Rise of the CelebriTeacher

22 June 2015







I'm here to tell you it's okay to think of teachers as celebrities. 

-It's okay to be impressed. 
-It's perfectly acceptable to obsess over a teacher's blog post that warms your soul.  
-Unadulterated excitement when a new lesson is created or tip is shared for integrating interactive notebooks is allowed. 
-Don't suppress your inner-child giddiness.  
-Just admit you have your own favorite celebriteachers.
-I do.

There's an interesting phenomenon that's taking place in the educational community where teachers are transformed into celebriteachers. Just like Kimye or Bennifer, I took the words celebrity and teacher, mashed them together, and created the CELEBRITEACHER. Official definition below:



Celebriteachers are a good thing.  Actually,  they're a great thing.  They might be the heroes that we need based on the way education is treated these days. Celebriteachers motivate and captivate, they make us stretch our ability to think and teach. They make us want to be better teachers.

Easily defined, a teacher that other teachers admire or find motivation from is the essence of a celebriteacher. Almost everyday I hear/read/partake in discussions about celebriteachers around the globe that are affecting thousands of classrooms. 

We've entered a time where we (teachers) are more interested in other teachers than the most recent issue of InTouch.  Teachers even have their own fashion blogs with What Are You Wearing link-ups.

Celebriteachers are everywhere from a teacher on your grade level team to someone that has 90k followers on Facebook.  Their presence  and size may vary but you (and me) look up to them because they energize your inner craving to be the best you can. These celebriteachers fit your sensibilities.  

I'm old enough to recognize that typical celebrities don't do it for me anymore. (Except for maybe Channing and Pratt, they're family guys like me). I'm not enticed by sports and movie stars, I find no interest in them.  I like their work, but that's about it.  Long ago is the day when I used to record Entertainment Tonight on the VCR.  

BUT I LOVE discovering a teacher that challenges my teaching and makes me want to grow. I've got quite a few celebriteachers that I need to get an autograph from, but I'll get to that later. 


Ten years ago, this isn't even a topic of discussion, which is sad because because our professional learning network probably only consisted of teachers at our school or districts. That has all changed with social media and the access that teachers have with one another. And it's not just the access, it's the sharing, collaborating, and imagination. 

As more teachers turn to blogs, TeachersPayTeachers, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter we're seeing the endless numbers of teachers that bring fresh ideas and unlimited possibilities. These teachers find their niche and dig deep, materials they're producing from content to products and even interactions.  More teachers are being recognized throughout this teaching community and creating a buzz about themselves and they're ideas. It's exciting.

Accessing social media creates interconnectivity.  Ten years ago it would be unheard of to interact with teachers in Australia, England, and Africa (all on a daily basis), but now it's commonplace.  Social media is what you make of it.  Teachers make good use of if.

Go follow Laura Candler, LuckeyFrog's Lilypad, or Learning With Mrs. Leeby on Facebook.  Look at the content they're sharing or ideas they're discussing.  Check out Ideas by Jivey, Tried It Tuesday by the Fourth Grade Flipper, and the amazing ThinkerBuilder.  This is just a tiny sample size of the access these celebriteachers have shared with us.  There are (literally) thousands of others out there too.

Here's some more...
Teaching in the Early Years
Education to the Core
One Lesson at a Time
The Schroeder Page
Tales from Outside the Classroom
FlapJack Educational Resources
Hippo Hooray for Second Grade
The Brown Bag Teacher
Teaching With Love and Laughter
Miss Vs Busy Bees
Kathy Griffin Teaching Strategies
Primary Inspired
Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade
Crayonbox Learning
From the Pond
The Cornerstone For Teachers
Growing Firsties
Fifth in the Middle
The Write Stuff Teaching

My other favorite thing about celebriteachers: they're accessible. You can follow them, ask questions, and interact because they are really people too. They don't have stylists and assistants following them around all day.  Plus, they won't charge 50 bucks for a photo and an autograph. If you're lucky enough, you might even be able call them your friend. (and not in the creepy stalker-friend type way).

Luckily, I'm a consumer and curator of the information they're providing.  I will drink their milkshakes (movie reference).



The tide is turning. As educators we're recognizing the need for moving past the multi-billion dollar corporations of Pearson and going straight to the source: Teachers in the classroom.  What a great concept!  Teachers at the ground level doing the heavy work.

Celebriteachers represent the changing of the guards.  We use these teachers to further our own teaching, learning, and professional/personal growth.  I don't need the Pearson corporation to tell me what I should use to teach a standard.  I've got my favorite celebriteachers that have already shown me.

