Kenan Update: Top Ten Takeaways

This week marks the last time that I will probably see my cohort of Kenan Fellows until our program wraps up in the spring.  Naturally, I find myself reflecting on the entire experience thus far, and trying to sum up the benefits that I’ve seen.  It seems fitting to share these in the form of a “top ten” list, so here goes:

10. Shared experiences, like performances by eclectic musicians and bowling nights, can bond a group of people in unimaginable ways.

9. Truly dedicated teachers want to be criticized, and receive feedback.

8. In a world of nearly limitless opportunities for digital conversations, old-fashioned face-to-face meetings still have value… if planned properly.

7. There are many reasons, sometimes difficult to put into words, that accomplished educators choose to work in challenging environments.

6. The view of public education that many intelligent and thoughtful community members have is accurate.

5. The only way to change the view that the rest of the community has is by continuing to do our jobs in surprisingly effective ways.

4. This graph is almost always true:


3. This graph is also almost always true:


2. Being an effective teacher has very little to do with your use of technology.  I am one of the most tech-saavy teachers in this group, but I find myself learning much more from my more “analog-minded” counterparts than they do from me.

1. The term “fellow” is apt, because the most powerful part of this experience has been the fellowship with other passionate educators.  As one Kenan Fellow put it,

“Kenans are geeks about teaching.”

And being around others who share your innate desire to constantly improve and to find innovative ways to reach every child can only improve your practice.


In short, this has been one of the most subtly powerful experience of my professional life.  Think it’s something you’d like to try?  Go ahead.

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