Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bzzzz! Don't just be

Classroom rules:

  1. Be quiet in the classroom.
  2. Be still in your seat.
  3. Be nice to your neighbor.
  4. Be your best!
Be these things and you can be on the honor roll!
Sound familiar? Certainly it's an upgrade from:

Classroom rules:
  1. Don't talk out of turn.
  2. Don't run.
  3. Don't ask questions. 
  4. Don't get out of line. 
Well, upgrade might be a little strong come to think of it. How much time during the day are students told how "to be"? Why are they told to "be"? I don't want students to "be"; I want them to do!

Sure they can "do nice things for your neighbor", "monitor your voice in the classroom", and "sit tall in your seat". I'm confident they would if we would only ask. Honestly, I guess that's the difference. If we TELL them to "be", we have the power and control the action. If we ASK them to "do", they have the power and control the action. Are you telling your students to "be" or asking them to "do"? Me? I want students to do!

Nike had it right all along; just DO it!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hello World!

For some time now, I have been going back and forth about starting a blog. I want to. I do. I just don't have the time. Don't figure anyone will read it. Honestly, I'm not real sure what this will be in the end. But I've come to the conclusion that that just simply doesn't matter. It's my blog. My thoughts. If for no other reason, I'm doing it for me. I need a place in the vastness of the world wide web to be my own. So with that, I say Hello World!

Right now I find myself in a very exciting time in my career. I reach summits of excitement and exultation when I have the opportunity to present at conferences. There aren't words that I have yet been able to find that can fully describe the fireworks I experience when I present. There is something magical about working with educators and watching for those light bulb moments they experience. With the anticipation of a young child on Christmas, I look forward to their questions, ideas, and thoughts on what we have just shared. The air is electrified with a mysterious charge of learning! It's mesmerizing, exciting... it's... it's literally what I live for!

When I'm not serving the needs of the district I currently work for, I have the privilege of sharing these times at conferences. Oh how I love to attend conferences! I recently tweeted that I'm a bit of a conference junkie. The bags and badges, Twitterfalls and door prizes. I love every single minute of it. With a smile, I fondly remember my very first educational technology conference. It was in Austin at TCEA and I was enchanted. From one breakout session to the next, I checked off, highlighted, and circled interesting sessions to run to. There were SO MANY people and they all seemed to know exactly what they were doing and where they were going. And the presenters.... oh the presenters! From my perspective, they were magical creatures filled to the brim with knowledge and wisdom. "How", I kept asking myself. How, did they become so knowledgeable that they were selected to give these presentations? Was that their job? Did they go to different places sharing all these ideas? I was physically exhausted and mentally spent after that cold February. 

Fast forward a couple of years. I'm now the presenter. It is me that gets to be that special person in the front of the room sharing all that magical goodness. I had to learn the language and the parameters. There is this whole world of "Requests for Proposals" and "Presenters' Lounges". It has been a wild ride and still, I get giddy when I see my name in a conference overview of sessions. In moments like now, when I stop and reflect back on the journey from there to here... I'm absolutely shaken at the amazing network of people who been a part of it along the way. 

Today that came into full focus for me. I was sitting at lunch with an amazing group of women fully invested in and passionate about everything ed tech. 200 miles away another group of friends were at another conference having lunch and harassing me on Twitter that I wasn't there. For the first time in my professional career, I felt complete. Two groups of people I immensely respect and admire were simultaneously vested in me even though we were miles apart. Thank you! Thank you network who cared enough to carry me to where I am today. Thank you for believing in a young woman mesmerized by your every move and word. Thank you for being you! You have brought me into your world and allowed me to have a small piece of it for my own. Hello World!