Think of this as a gigantic food web of teachers where we all feed off of one another's ideas.  Ideas are consumed and regurgitated into classrooms and tailored to fit specific needs.  Within this web we also find more celebriteachers to follow and rave about. It's a never-ending circle of life.


Dave Burgess writes about Reticular Activating System (RAS) in his book, Teach Like a Pirate.  RAS involves your neurological system picking up "thoughts, images, words, people, and places that you never noticed before...suddenly, your mental radio (RAS)--it's tuned into your subject of interest."  Which is exactly what happens when you begin following celebriteachers, you're tuned in to a whole new community you didn't even realized existed. Then the realization hits, "there is so much much out there."

Call me melodramatic and overaly optimistic (I don't care), but I look forward to what they'll do next. I think we might need TMZedu to keep me updated. 


One of the biggest gripes I've heard sitting in faculty meetings deals with professional development.  Lack of time, topics, and access.  Those are the three main points.  Okay.

Let me tell you, when you've got a couple of celebriteachers filling your bucket on a regular basis--all is well.  My professional growth and development is at an all-time high with the content produced.  

Implement Technology, check!
Daily 5 integration, check!
Apps for writing, check!
Mentor writing pieces, check!
CCSS 867.5309, check!  (not a really standard, but if it was it'd be covered)
QR Codes, got it!
Blogging tutorial, yup.
LEGOS in the classroom, uh-huh.
Power of positive relationships between students and teachers, done.
(These were topics I just pulled off of my FB feed).

The rise of Celebriteachers has impacted education in percentages that aren't quite quantifiable.  This is data you can't really correlate to a number, sorry research based enthusiasts--you just gotta trust me.

And just wait, because more is coming.  Pretty soon we'll be discussing and raving about a a teacher giving a TedTalk...and it will be dynamic.  Something and someone new hits the radar that will cause us to rethink and rec

Ciera of Adventures of Room 129 recently wrote an article Blogging Doesn't Make Me A Better Teacher. It was perfect.  From her post:

Blogging has made me become a life long learner.   Before I was a blogger, I was a blog stalker.  Being a blog stalker, this led me to a multitude of educational articles that I read, the latest researched based instructional practices, and cutting edge technology advances in the classroom.
Blog stalking your favorite teachers ignites something in you.  You want to be on the front line.  You want to make a difference.  You want to throw yourself out there.  You want to grow.  You want to be.  You feel energized.

We teach in tumultuous times.  New initiatives. More testing. Worsening economic structures.  These all hang over us.  Then something phenomenal happens.  We turn on the computer, pull out our phones, and suddenly we forget about everything outside of our control.  Why?  It's because we see teachers doing amazing things.  


And we like it.  

And we like them.  
And we're enamored with it all.  
And then, we do it.

When I first began these are a couple of the people that became celebriteachers to me:

Kate at Purely paperless. She had one of the first in-class technology blogs that I started reading. Some of her posts jumpstarted plenty of ideas with my students.  Not to mention, she answered plenty of silly questions I had about blogs. 

Greg at Kindergarten Smorgasbord:  The first time I visited his site I was blown away...so many mustaches and a man-blogger in kindergarten! The man is fearless. I have no clue how he does it all and the ideas are endless. 

Susanna and her Whimsy Workshop. She is quite possibly one of the nicest people I have ever spoken with. Her in-class art ideas and how she focuses on the whole child are incredible. Seriously, I wish my own kids could have her as a teacher. 

Condensed Version (Too Long; Didn't Read [TL;DR]):  More teachers are being recognized, celebrated, and followed like a celebrity on TMZ.  This is a good thing.  


So, a question still remains for you.  Who is your favorite celebriteacher?
Don't worry, we all have them.




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42 comments:

  1. I am honored that I got a mention in this FANTASTIC post! You rock, Matt. My celebriteachers are Joanne from Head Over Heels For Teaching and Blair Turner!!! :)
    xoxo
    Jivey
    (Will you be in Vegas? I feel like we've talked about this...)

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    1. Awww Jivey, you're the sweetest! You just made my day (year)!! You're mine too!
      ~Joanne
      Head Over Heels For Teaching

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  2. I am literally sitting with my jaw open that you think to include me with the group of people in this post, however, THANK YOU. I do, however, think YOU deserve to be in that list! I love that through blogging we're able to connect locally, nationally, and internationally to make our teaching better and connect with each other. I only wish that we could work together to change education from the top down and get those politicians to understand.

