As a parent, teacher, and librarian, I feel that the voice of our young people is one of the most important things in the world. They have the passion, motivation, and intelligence to drive their own education, future, and make a difference for themselves and those around them.
On November 21, I had the honor of being the closing keynote speaker at the Iowa Association of School Boards Annual Convention in Des Moines, Iowa.
To be part of a day with my friends and educational leaders Will Richardson and Chris Lehmann was exciting enough, but the best part...
I was going to present with five amazing young people that not only made an impact on all of us at the convention, they made a difference in my life forever.
After I was asked to be the closing keynote at the convention, I thought of the message I wanted to share. They wanted me to focus on the voice of our young people. I would share the voice of my students at Van Meter including those of Gunner, Hagan, and Luke. But I wanted to also include the voice of students in other parts of Iowa.
They all have something to share!
I asked my friend Jimmy Casas, who is the principal at Bettendorf High School if I could bring a few of his students.....they are doing amazing things there!
He sent my new friends Chelsea, James, Ryan....
and Archie to share their voice.
I also asked my wonderful friend Ian from Waukee High School.....They just had to hear his story about the Iowa Student Learning Institute that he co-founded two years ago.
As we prepared for the conference the weeks before, I was so inspired by their stories and how they are making a difference. They all had stories I couldn't wait for the Iowa school board members, administrators and educators to hear.
Above is the video of our closing keynote from that day. I hope that you take the time to watch, listen, and take in the message that we shared.
And remember that we all have the chance to listen to the voice of our young people.
We have the power to let them be heard within their classrooms and libraries, to make a difference in their lives, education, and the world.