EdmodoCon 2015: Meet Speaker Kathy Pittinger
Posted by: Amanda Zeligs
Before becoming a teacher, Kathy Pittinger earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin, got a Master’s from the American Graduate School of International Management, and spent 15 years working in international business in the Caribbean. A lifelong learner, Pittinger now focuses on giving students the tools and strategies they need to explore the world. In her 12 years as a Gifted & Talented elementary teacher, Pittinger has continually strived to acquire and apply new skills to enhance student learning.
During her No Passport Required: Global Classroom Collaboration in Action panel from 8:00 am–8:45 am PST, Pittinger will show EdmodoCon viewers how she uses language as an opportunity to give students a new way to express themselves. Tune in to watch Pittinger discuss how she translates their worldview by pairing bilingual 4th and 5th graders with students in other countries, and to see project-based best practices that can help increase communication, collaboration, and cultural awareness in your classroom.
What inspired you to apply to speak at EdmodoCon?
I want to share the excitement and enthusiasm that was generated as my students collaborated with students from all over the globe these past few years on various projects. It’s my desire to encourage fellow educators to develop plans to communicate with international students and collaborate on unlimited types of projects via platforms such as Edmodo, Google Docs, and Skype. I hope to show it’s not hard to participate in these types of projects. It just takes perseverance and hard work.
How did you feel when you found out you were selected?
I was shocked! I was so excited. I still am. I can’t believe that soon I’ll be sharing my class’ experiences with fellow educators and students from all over the globe. This is an amazing opportunity. I am so grateful that I was chosen to share at this year’s conference.
What’s the one thing you hope people take away from your EdmodoCon presentation?
I hope they’ll be motivated to take risks and try something new. I hope they’ll encourage their students to explore new worlds of possibilities through collaboration with students from other countries and cultures. I hope they’ll discover how diverse, amazing, and exciting the world is right now, and grow to appreciate how rewarding it can be to establish relationships with teachers and students from countries other than their own.
Why did you become an educator?
I am passionate about helping young people identify and develop their strengths and create plans to help them achieve things they did not originally believe they could ever achieve. I am dedicated to helping my students reach their potential through hard work, research, introspection, self-study, improved communication skills, and critical thinking. I can’t imagine spending my life doing anything else. I love facilitating my students’ learning and feel both honored and privileged to be called to this profession.
What do you like most about being an educator?
I love that I have the opportunity to ignite the curiosities of tomorrow’s leaders. I love that I spend my days working to engage my students in ways that stretch their brains and help them to develop to their potential. I love that I have the opportunity to participate in their fascinating growth and develop a relationship with them that lasts well beyond the time that they are in my classroom. I feel like I am part of something much larger than simply teaching a “curriculum.” Together, my fellow educators and I are shaping the future of our world.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from another educator?
Sometimes, even the best plans don’t turn out as we had hoped. Once, someone I respected told me, “Tomorrow is another day.” Thankfully, we always have one more chance. Every day, I encourage my students to do do their best work and I expect the same of myself. Never give up. Always do your best work…but don’t be too hard on yourself when things don’t turn out as you’ve planned. Tomorrow is another day.
What have your students taught you?
That I have so much to learn. I love spending time with my students. I absolutely love growing and learning with them. We are constantly questioning how things work and how we can work together to make this world a better place. Together, we encourage each other to take big risks, try new things, and never give up!
What’s the first thing you do when you get home from school?
Kick off my shoes, find my daughter, and ask her about her day at school. Then, find something to eat.
- Food: Fresh salads!
- Movie: The Incredibles
- TV Show(s): Castle
- Music: Christian
- Book: The Dot by Peter Reynolds and Classroom Habitudes by Angela Maiers
- Superpower: UNLIMITED & NEVER-ENDING ENERGY – I always have one more thing I want to do!
- Quote: “Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.” –Samuel Johnson
Three things I could never live without:
- The Bible
- My family
- The internet!