sharon Drummond, and Kim McGill to join us. The beautiful aspect to this group is that we all have our own strengths. Rodd was able to provide the beautiful location for our event as well as had contacts for many of our speakers. Sharon was the mastermind behind the impressive set design and Kim was our organizational genius. We also added a sixth member to our team, Colin Jago, as our ‘remote satellite guy’ and he proved to be a key player through his knowledge of Adobe Connect and Livestream.
Our whole event was dedicated to the idea of ‘motivation.’ One of the most motivating aspects for me, as a member of the organizing staff, was watching all aspects of the evening. Dan Misener, our emcee, and all our speakers donated their time to this event. Their dedication speaks to our theme as they all are motivated for the betterment of education. The IT guys from the London District Catholic School Board donated their Friday night to help us get our message out and they didn’t do that for us, they did it for the students. Finally, the attendees also showed their passion by giving up their some personal time to hear what others believe we can do to help motivate our students. Observing all these different groups of people who obviously share passion for education is a huge motivator for me. I really don’t think I could have been more overwhelmed at the positive energy and feedback that we observed that evening and have received after the fact.
In closing, I have a few personal thank yous that didn’t get mentioned enough on Friday night.
Listowel District Technology Department – thank you for building our giant TEDx letters as well as the black art that was featured behind the letters!
Ben Reaburn – as a personal favour to his big sister, he made the trek from Toronto to help the IT guys with the sound. It was also his personal music that you heard before, during and after the event.
Sid Reaburn and Jeff Weir – thank you for being our official ‘paparazzi’ for the evening.
Avon Maitland District School Board – thank you for supporting our event from the beginning. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Rodd, Sharon, Kim and Colin – from the bottom of my heart, thank you for agreeing to join Ben and myself on this crazy ride! It really was a pleasure to work with you and you all really should be commended for your hard work and dedication! You made this all possible!
Ben – thanks for everything. You are definitely one of the most motivated people I have ever met and I think you exude enthusiasm and passion for education. You truly are one of the most inspiring people I know and I just wanted to thank you for being such an amazing role model to me and other educators.
In closing, if anyone has any comments or feedback about our evening, please feel free to leave them here or contact me on Twitter @msjweir.
Thanks to all who made our evening such a success!