Monday, June 30, 2014

Pity Parties, Reflection, and Growth: Week 4 #SummerLS

Reflection....something I call myself doing at times, but really it was more of a quick assess of what I have been doing rather than a true, deep rooted reflection - because that hurts sometimes.  The #SummerLS (Summer Learning Series) has truly prodded some personal reflection prior to this challenge and some has been very painful in that it revealed some of my flaws.

It all started with the first challenge. Why couldn't I get teachers to engage in Twitter previously, or much less participate in a chat? Suddenly with the summer series, they are! When I saw teachers following me on Twitter, some of whom I have tried to get on for 2 or more years, I was slightly jealous.

 I was hurt that those who I saw as friends/colleagues would suddenly jump on the band wagon and didn't trust me enough to even try the many times I attempted to get them connected! (taking it personally) Not to mention, some of them have verbally made it known that the summer is 'their time!", and they would not be participating in any 'school' stuff. (putting blame on them)

Needless to say, I was having a good pity party over this.....using excuses to prolong it as well. I kept asking myself what did I do wrong, rather than what should I have done differently to help the teachers be more successful.

I realize that sometimes I have great ideas but then don't have the means or time to follow through. Wait, let me rephrase part of that, I don't have the means or make the time to follow through! Just like this blog, my intentions were good, but I did not make the time to keep it updated. It will be one of my goals this year, and I will need you, my friends, to help hold me accountable!

Twitter was one of the situations where due to the lack of participation, I stopped having monthly challenges. Well, what did that tell those teachers who were participating? That I did not value their effort in participating? That due to the lack of my own enthusiasm they were not led further in learning more about this social media? I really blew that one!

I then thought about the TED talks I wanted to start. I did one, but only the one. I got discouraged because I only had about 12 teachers participate, so I did not do it again. What I should have realized was that most of those were teachers who had not participated in other outside professional developments before.  I should have been celebrating that some teachers were embracing a new form of PD! Note to self: try this again, and stick with it!

If you made it this far, THANK YOU, I could go on and on with all learned from reflecting over this past year. I promise to grow, reflect, and share more.....later!  I am so thankful I have grown an extensive PLN now to grow with and lean on!! I am also thankful for this challenge!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Do You Inspire or Squash?

There is so much I love about this Verizon commercial! I love the inquisitive nature of the child as they show her growing and the way she appears to take her own learning to a new level! The way she is exploring at the beach and picks up the starfish, takes her planet project and just grows it to a new element, and then building a rocket! All of these things excite me as an educator because children are born with a desire to learn!

There is also an element of heartache that comes with watching this because so often we unintentionally (and some intentionally) use words and actions to squash the learning desire in children! Having to put down the starfish, the mom complaining the project had gone too far, the dad making her give up the power tool, and then the most heartbreaking part is when she reads the sign about the science fair (and I get all excited thinking she is still going to do it) and then she uses the glass reflection to apply lip gloss.


So do you inspire or squash that desire to learn? Do you offer students opportunities for growth or do you squash that awesome idea because it will be 'too much work' to set up or manage? Be an inspiration! Tell yourself:

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Thoroughly Ashamed as a Blogger!

I love to write, and find therapy in it, but don't do it as often as I should. While attending EdCamp Region 4 yesterday, someone asked me for my blog, and embarrassingly I had to tell her that I had one but did not use it as I should. I was even more embarrassed when I realized it had been almost a year since I posted anything. Thoroughly ashamed!

Yesterday was the second time I have attended an EdCamp! It was AWESOME! It is the type of conference where the sessions of the day are not lined up until everyone shows up and shares what they would like to hear/discuss that day and then the sessions are created. Many of the sessions I went to were about topics I wanted to know more about, but then there was one I had some knowledge of and ended up not only learning but sharing and making some great connections with other educators.  Someone from my district made the comment that she loved how people just sat around and SHARED out their great ideas with strangers who left being friends! If you have never attended one, you definitely need to add it to your list of things to do!

Something fun I learned about was Kahoot! You don't need special remote response systems. It is web based and can be run on a laptop, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android, Chromebook, Windows Phone or PC.  Students get immediate feedback in a game-like atmosphere, and teachers can get a resulting spreadsheet with student data input. Fun and easy, check it out!