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#TIES17 Keynote: Jennie Magiera- Our Untold Stories

Jennie Magiera, Chief Program Officer for EdtechTeam was the Tuesday Keynote at the 2017 TIES Conference. 
She began by crowd-sourcing the best recipes for Tater-Tot-HotDish. 

Telling a story touches your emotions and touches your identity, giving a part of yourself to the audience. Teachers do this every day.

She told the story of a little girl from Seoul, South Korea . Her father immigrated to New York, but she was unable to go right away. When she looked at the streets, being told they were paved in gold, she was disappointed. The next day, she learned she would be going to City Hall to get a new "American" name. The name, suggested by a neighbor was "Carol!"  The clerk asked for the spelling, and her mom didn't know. The mom, with Korean pronunciation said, "Kello." 
Her first teacher asked her name and how she got it, and she said, Well it was kind of a mistake.
Her peers bullied her because of this. 
In 4th grade, her teacher asked her, "What do you want to be called this year?"
She responded, "Katie!"
She grew up to be strong, brave and Jennie's mom.....

Growing up, Jennie's mother said, listen to your teachers because...
Teachers can help you be your whole self!

The Danger of a Single Story- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Stereotypes aren't untrue, they are just incomplete, and become the only story that is told

Chapter 1
The Story of Student Self-Image
Last year, Jennie's school district won a grant for Dash-N-Dot robots to encourage coding in the elementary schools. She imagined all the kids running in like "Black Friday" excited!
Instead, she saw a group of girls with the robots pushed aside, saying, "Ms. Magiera, we can't code, we're girls..."
This caused her to get upset, but as a district administrator she knew she needed to step back...She said, "I believe you can code, and I tripple-dog-dare you the challenge that if you can't code by the end of the week, they could do whatever they want. Here's what happened!
They had created the code by Thursday!
They said they they hadn't learned it all, but decided that that was what they wanted to do. "Did you know coding is a language and that you can use it to solve problems?" They decided to code "Dash" to be the 4th girl in the dance they were doing. In the end, they were embarrased that they felt like they couldn't do it, and created a viral video encouraging girls to code!

How do we unlock this:
The Untold Story of Limitless Potential

Chapter 2
The Single Story of Teachers
In talking about identity, Magiera's husband is a Cub fan, loves craft beer, but doesn't consider his job to define who he is.
Magiera on the otherhand wears the fact she is a teacher on her sleave. All because of Ms. Buckman in 4th grade...Ms. Buckman asked the students to help her find her pet dinosaur...Then she said, 
" Sorry, I forgot I left it at home next to the fountain of youth..Sit down, I'm Ms. Buckman, get ready for an adventure!" Everything she did was intentional to introduce students to the topics they would be learning about that year.
Buckman shared "The Hobbit" with Magiera. Gandalf says to Bilbo, "I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging..." 
Magiera's take, "OMG- Teachers are Wizzards!!"

How do we unlock this story:
The Untold Story of Wizzards

Chapter 3
The Single Story of What We Tell the World
Magiera shared the New York Times article, "Don't Let Facebook Make You Miserable!" People spend 6 times the amount of time washing dishes then they do playing golf, but no one tweets or instagrams about washing dishes...
Circus Circus has the same number of rooms as the Belagio, but the Belagio has 6 times the number of check-ins.

The National Enquirer has many more subscribers than the Atlantic, but the Atlantic has 45 times the number of article shares!
"Don't compare your insides to other people's outsides!" We never see people's insides...
How can we as people break this cycle? Compare Facebook posts to Google searches. Google is much closer to reality...

Magiera did a look at her wall and found she had many #bestlifeever posts.
She decided that the next time she had a struggle she would post it on Facebook. She and her husband had spent 6 years to start a family, and they were struggling. When you struggle, other people's posts make things much harder. 
She decided to post that they were starting IVF after 6 years of struggle. Soon she had over 288 comments and e-mails from people with similar struggles and doubts, and that she wasn't alone. Magiera talked about how freeing it was to know that she had a community behind her to walk with her on the journey. It has given her strength to try and do things that never would have happened had she not shared her struggle.
How many untold stories are out there about struggles that educators face?
While teaching in Chicago, she had created several videos to support student learning in the classroom. The kids were silent listening, and she felt like a wizzard. Then one day, she thought she had synced a video on pyramid volume, when in fact she linked to Hot Tub Time Machine, and she didn't discover it for 3 minutes! It's important to share the failures on our innovation journey just like the successes!

How do we unlock 
The Untold Story of Our Inner Selves

Chapter 4
How Does Technology 

Technology should enhance our connection to each other!
We need to share our untold stories with one another! Now, you can tell your story and then get an audience.
You can use tools to amplify your story and share it with the world!

Students said having the opportunity to amplify their voice and tell their story was the best part of learning in her classroom! Students became more open about sharing and reminded them of who they are!

We can allow students to remember that they matter everywhere, even when we aren't sitting with them in the classroom. 
She closed with the story of Lyndsay, a story "This isn't Chirac" Students share with reporters that outsiders really don't know them and they're neighborhood. 

How can we use technology to shatter the single story.
She is starting a non-profit, "StudentVoice.org" to give students a voice. In addition, OurVoiceAcademy is allowing teachers of color to connect and share their story. She challenged us to use our phones to share our story with the world sometime today at TIES. 

Chapter 5
The Blue Bird
Magiera finished by sharing that she knew she wanted to be a teacher, and went back to see Ms. Buckman. She tracked her down and they met for lunch. She was so excited to see her and tell her that she was going to be a teacher. Before she could get that out, Ms. Buckman said, "You are going to be a teacher in Chicago Public Schools. Buckman then pulled out an envelope with letters between her and Jennie's mom that had been going on since she was in the 4th grade!

Magiera said, "I'm going to be just like you!" Buckman said, "No. I don't want you to be just like me. I want you to be you. Don't try to be your role model, be better!" Buckman then pulled out a ceramic blue bird that had been on her desk and invited her to use it as an inspiration, but everything else in the classroom needs to be 100% YOU!"

Magiera challenged us to find and tell our Untold Stories and set them free!





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