Be Intentional In Everything

There are so meany reasons to follow the incredible Kansas City Public Schools Digital Learning Team consisting of educators Andrea Cook, Jeramie Davis, and Joe Jarrett and if you watch our conversation, you’ll definitely see it for yourself. But the way they have been intentional in forming a Digital Learning Team, making a personalized professional development roadmap for their district, and then sharing it with the world is what truly inspires me. 

The Intentional Team

When it came to forming a team two years ago, this trio had some baggage. However, they used their wisdom of forming strong relationships and decided to get over themselves and find a way to like each other! They took personality surveys and got to know each other’s families. They recognized the strengths that each of them brought to the table, and now they share the credit and success as a team. They also share this dynamic with the teachers in their district whom they mentor. They know that part of the learning process is failure and they intentionally prove that they have each other’s backs through it all. 

From front to back: Jeramie Davis, Andrea Cook, Joe Jarrett

The Intentional Plan

They wanted a professional development system that would meet the unique needs of the teachers they served. So they intentionally sought out educators at conferences and in other districts with PD plans that worked, and took the pieces they liked and ideas they had to make something that would empower their own colleagues after assessing needs. They knew what had failed in the past, and they were intentional about starting something different. 

They were especially intentional about facing the wrong and detrimental assumptions that students and teachers in their district were under-performing.  They embraced being top-notch leaders knowing that belief system would also transfer to the teachers and students in their community.  It did. In two years, they went from extremely low to non-existent professional development to a thriving personalized plan that helped their district be ready for remote learning! They were essential before it was essential to be essential!! That’s what happens when you are intentional. 

Being Intentional in Sharing

The DLT Team knows that the help and wisdom that others offered them was part of their success in helping change the professional development system in their district. So one more area they are being intentional is how they want to help others.  Isn’t that how it should be everywhere? So follow Andrea, Jeramie, and Joe.  They’re good people, educators, and digital leaders. The best kind of edtech is the kind that brings us all together. When our leaders intentionally put this into place, it transfers to all the people they serve and the Kansas City Public Schools Digital Learning Team illustrates this in every way.

About The Author

@mjmcalliwrites is also a KC Royals & Chiefs Fan!

Melody McAllister is a wife, mother of five, educator, and author. She and her family relocated to Alaska from the Dallas area in 2019.  McAllister is 2017 Garland NAACP Educator of the Year and author of the I’m Sorry Story, a children’s book about taking responsibility for mistakes and making sincere apologies.  She is also the Logistics Manager for EduMatch Publishing.  McAllister has spoken at ISTE and ASTE about equity issues in education, and writes about her journey in her blog,

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