Top 5 Reasons Why Cohort 21 Is The Bomb

There are only a handful of PD experiences that I can think of that have truly been a game changer for my teaching practice. I’ve been lucky enough to have had some really amazing learning opportunities, but nothing really comes close to what I have gotten from being part of the Cohort 21 community.

While many of the best PD opportunities I have taken part in have had amazing teachers, great colleagues, and inspirational messages, Cohort 21 is the only experience I have had (or even ever heard of) that has put me in the driver’s seat of my own learning. Perhaps even more importantly, this is the only PD out there that is ongoing. It sounds simple, but once you have joined the Cohort, you are always part of the action. Think about it: when have you ever signed up for PD and been able to continue the conversation, keep asking questions, and build your network of support over time? The only comparison I can think of is when you join a family: you are always connected and can continually benefit from the support of your fellow family members.

So, if you are contemplating whether or not this PD experience is right for you, these top 5 reasons to join the Cohort should convince you:

5. Connecting with other (keen, bright, enthusiastic) teachers provides inspiration outside of the bubble of your school. I have stolen many project ideas from the incredible people I’ve met and an amazing extended family of educators that I can always go to for questions, advice, and support.

4.  There is no other PD out there that puts you in control of your own learning. The content of this learning is always relevant and meaningful because YOU get to design your learning goals.

3. I have never laughed so much in a learning setting. Garth and Justin really know how to engage and motivate a group of people. I (not so) secretly wish that I could be a student in their classes. I always leave a Face-2-Face session a little happier, a lot more energized, and so proud to be a teacher.

2. Having a genuine reason to reflect meaningfully as a teacher is so important. We all know this, but when do we ever give ourselves time to actually do the dirty work of thinking big and asking gritty questions about our practices? The act of writing often about what I am doing as a teacher has clarified so much about my practice and has motivated me to go deeper into this messy, uncertain world.

1. Experiencing the excitement, mess, complexity, joys, frustrations, and rewards of personalized learning is essential for knowing how to deliver it for our students. Most teachers were not taught in this manner growing up, so we owe it to our students to relearn how to learn. Quite frankly, the future depends on it.

I’m looking forward to seeing your face at our first Face-2-Face on October 19th!

About the Author
Passionate and curious about technology, smiles, special education, differentiated instruction, forests, graphic novels, accessibility, anti-oppression, and warm beverages. Can often be found laughing with young people and improvising songs on the spot. @teach_tomorrow

5 comments on Top 5 Reasons Why Cohort 21 Is The Bomb

  1. Powerful words Celeste. I am most impacted by your last point – we owe it to our students. I would go deeper with this and say we owe it to them to be life-long learners; we owe it to them to try and connect with them through their literacies; and we owe it to them to model a growth mindset. Thanks, as always for you thoughtfulness!

  2. Yes yes yes to all of the above! I look forward to reading about this year’s cohort very soon! (… and I miss you guys!…)

  3. The Bomb! You got it right. Looking forward to all the new blogs.

  4. pkleeb says:

    I couldn’t agree more, Celeste. Students are very aware of whether their teachers actually practice what they preach. If we show them we’re willing to take a risk, and that failure or making a fool of yourself is not such a big deal, they’ll be more willing to try new things and move outside of their comfort zone.

    I really love the idea of being in control of my own learning!

  5. Fresh Air says:

    If being in control of our own learning really enhances our learning experiences, shouldn’t it work like that for our students as well? Being lifelong learners, we never stop being students…that makes us closer to our students in that respect. If we are to learn with them, and they are to learn with us, there must be unity in the way we learn together.

    We must know each other and know ourselves, and move forward as one group, the real kind of group, where there are only individuals. It’s what brings us together.
    Shouldn’t we stay together, if the Earth won’t be sustainable soon?
    Shouldn’t we stay together, if it looks like we’re about to divide and conquer the sustainability of our planet?

    Unite and conquer fears.

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