    My favorite CelebriTeacher is Blair Turner. I love everything she does! My first CelebriTeacher was Cara from the First Grade Parade. I found her blog, and then TpT, via her food/home blog There are so many people I consider CelebriTeachers, though!

    Tessa

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  3. Great post, Matt! I have so many blog favs that it just wouldn't be fair to try and name them!

    -Sarah
    A Rocky Top Teacher

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  4. This post was way too fun to read and just so true! It needs to end up in an education magazine somewhere- so positive and uplifting for all us teachers out there!
    Aylin :)
    Learning to the Core

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    1. Thank You! There's just so much great stuff out there from so many excellent teachers. I'm in constant awe.
      Matt

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    1. It's my new favorite word. I will use it repeatedly and often.
      Matt

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  7. This is a great post and so very true. These celebriteachers are ones I 'stalk' and look up to and want to glean ideas from. They up my inspiration too!

    I love Megan from I Teach What's Your SuperPower, Sandy from ELA Everyday, Lindsey from Miss Johnstons Journey, Jameson from Lesson With Coffee, Learning in Wonderland, Learning To Be Awesome, and SO MANY MORE!

    Anisa @ Creative Undertakings

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  8. Well, love the verbage! It will be the highlight as I walk around Vegas for the TpT Conference ;) I wish I could name all my favorite celebriteacher but the list would be WAY too long!

    Sparkling in Second

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  9. How amazing is this post??!! I love the word CELEBRITEACHER! You're genius Matt! What a motivating post for teachers! And, you're right, it makes us all better, and we will continue to grow together!
    ~Joanne
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

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  10. Love this post! So many amazing teachers in this post! Thank you for coming up with such an awesome word too! I too have many amazing teachers in my life!! Thanks to this amazing world of TPT I have been able to meet and be inspired by so many!!

    Mrs. 3rd Grade 

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  11. Gosh, I've reread...and reread...and reread your post. It is so true!! Going to blogger meetups is like Comicon (is that how you spell it?) for teachers! The tide IS turning, and I am so glad to be riding the wave! And drinking the milkshakes. :-)
    By the way, I think Celebriteacher is going to be a HOT phrase now and will all over Insta before the week is out!!

    ~Debbi
    3rd Grade Pad

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  12. Awesome post and so true! I went to a conference last fall and Jennifer Smith-Sloane from 4Mula Fun was there. I took my picture with her!! The Science Penguin was supposed to be at her booth as well but wasn't there at that time. I swear I walked by the booth 5 or 6 times so I could meet her. I finally stopped because I was afraid they would think I was stalking them! To be serious though, I couldn't agree more with what you said about improving our teaching. With all the increasing pressures on educators trying to actually educate, it is exciting to read blogs with teachers sharing the "good stuff" they are accomplishing in their classrooms.
    Thanks for posting this!

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  13. What a great post - such an encouraging way to honor the teachers you interact with and admire. Thanks for writing this, Matt! :)

    ~Jessica
    Joy in the Journey

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  14. What an honor to be included here! I can honestly say that my teaching these past three years has been more creative and exciting that the previous thirteen because of everything I learned from stalking, er... reading, my favorite celebriteacher blogs. And getting to know some of those celebriteachers on a personal level has truly been a blessing!

    I am also going to add another celebriteacher - Kristen from Ladybug's Teacher Files. I have a huge organizational crush on her! I can remember the first few times she commented on my posts I ran screaming around my house in excitement. Let's be honest - I still do that ;)

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  15. I love this, Matt! And I can't begin to imaging the amount of time and energy that you put into this post! See you in a couple weeks! :)
    Greta

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  16. Fantastic post Matt!! It is an amazing community full of inspiration and encouragement. I have definitely grown as a teacher because of the time I have invested in reading blogs. I am grateful for all of the celbriteachers who have helped me expand my teaching horizons.

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  17. Matt,
    I am humbled that you included me in your list of celebriteachers. There are so many awesome teachers out there and my teaching has improved tremendously through sharing, reading and collaborating on-line. What an amazing post that reflects all of that and more. I most definitely include you in this list - your PBL resources are amazing! Thank you again my friend.

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  18. Well, don't forget to mention your own blog in the list! What a kind way to shout out to the teacher blogs you enjoy. :) Learning from others on the Internet has totally saved me as a teacher. (And your title dividers texts are beautiful!)

    FlapJack

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  19. Great post and fun word! My celebriteachers are jivey, Jen Jones and Tanny McGregor!

