This page is being rebuilt for 2017. I was going to wait until it was finished before posting the new version, but... why? So if this opening paragraph is still here, then this page is not finished. There are many worthy #11FF remaining.
But first, The Official #11FF Slideshow (Updated)...
Now for the #11FF Rebuild, currently in progress...
In the early days of this blog, I would periodically address or refer to my "Eleven Faithful Followers" - a term which was probably a bit optimistic at times. Over the years, however, it became a thing - a term suggesting some degree of community and the best sort of elitism.
So who are the #11FF? They're the inimitable ones - the keenest sorts of people. Many are professional educators; others have real jobs and educate those around them in a variety of different ways. They're the apogee of human development, and they know it. They could fight it, or downplay it, but that would be disingenuous. It's a calling, and it's a gift - but it's also a great responsibility.
Ha! Not really - it's just a calling and a gift. One they look so good doing.
Meet the #11FF
Peter Anderson - Peter is an English teacher, but somehow that falls so short in describing what he actually does.
He's an educator - in the fullest, most well-rounded sense of the word. His hunger for pedagogical progress in himself, his kids, and as much of the rest of the world as will listen, is - dare I say it? - inspirational. And challenging. Like, sometimes the rest of us would look much better if he'd just dial it back and coast for awhile.
I value his transparency, and his honesty, and his willingness to process online - partly for himself, I'm sure, but also so the rest of us can learn as he goes.
Kimberly Blodgett - Kim teachers 5th grade, which already makes her one of the bravest and strangest people I kinda know. Her energy is beyond, and her heart - be it kids, dogs, or peers - knows no bounds.
Her musical tastes are a bit iffy, but somehow that only adds to her charm. Every hero needs an Achilles heel. Ludacris? Really?
Sarah Bruehl - Sarah is a long-time teacher of 7th graders. You wanna know how to lay up treasures in Heaven? That seems like it should do it.
She's saucy and defiant and witty and charming, all wrapped up in a stylish smile. You don't have to take my word for it - find her on Twitter and see for yourself.
A.J. Ceniceros - A.J. kinda snuck up on me. I don't remember first contact, but at some point during 2016 she was suddenly an indespensible part of my Twitter experience. Smart, caring, and completely without fear - you know I like that. Then again, she's a mother of three boys, so... weakness is not an option.
A.J. is a super-involved PTA mom and when her kids get a bit older she's looking longingly at the classroom... go figure!
Rick Cobb - Rick is one of the Founding Fathers of #OklaEd and a tenacious watchdog for students and their teachers across the state. He's also one of my favorite people to shoot the bull with, and has a brutal sense of humor when provoked.
And given the state of Oklahoma most of the time, he's usually provoked.
Mindy Dennison - Mindy was one of the first #11FF and remains one of my favorite edu-bloggers. I wish she'd write more often and not let all of that teaching and world-changing get in the way.
She also shared her paycheck stub with the nation to try to make a point - I thought that took serious cajones. I'm still impressed by that one, actually.
Turns out she's always that saucy, but it's also always for the right reasons and with just the perfect amount of grace. She doesn't maintain her own blog, but she seems to pop up everywhere injustice or inanity is found, flinging stylish truth at power.
Jennifer Gonzalez - Jennifer manages to do something I wasn't sure was possible online. She runs a very organized, practical website full of thoughts on teaching and numbered lists and occasionally even teacher books - but it's legitimately good stuff. It's practical, and real, and encouraging, and has just a touch of quirky.
She's also quick to push others to the front of the line and spread the love around - for which we adore her.
Scott Haselwood - Scott was the very first #OklaEd legend I met in person. The experience set a rather high bar for subsequent encounters with folks I'd met online. He's what we old folks call "a card."
Turns out he's kinda smart, too - like, at math and stuff. And at apps and #edtech. And at people and students and learning them up real good.
He really is.
Meghan Lloyd - Meghan is what we in the education business call "the boom diggity." She teaches without fear, and writes truth without shame. She makes unicorns and rainbows palatable, and other than a rather unhealthy donut obsession to which she proudly clings, she's pretty much my hero.
Meghan is the person many of us wish we could be more like. Thank God she shares the shine so freely.
Rob Miller - Rob is something of an #OklaEd legend. Of the major edu-bloggers across the state, he's probably the closest to being emotionally balanced and fairly reasonable. But we like him anyway.
He's also more evidence that administrators can actually be rather useful and good to have around. Not that we want to get too excited about the idea... I'm just trying to be fair.
Cari Nation - Cari is an enigma wrapped in a riddle hidden inside a pair of wool socks. Probably cute little monkey wool socks, but still...
She's a middle school math and social studies teacher from parts unknown who enjoys reading, knitting (yes, really), exploring the outdoors, and smashing the patriarchy.
And I'm serious about that last part. She's the woman we all feared was possible when we started letting them vote - feminine and graceful, strong and wise, patient and probably smarter than most of us. Dammit.
Find her on Twitter and be amazed - be very amazed.
Sarah Pradhan - Where to even begin with Sarah? She's a teacher, a writer, blogger, a legit actressy type, and a whirlwind of joy and insight. She's also a former student of mine - from long, long ago.
You know that thing where one day the student surpasses the master? Snatches the pebble from his hand, outwits him just before the twist ending, or cuts him down with a lightsaber while Han, Luke, and Leia escape? Yeah, so I was Sarah's "Mentor" when she first began teaching. She was so far beyond anything I had to offer by her second semester in the classroom that I had to keep making really concerned noises whenever she'd talk about her day and throw in a few unanswerable questions just so she'd feel like she needed me.
I think she knew, but she was nice enough to play along. And to not cut me down with a lightsaber.
Sherri Spelic - Sherri teaches at the American International School in Vienna, Austria. That's not the one with the Kangaroos - think more Germany-Hungary-Italy-Czech Republic-ish.
Sherri will make you think, and sometimes feel the feels as well. She's so patient with my efforts to understand the world of #educolor that I don't think she's blocked me even once on Twitter!
Mostly she's just thoughtful and real. Really real. For realsies.
Dan Tricarico - Dan is better known as "The Zen Teacher," author and workshop leader extraordinaire. His most recent book is one of the best teacher books I've ever read. He's the real deal - knowledgeable, but practical. Gracious, but not delusional.
If you're not plugged in with Dan already, you should probably get on that. We're gonna need a whole lotta mindfulness this year if we're going to accomplish anything amidst the madness.
Jennifer Williams - Jenn is one of the pithiest people I've gotten to know since starting Blue Cereal. She gives me hope for public education and humanity in general. Jenn is fearless and shameless and smarter than most folks are comfortable with after about ten minutes.
I can't help but adore anyone so antagonistic - and so truly committed to kids and hope and warmth and truth.
Joshua Williams - Joshua is married to Jennifer, which alone merits some respect and admiration. It suggests that he's a man able to both hold her interest and tolerate her odd -
Er... it suggests he's a man able to hold her interest. That's impressive enough.
There are two other things I admire about J.W. First, he's an #EdTech guy, in the most useful, applicable, practical way you can use the term. Second, he shows more restraint on social media that just about anyone else I know. He doesn't say much, and you wonder if he's even around, but then he responds or pokes or replies in some way that says just the right thing in just the right way and you wish he'd do it more but like Shane he's ridden away again into the troubled night.