Heroes quest for knowledge and crave adventure. Their journeys consist of trials—tests of strength, skill, resourcefulness, and endurance. With each challenge, heroes are expected to be courageous, take calculated risks, and prove their worthiness. Fortunately, heroes find mentors—teachers who provide guidance, wisdom, and feedback during training, and help each hero recognize their unique gifts. While heroes appear superhuman, they must face the truth: like all humans, heroes are flawed. The greatest adversity is self-doubt, a conflicted mind, the temptation to give up. Heroes must look inward to conquer their darkest fears. Only then may they return to impact society and leave a legacy. What would school look like if “learners” replaced “heroes” in this session description? Find out directly from my heroes—my students—who helped create this session. When we empower learners, we unleash their superpowers. Accept the call to adventure. Join our hero’s journey on a quest to personalize learning.
Brian Durst (@RESP3CTtheGAME)
Grafton School District
Brian has been gathering wisdom from colleagues and creating memories with students for two decades in his learner-centered clubhouse. He and his students learn with a purpose everyday by asking, “What if? Why not? and So What?” Brian perseveres on a quest to promote a culture of learning through innovative engagement strategies, healthy assessment practices, and empowering learners. He was the recipient of the 2015 Herb Kohl Fellowship Award for his ability to inspire a love of learning in students and motivate others, and for leadership within and outside the classroom. After years of exploring PBL, differentiation, genius hour, and gamification, he is currently working with a personalized learning model in high school communication arts. Brian seeks opportunities to network with other educators, share experiences, and advocate for students. He is a proud father of two, husband, varsity baseball coach, and English department chair at Grafton High School.