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  20. What a great post! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. My favorite celebriteachers (love this word) are the ones on my team at school. I couldn't ask for any better! As far as favorites in the blogging community... There are far too many for me to list, and I am extremely grateful for that! I can not believe how much my own teaching has improved since I entered the wonderful world of blogging!

    Mary
    Fit to be Fourth

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  21. What a fun post this is!! I am seeing these all over and LOVE reading about so many awesome celebriteachers!! I wonder if we can get this new word into the dictionary! ;)

    ~Erin
    Mrs. Beattie's Classroom

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  22. Celebriteachers! YES! YES! YES! This could quite honestly be one of my favorite posts that I have read in awhile! I'm off to share this on my Facebook page, love it! BTW, I can't wait to meet you in Vegas! 2 more weeks!
    Lucky Little Learners

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  23. Okay I adore this post!!!!!! Thank you for writing this, Matt! As teacher bloggers, we should be proud of what we share and contribute to the teaching community. So many celebriteachers have helped me find innovative ways to meet me kids' needs. You rock for writing this!!! :) :) :) :)

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    2. Well..Thank You! I definitely think we should be proud of all the wonderful teachers and innovators out there--sometimes it seems to get lost in the shuffle with all the initiatives and changes thrown at educators. I love me some #celebriteachers!
      Matt

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  24. my* kids' needs (oops, typo!) :) :)

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  25. Hey Matt... WOW.. I was so blown away by this post, and honored that you mentioned my Blog. Which is always a work in progress. Thank you! There are so many talented and unique CelebriTeachers out there. You are actually one of the CelebriTeachers that I follow and admire from afar. Your Project Based Learning resources are so creative, which leads to happy learners! I am a huge fan of unique/creativity and you have that in abundance! Mel from Graphics from the Pond is also someone that I admire for her creativity and artistry. Greg from Kindergarten Smorgasboard was also mentioned by others. I would have loved to have had a teacher like him when I was in grade school. I had some learning challenges, and I think if I had Mr. Greg for a teacher I would have been more confident as a kid and not so shy about the challenges that I had. Thank you again so much for this awesome post! I truly made my heart smile. :)
    Danielle
    Crayonbox Learning

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  26. I LOVE this new and inspiring word that you have created. So many amazing points are made- VALID points that I simply have read and reread this post. Thanks for the time and energy you put into sharing. I can only imagine that this idea is going to snowball.
    Keep up the good work Matt! YOU ROCK!
    -John, Created by MrHughes

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  27. WOW! I am so honored to be mentioned in your post, Matt. However, I do think you're forgetting someone... YOU! I love learning about how you incorporate technology in your classroom! You've definitely inspired me.

    Thanks SO much!
    Angela :)
    Hippo Hooray for Second Grade!

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  28. Wow! Thank you for mentioning my blog in this post. I am so honored. I am in awe of the amazing bloggers/teachers/celebriteachers I have met through Face Book, blogs, Twitter, and at conferences everywhere. You are so right about collaborating with teachers from all over the world. I remember the first time Mel - Graphics from the Pond left me a message. Wow - seriously across the world. Some of my closest friends/teachers/inspiration live many, many miles away from me. Hello Christina @ Miss Decarbo Sugar and Spice! Hello Vanessa @ Pre-K Pages. This new adventure really brings collaboration to a whole new level. Thank you for what you do everyday to inspire others.

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  29. WOW, Matt!!! This post is amazing and I LOVE the "circle of life" analogy. So true! I am so honored that you mentioned me. Oh my goodness! YOU are one of my celebriteachers!! Your quirky humor and innovative ideas are out of this world. I read by the comments above that you will be in Vegas?!? What?? We can meet! I'm rooming with Joanne and I can't wait to meet you in person! I might pass out! Hahaha :) :)
    ~Holly
    Fourth Grade Flipper

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  30. Haha! I love it! I'd watch TMZedu for sure! I think it's time we have our own red carpet awards show.
    ~Heather
    The Meek Moose

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  31. I think a reality show shoud be based off of celebriteachers!
    Alison
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

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  34. After seeing you over the past week, I now have a new celebriteacher myself! #wealladorematt.

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  35. Love your writing style. Actually, I came to your page b/c of a post you had made on Instagram on a discussion that is making some people upset. Either way, again - I love your writing. While I still NEED to grab InStyle or UsMagazine here and there, I will agree there are many amazing teachers out there. They inspire us; they make us better.

    Kelly
    www.learningintwolanguages.com

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