Vanessa Bianchi
Educator and learner. The opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the York Region District School Board.

A mosaic of creativity, learning and dreaming.

When I was a young girl one of my favourite books was Anne of Green Gables. I loved almost everything about Anne but my favorite part was always her relationship with Diana, her best friend and kindred spirit. In education there is an ebb and flow of best practices that run the gamut from completely teacher-directed to more fluid models, such as Inquiry-Based Learning. Because of this rapid ebb and flow it can sometimes be difficult to find one’s teaching kindred spirit, fortunately for me, I have found three!

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Four-ever inspired was born from the friendships and connections that I have been fortunate to make over the last six years of teaching in the public education system. I have spent much of this time engrossed in learning, driven by the desire to see student’s love for creating thrive. As my passion for sharing these experiences has grown, I have found great value in the shared insight of my peers as they experience and interact with the world around them.

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After every workshop or successful lesson I would seek out other educators to bounce ideas off of, to discuss my next steps, to share failures and attempts and to celebrate the many victories that we, as educators, are so privileged to see within our classrooms every day. This professional dialogue was so valuable, I wanted feedback, I wanted to hear about what other teachers were experiencing and I wanted to know what students were saying within the walls of their classrooms. What I soon learned was that I wasn’t the only one in my peer circles looking for that same type of ongoing dialogue.

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Screenshot_2015-03-02-15-07-37_1My desire to collaborate with others lead me into multiple lunch-time discussions with Our Kindergarten Journey’s, Jocelyn Schmidt. While at our previous school, Jocelyn and I chatted almost daily about the many exciting things going on in our respective classrooms each day. It was easy to see the excitement and thrill that Jocelyn brought to teaching and watching her students learn and grow, we became quick friends. She is always eager to share and brainstorm anything from classroom setup to math lessons, an invaluable resource.

Screenshot_2015-03-02-15-07-27_1Trista Dutt of Kindie Korner and I first became friends through Instagram. I couldn’t resist all the beautifully and thoughtfully laid out provocations I saw each day, each photograph telling a beautiful narrative of the quality of work being done in her classroom. We had many mutual teaching friends but did not get an opportunity meet face-to-face until recently. Trista and I share similar ideologies and philosophies about teaching and I certainly feel as though I’ve known her for many years.

Screenshot_2015-03-02-15-07-24_1It was through Jocelyn that I was introduced to the brilliant work of Transform Ed’s Joanne Babalis. Beyond just the colour and sheer beauty of the spaces that Joanne was creating within the walls of her classroom, she was also so alive with passion and the desire to see what children could do. To my delight, Joanne ended up being the teacher-librarian at the new school that we both opened this year! Serendipitous, right? Again, many lunch-time discussions ensued and stirred up talk that we might begin to bring together like-minded educators to see what type of ideas we could dream up. Our very own passion project coming to life!

Four-ever Inspired is a group of four educators and friends who came together with a common desire to search for innovative educational experiences and design strategies. Follow our journey as we collaborate and share our unique perspectives and personalities. Four-ever Inspired hope to take you on a journey of art, classroom design, inquiry and so much more. We are so excited to share this partnership with you.

Reflectively Yours,

FourEver Inspired
#4EverInspired

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Special Feature: What do the ladies of Four-Ever Inspired carry with them? Check out their personal blogs to find that out and so much more!

Jocelyn Schmidt has her Bachelor of Education in Primary/Junior divisions, her Intermediate qualifications and Reading Specialist. She is currently teaching her fourth year of FDK and is excited to be a Learning@Schools Classroom for a second year. Jocelyn is excited to be teaching at a brand new school this year, Robert Munsch Public School, since it is also a unique  K-3 school in our board. She is passionate about the early years, play and learning through inquiry and is an innovative explorer of technology to promote 21st Century learners.

To see what was in Four-Ever Inspired, Jocelyn Schmidt’s bag continue reading at, Our Kindergarten Journey.

Trista Dutt has a degree in Early Childhood Education, as well as her Bachelor of Education in Primary/Junior divisions, Intermediate Qualification and Kindergarten Specialist. She is currently in her fifth year of FDK at Moraine Hills Public School, where she is a K-2 Lead Teacher and Learning@Schools Classroom. She is passionate about the early years and enjoys exploring the world of play- and inquiry-based learning.

To see what was in Four-Ever Inspired, Trista Dutt’s bag continue reading at, Kindie Korner

Joanne Marie Babalis is a Teacher-Librarian, Early Years/Inquiry Lead Teacher, PhD student, and Kindergarten Additional Qualification instructor at York University.  She is passionate about designing spaces that inspire inquiry-based learning and creative innovation for twenty-first century learners.  Her blog, “TransformEd: Transforming our Learning Environment into a Space of Possibilities” continues to reach educators throughout Canada and beyond.  With each post, she hopes to make visible the power of inquiry, as well as the strong potential of all learners.

To see what was in Four-Ever Inspired, Joanne Babalis’ bag continue reading at, My Classroom Transformation

What’s In My Bag?

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What do you bring to a meeting with new people?

Pictured: Zara tartan blanket scarf, Shopbando “I am very busy” pencil case, Kate Spade NY file folders, Ipad Mini with Kate Spade NY case, S’well water bottle, Chanel lipgloss, Prada Wallet, The Art of Tinkering, Visible Learners, Macbook Pro, Ted Baker pencil case, Archidoodle

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  1. Erica:
    Excited to see what you ladies produce together!
  2. vanessa bianchi:
    Thanks Erica! Excitement is definitely in the air!
  3. vanessa bianchi:
    Just realized that this is my 10th post! Thank you #4everinspired for sharing this with me!
  4. Elsie:
    The passion that the four of you emanate is absolutely amazing and inspiring! I was feeling a bit burnt out and while I knew I still loved teaching, I was getting worried that I was starting to get "stale" in my practice. Thank you for your wonderful posts and for re-igniting my passion! Hello, Joanne, by the way!! :)
  5. vanessa bianchi:
    Elsie, that's fantastic! We are thrilled to be teaming up, look for #4everinspired's next post and collaboration!
  6. […] putting out exploratory materials that honoured who they were as learners. Trista has since become a friend, mentor and inspiration, so it was a given that I would call on her expertise in this […]
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