EdmodoCon 2015: Meet Speaker Randy Fairfield
Posted by: Amanda Zeligs
Randy Fairfield teaches Language Arts and Social Studies to a diverse student population, and over the past seven years, has worked with migrants learning English, students at-risk of dropping out, and students being homeschooled. To further his practice, Fairfield’s Master’s Degree in Teaching will soon be accompanied by a National Board Certification. His passion for education is shared by his wife of 11 years, who’s an elementary teacher. Together, they’re raising three children and the largest Dominique Wilkins basketball card collection the world.
Every student has goals and dreams, and from 9:45 am–10:30 am PST, Fairfield will tell EdmodoCon attendees how to tap into them during his Culture of Caring: Building a Support Community With Students & Parents session. With tools to personalize learning and encourage parental involvement, tune in to watch how Edmodo gives you the flexibility to communicate one-on-one, tailor opportunities to an individual’s interests, reduce dropout rates, and position both students and teachers for success.
What inspired you to apply to speak at EdmodoCon?
Because Edmodo helped me transform from an average teacher to an excellent teacher. I wanted to “spread the love,” had shared about Edmodo at a few other conferences, and always received the same response from fellow educators: “Why isn’t everyone doing this?!?” I applied to speak at EdmodoCon because I felt sharing the way I use Edmodo might help other teachers.
How did you feel when you found out you were selected?
Believe it or not I wasn’t all that surprised! I knew the odds were against me because there are a so many people that apply, but I put a lot of effort and passion into my presentation proposal and somehow I just knew that would shine through.
What’s the one thing you hope people take away from your EdmodoCon presentation?
I hope it is an ability to see how Edmodo and technology in general can be used to deepen relationships.
Why did you become an educator?
This is kind of embarrassing, but I entered into the teacher prep program largely because there weren’t any other courses available for me to take in my history major. It was at that point that I started to think a bit more seriously about what I wanted to do after I graduated and I realized that education was something that I valued deeply.
What do you like most about being an educator?
There are so many things. My colleagues are great. The content I get to teach is great. Getting to challenge students to become critical thinkers is especially great. But at the end of the day, the best part about being an educator is being a spark plug. There are few greater feelings than knowing that you helped to provide the spark that helped a student enjoy your content area for the first time, or helped a student realize they could be successful, or helped a student decide what they want to be when they grow up.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from another educator?
The best of advice I’ve received from another educator was early in my career when I was listening to a couple of senior teachers converse over lunch. They were talking about how they would know when it’s time to quit when they didn’t feel like they cared anymore. That conversation helped me realize that caring is at the heart of education.
What have your students taught you?
That everyone has a story and that there are reasons that underlie everything we do. With that in mind, my students have helped me to see people as diverse individuals with diverse needs.
What’s the first thing you do when you get home from school?
Put on some music and sing and dance with my two-year old.
- Food: Seafood – except for oysters
- Movie: Lord of the Rings Trilogy
- TV Show(s): Everybody Loves Raymond
- Music: John Michael Talbot
- Book: The Bible
- Superpower: Uh…Telepathy?
- Quote: “Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something…That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.” –Samwise Gamgee
Three things I could never live without: