5 questions with… Kristen Swanson

Inspiration can come from many sources. Sometimes, inspiration may come from reading a book or a blog post, or sometimes by listening to a speaker. I was inspired to start this blog by a conversation with a colleague. In sharing and reflecting on my own learning, I hope to inspire other educators.

Today, Four O’Clock Faculty is proud to introduce a new feature, which will allow us to gain insight from some of the educators who inspire us most. We will invite some of our favorite educators to participate in: 5 questions with…

In asking these five simple questions, we hope to learn about what influences these educators, and how they influence students.

We are fortunate to have Kristen Swanson, Founder of the Edcamp Movement, as our first guest. 

5 Questions with… Kristen Swanson

1. What do you most want your students to take with them from your classroom, school or district?

I want my students to take one thing with them: empowerment. I want them to believe that they can change the world….because they can!

2. What are the most rewarding and/or the most frustrating aspects of education?

The most rewarding aspects of education are seeing your students grow, develop, and exceed your expectations. Kids have the power to amaze.

3. What advice would you give to young teachers?

I would tell young teachers to focus on kids, not content. Strong relationships help kids grow and mature.

4. What has influenced your career the most?

My career has been really influenced by my curious desire to solve problems. I am always wondering what we can change to improve the ways we’re serving kids and connecting communities.

5. As an educator, what are you currently focused on?

I’m currently focused on finding “bright spots” and spreading those practices across systems and districts. I think this is one of the best ways to expand access to highly effective teaching and learning.

Kristen Swanson, Ed.D. is the Senior Director of the Research Institute at BrightBytes, Founder of the Edcamp Movement, Author of Professional Learning in the Digital Age , Author of Teaching the Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards, and an Adjunct Professor. Find more information at:

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