“I believe in the student, and want to help them see they should be in the driver’s seat.” -Aaron Maurer, USA

Aaron Maurer knew from the seventh grade that there was only one thing in the world that he wanted to be when he grew up. And that was an educator. “I had a seventh-grade social studies teacher who was also a former neighbor and my freshman basketball coach,” says Maurer. “The thing I remember is that every day he shook everybody’s hand, and this made you feel like you were valued. He treated people with respect. I remember thinking, ‘this is what I want to do.’”

Maurer has taken that very same spirit – valuing each person as an individual – as his own. Known at school and in the Twittersphere as “Coffeechug (a nickname that stuck with him when he taught sixth grade social studies and was “Emperor Coffeechug” during an ancient Rome simulation, and made even more prescient due to the ever-present cup of coffee in hand), Maurer has been teaching for over a decade, is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, and is currently an instructional coach working with teachers to develop high-quality projects, lessons, ideas, student voice, and technology. He shares his work, his ideas, and his project regularly on Twitter and his personal website.

And while creating amazing projects is part of what Maurer does daily – including this learning activity – he believes wholeheartedly in, “the basic things. Making people feel important. If you can help others to feel important, you can do anything.”

He recently gave an extremely well-received and inspirational speech to students at Bettendorf High School titled, “Make Your Move.” His message? Student empowerment. “You’re only here for so long,” says Maurer. “Why continue to live your days just being average? It’s about the small steps. Create your own art. Maybe it’s making music, or being a good brother or sister. If you can impact one person, then it spreads like wildfire. Do something meaningful.” Maurer’s seventh-grade coach and mentor would indeed be proud.

Enjoy today’s Daily Edventure with Aaron Maurer!

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