In 2007, I embarked on a blogging journey to shed light on the deplorable learning conditions faced by my students at the K-6 neighborhood public school I worked at in Philadelphia. Subsequently, in preparation for my first ISTE/NECC conference in Washington, DC, I joined Twitter as @mbteach and quickly became enamored with social media and connecting with educators around the world who were integrating new technologies into their classrooms and pushing my thinking on what teaching and learning could look like. Blogging and social media provided me with a platform to share my experiences, initiate dialogue, and reflect on various educational topics, further enriching my practice. It was this work that led to my book, Digital and Media Literacy in the Age of the Internet: Practical Classroom Applications, which was released in November 2019.
My contributions to the education community have been recognized through various accolades. In 2010, I was honored as one of ISTE’s Emerging Leaders, followed by being named an ASCD Emerging Leader and PAECT’s Teacher of the Year in 2013. Additionally, I served as the Treasurer of the Edcamp Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Edcamp movement across the nation. Most recently I was named one of Technically Philly’s REALList Connectors of 2023, which recognized me for connecting my students with the local business community in my classroom and through the business pitch competition my students participated in at Drexel University.
I have also been building a new school model for Philadelphia called Walkabout Philadelphia–an experiential school modeled after the Walkabout School I attended in high school. The pandemic shone a light on many of the ways that schools have been missing the mark and it has become evident that something has to give in how we do school. This passion for student-centered, experiential education that gives students the confidence, independence, self-efficacy and skills they need to lead successful adult lives led me to pursue my principal certification at Slippery Rock University and to pursue a future role as a school leader.