Sunday, July 13, 2014

Change Is Empowering

   
      A recent post on my blog titled "Summer Blessings" recaps my summer activities thus far. I talk about my growth as an educator both professionally and personally and the many ways that can happen. My principal +Kyle Chambers  gave us our summer book to read titled "One Word" and I started thinking about what kinds of "changes" were going to take place in my classroom this next school year and how I was going to keep changing and growing as an educator. The word "change" is uncomfortable for most. It brings "unsureness" of what lies ahead. It creates anxiety, fear, less motivation to try new things, peer learning resistance and collaboration but that word has a POWERFUL message when you think about it! So during my long runs (long distance runner) I thought about our campus "one word" which is "empower" and I decided to begin by changing the name of my blog to reflect our campus "one word" so that it has a greater purpose for students, parents and our community! It's a word that all learners can embrace no matter their background or life experiences. But those changes must be reflected through all my social media platforms such as +Twitter+Instagram+Pinterest , +LinkedIn and +Google+. I'm sure there are others but these are the ones I check on a weekly basis. 
     To "empower" students learning, you must "change" the way learning occurs in the classroom so that students begin to embrace and inspire others in their creative thinking process and share their learning on a global scale. I challenge all educators and administrators to find their "one word" so that you also may be empowered to change in some small way! I thank my principal +Kyle Chambers for putting this book in my hands and continue to be a positive influence on my campus for students, teachers and parents. I highly recommend reading it as he "empowers" his staff to make this next school year the best one yet!! So the name of my blog will now reflect my campus' purpose for this next school year, "Infusing Technology To Empower All Learners" and look forward to a great 2014-15 school year! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Summer Blessings!

   

 Its been a little over a month now that school has ended and I am finding myself with lots of time for reading, swimming, biking and running! Its a time to unwind from the hectic schedule of school and find ways to grow professionally and personally. I have read a total of five books, three are for professional development and the other for a little pleasure reading. Titles include, "Comprehension Through Conversation", which I HIGHLY recommend, "Writing About Reading", "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" and "Gone Girl". My principal also gave us our short summer PD book, "One Word", which has challenged us to look deep within ourselves to find our "one word" before the start of the school year. I am happy to say that our campus "one word" for the 2014-15 school year is "empower"!! I love this word because it has a "purpose" that resonates with me on so many levels of teaching! It brings a strong sense of ownership to learning and gives students a voice to make decisions that will affect them the rest of their lives! 
     Summer is also a time for reconnecting with old and new friends past and present! These friendships sustain us when times get hectic in our daily lives. I'm thankful for my friends that encourage me to dream big and have fun all at the same time. Family of course can help bring back a sense of normalcy whatever that may be. There are no schedules, homework, alarm clocks going off and rushing out of the house to beat the school zones!! When you have teenagers in the house, some who are working, sleeping and eating are summer survival mechanisms that seem to be the only thing important these days! Of course, social media begins to take a higher precedence in their lives from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. More time to text, facetime, @snapchat, tweet and gain new followers on @Instagram and catch up on Netflix shows (I'm just as guilty) to watch. 
     Summer will be gone in a flash and I will be back in the classroom rearranging my furniture to get ready for another exciting year! I have so many ideas stored in my head for this year to continue our digital learning in a 1:1 iPad class. My new "hokki stools" from @donorschoose will arrive in October and I can't wait to get those in my hands. I have purchased some new bean bags to place around the room and will be setting up our new picnic table that was given to me as a gift this past year. This year I would like to add two swings in my classroom. I got this idea from an @instagram pic I saw from my friends @remind. I thought it was brilliant but don't know how I'm going to get that done with a little engineering consulting on the side (tile cork board ceilings). After I had all my desks and chairs taken out of my classroom last year, it transformed my classroom's learning in more ways imaginable and not to mention how that impacted my teaching as an educator. My summer continues with on demand PD at my fingertips through Twitter, blogs, #rscon5, #googlehangouts and lots more reading! Summer 2014 will be in the past and a new adventure will begin in my classroom with lots more new ideas, connections to cherish, classes to connect with and students to "empower" and "inspire" them in their learning!! For this I am blessed beyond measure! Happy summer!