Who has Influenced The Bulldog Educator

In Episode 2, Season 1 of “The Bulldog Educator Podcast” I shared what some of the major influencers were in my life as an educator. The list turned out to be a lot longer than I originally thought.

Why did I share?

  1. I want people to know what has shaped me over the years and that if you are George Elliot- Influencegrowing, learning, and innovating… there must be deep connection… impactful influence.
  2. I really had the one why I just mentioned, but what resulted was immense gratitude for the people over the years, the authors, the social media educational influencers, and the podcasters who gave of their time either directly or indirectly to me, so I could keep becoming a person who impacts others… students, teachers, parents, community members, administrators. I am immensely grateful for those who have been a light to me.
  3. And that resulted in this why… because I want to aspire to be as much of an influencer for others as the influencers I mentioned in my podcast were for me.

Since there were so many I listed in my podcast, I will list 10 from the podcast of authors, social media influencers, and podcasters (I am not linking to my mother or other close friends I mentioned unless they ask me to!)

10 of the Influencers Mentioned in “The Bulldog Educator Podcast, Episode 2, Season 1”:

  1. Joy Kerr, Amazing Edu-Twitter person, Genius Hour Guru, and Author- We’ve never met but I would call her friend for sure. She was instrumental in helping me become a Genius Hour facilitator.
  2. Dave Burgess, author and CEO of Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. introduced me to the idea of why teaching had to be more through his book “Teach Like a Pirate.”
  3. John Hattie’swork and research on the impact of various approaches with student learning. He took the idea of teacher impact on learning to the highest level of research and science, and focused me as an educator regarding what is most important.
  4. The book “Collective Efficacy” by Jenni Donahoo, who was also impacted by Hattie’s work. Her book drove home the importance of connection and collaboration, and how the work of many is so much more powerful and effective than work done in isolation by one.
  5. This next is a group. They are the EduSistas of the Arkansas Education Twitter chat #EduAR. I found them shortly after moving to Arkansas to work for the state virtual school and needed connection. They were immediate in their acceptance of me and continue to encourage me in my work. They each can be found on twitter: Lindsey Bohler, Karen Norton, and Bethany Hill (also known for #JoyfulLeaders).
  6. Where would I be right now if Tina Boogen‘s Book “180 Days of Self-Care” had not found itself in my hands last fall. Her profound and simple approach to self-care has helped me find myself, be able to better care for others, and ultimately value the need to care for myself. (I will mention that she was also the last human I hugged outside of my nuclear family before we went into quarantine… and I am so thankful it was her, I am a hugger and she made that last hug a good one.)
  7. This educational influencer I first met through my seeking to learn more about Genius Hour, then saw him speak (for the first time) at a TCEA conference in Austin, TX in February of 2014. Who is it? George Couros. I have since seen him speak at least a dozen times, collected as many selfies as he will let me when I see him in person, and have read his first book at least five times and am now taking my organization through “Innovator’s Mindset” as a synchronous/asynchronous books study that started in May and will continue into the 2020-2021 school year. He inspired me to write a blog, taught me how to meet people at their point A and be patient about their getting to their point B, and recently he was the impetus for me to stop talking about doing a podcast and just do it. There are a lot of other things I could say about George Couros’ influence, but I will leave it at this, he knows how to take the unidentifiable passion that I can’t name when it comes to what I do as an educator, and name it for me. When a person can name it, they can own it.
  8. The next influencer probably three-fourths of the world also can say she has had an influence on, is Brene’ Brown. At a time when shame was ruining me a few years back, I read “Dare to Lead.” I had intended to read it for professional purposes, but what it led me to was two of her other books, “Daring Greatly” and “Rising Strong.” It helped me to identify why I was transparent with others, but not vulnerable both professionally and personally, and how I had “friends” but not abiding, deep, and meaningful “friendships.” It has changed me both professionally and personally for the better. In addition to that her new podcast, “Unlocking Us” has continued to help me lean into both myself and the world with curiosity.
  9. I also want to mention the discovery of the Enneagram. It has been a game-changer for me being able to meet others with more compassion, and understand the underlying reasons for my own behaviors, too. I have begun to use it to help develop more cohesiveness and a sense of belonging among my teacher collaborative teams, and at the same time helped me do some hard self-study. I am currently reading “The Road Back to You” by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. I began to learn more when last summer I listened to “The Enneagram Summer Series” on the That Sounds Fun Podcast hosted by Annie F. Downs (rumor is there is another series on the Enneagram starting in July), and begun listening to a new podcast called Your Enneagram Coach Podcast by Beth and Jeff McCord. At some point, you will most likely learn my Enneagram number, but we will save that for another time.Screen Shot 2020-06-17 at 8.06.31 PM10. Positive Psychology was missing from my world for a while and then entered “The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon. Since first reading that, I have either read or listened via audiobook to all of his books. They are easy to digest with a “story with a moral” format that is not too on the nose and helps you to reframe negative thoughts and actions. Some of his books can be read in one sitting and others take a few days or weeks, but all are worth it for moving to a positive frame of mind.

