Meet Shannon M Miller

Connected Educator Summit: Introducing Shannon Mc Clintock Miller 
As part of Syba Academy's Connected Educator Summit we interviewed Shannon McClintock Miller to get to know her.

Q1. Where are you from?
Originally, Shellsburg, a small farming community in Iowa. For the past fifteen years I lived in Van Meter, a small rural community in Iowa. Now, I live in Denver, Colorado.

Q2. Who do you work for?
For eight years I was the K-12 teacher librarian at Van Meter Community School. This past July, I left my job there to pursue speaking, consulting, and writing full time. 

(Shannon is involved in a whole host of different initiatives and plays an important role in a number of premier educational organisations, for a full list, see her LinkedIn profile.)

Q3. Tell us a bit about yourself – how did you get to where you are today?
I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in elementary education and art. I then stayed home to raise my three children for thirteen years. When my youngest was a baby I got the teacher librarian [position] in Van Meter and went back to uni to earn my masters in library science. I was so excited about getting this job because I wanted to make a difference within our school for the young people and teachers, and also within our community. Within the first year in this position, the library became the heart of the school and I started to connect our community to others around the world through social media, technology and other experiences.

Q4. What do you plan to share with us at Syba Academy’s Connected Educator Summit?
We are going to start the day by focusing how to Be The Change You Want To See In Education. In this presentation I will focus on major shifts within education and the library including collections, social media, technology, advocacy, collaboration, spaces, the maker movement and so much more. We will also learn about several amazing digital tools and how they bring excitement, creativity, and collaboration to your students, teachers, and schools. We will end the day talking about bringing a voice to the library and classroom through Makerspaces. It will be packed with so much learning and sharing...I can't wait to get to know everyone and create something wonderful during these days together.

Q5. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
During my first year of teaching I was thinking of a brand for our library...something to tie our library, blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. all together. One of my students, who was in eighth grade at the time, looked at me and said, "Well you always tell us to have a voice, let's name it the Van Meter Voice. You have made me feel like my voice is important every day." Something that I just did naturally with young people turned into our motto within the library and throughout the school. I always remember that.

We, as teachers and librarians, need to constantly empower the young people we work with every day to have a voice. And not just the students, we do as well. Through advocacy, collaboration, and leadership we can make a difference.

Q6. What are some of your career highlights?
The best part of my job was being able to work with the young people at Van Meter...especially my own children Brianna, Brady and Hagan. I loved being able to make a difference in the students lives and to help them find their passions and voice. Another highlight was being able to be a leader within our school community and change the way we were doing things at Van Meter. We were a very innovative school with lots of amazing things going on, this made all the difference to our students education and within their lives.

A few very special highlights for me as a teacher and personally were presenting several times with students including at the K12 Online Conference, Iowa Governors Bullying Summit, and the Iowa Association of School Board Member Conference. Being named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in 2014 and the Skype Education Ambassador were special highlights too.

Q7. What inspires you?
There are a lot of things that inspire me. The first being young people. To see them excited about creating, learning, sharing, and being engaged with the world around them, that inspires me. I love seeing them get excited about the authors and books they love, I love seeing them create with new digital tools and resources, I love seeing them find their passions and voice.

The second being learning by children, adults, parents, anyone. We live in a world that is constantly changing so we all need to be constant learners. It is exciting to see this, I love all of the collaboration and sharing that goes on among us as educators and learners and with social media, it is constant.

The third is creativity. We all have this inside of us and we have it all around us at all times. With books, creative tools, technology, eContent, social media and so many others platforms it is always at our fingertips. We need to think outside of the box. Where can creativity take our libraries? Where can it take our learners? Where can it take us? That definitely inspires me.

Connect with Shannon...

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