Now this list does not include many I mentioned in my podcast, including my mother who was my first teacher and the greatest influence on my life. Nor did I mention my husband, Eric of almost 26 years, or my two amazing children. And of course the many friends, educators, and students who have impacted and influenced me in ways beyond my ability to describe. In all of this, I am grateful and it has reminded me that I have a debt of gratitude to repay toward others.

If you listen to my podcast and wanted the info on something mentioned in there that I didn’t list here, respond in the comments and I will get it to you.

Also, share with me who are some influencers who have left their mark on you? (Please share in the comments)

Published by The Bulldog Educator

Mom of 2, wife of Eric for 25 years, Educator for 20 years. Passionate about everything in life. I love my community. Proud to be a mom, wife, and educator. I write two blogs one is my educational ponderings at my blog "The Bulldog Educator" (www.thebulldogedu.com) and the other is "The Wilson Family Stories at the Razorback Ranch" (www.thewilsonrazorbackranch.com).

2 thoughts on “Who has Influenced The Bulldog Educator

  1. Kirsten, I’m soooooo glad you’re a Genius Hour facilitator!! Every time I think it’s time to lay off spreading the awesomeness of genius hour, I think of all the kids that could sprout their wings when given the chance to do or learn something THEY want to do or learn in school. And I know – even though we’ve never met – that you, too, are inspiring other teachers to jump in (or even dip their toes in) and try genius hour as well. Imagine all the students YOU are impacting… AWESOME. Keep on keepin’ on – with your podcast and your influencing! It’s all for the kids!


    1. Joy, I will always be a witness to the power of “Genius Hour.” It has not only helped me help students discover a passion for learning, but it has helped me as a parent. Thank you for always encouraging me and the countless other educators out there. You continue to be an inspiration for us all!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

An Ethical Island

How to Teach Without a Lecture and other fun

JLV College Counseling

Free college admissions and financial aid information and advice

21 st Century Educational Technology and Learning

K12 educational transformation through technology

Connection of Dots

Stories about people and happenings and what they might mean.


True, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?

Exploring Authentic Learning

The posts here are reflections of Instructional Lead Learner, Kirsten Wilson. I seek to inspire all learners to be driven by their passions. They, in turn, inspire me.


Engaging in conversation around Education and Leadership

Always Learning!

Sharing education-related thoughts, insights & reflections


The posts here are reflections of Instructional Lead Learner, Kirsten Wilson. I seek to inspire all learners to be driven by their passions. They, in turn, inspire me.

Unpretentious Librarian

The posts here are reflections of Instructional Lead Learner, Kirsten Wilson. I seek to inspire all learners to be driven by their passions. They, in turn, inspire me.

The Sarcastic Socrates

Sarcasm and Politics



Inside Education, Outside the Box!

Helping educators think differently about how schools and districts operate.

Cool Cat Teacher Blog

The posts here are reflections of Instructional Lead Learner, Kirsten Wilson. I seek to inspire all learners to be driven by their passions. They, in turn, inspire me.

Engaged and Relevant

Just another WordPress.com site

%d bloggers like this: