Saturday, June 20, 2009

Broaden Your Circle

Nearly a year ago I followed a tweet, taking me to a blog that I had never read. The author was commenting on why he would not attend NECC. To put it mildly, his post was quite controversial in the educational tech. community. When I read his post I became intrigued as I had never heard of anyone NOT wanting to go to NECC, the mecca for ed. tech folks. Questions started to pop into my mind as I continued to read other posts by this blogger, but, I was hesitant to comment on his blog and ask my questions, so I emailed him. His response came within a day! His response was very insightful and made me really think about education.

Did I agree with everything he wrote? No. However, he really made me reflect on the use of technology in education. Our exchanges continued and, through his tweets I was introduced to other bloggers. One blogger was comparing Everyday Math to other math programs, showing the inferiority of some of the problem in Everyday Math as compared to these other programs, (like Singapore Math). As a teacher trained in Everyday Math, having taught it for ten years, I became very defensive and actually commented on the blog! The results of which were a conversation about rigor in Math curricula. The author of the blog and commentors showed me another point of view!

Why am I sharing this??? Because, by exposing ourselves to other points of view, we can reflect, learn, and grow. If we only communicate with like minded individuals, I think we can become very complacant. So, taking Matthew K. Tabor's advice, I try to subscribe to blogs that differ from my point of view, and so far, I have learned something valuable. There is something to be learned from everyone, and we do not grow if we do not step our or our comfort zones.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Another Year Older and Wiser?

This morning, while enjoying my morning oj and bagel, I perused my email and twitter. THE Jim Gates sent a hysterical ecard, my mom wrote a birthday message on my Facebook wall, and my incredibly sweet Personal Learning Network wished me birthday wishes on Twitter. Isn't technology grand?!?

After much mental debate, weighing pros and cons, I decided to leave the classroom and become our district's Technology Integrator. This new role involves working with teachers, administrators, support staff, and..... KIDS! So, I spent my birthday moving out of Lakeside Elementary.

Throughout my decision making process there were many people listening to/reading my ramblings about indecision. As I reflect on this decision, I have created a TOP TEN list of things I will miss and things I won't miss.... here it goes...

TOP TEN Things I Will Miss

10.Reading and responding to writing journal entries.
9. Routine.
8. Using Palm Pilots with kids.
7. Pumpkin seed math.
6. Read alouds.
5. Blogging with kids, watching them light up as they write for an authentic audience.
4. Unsolicited hugs.
3. Watching those "lightbulb" moments when something makes sense.
2. Observing maturity shifts.
1. "Adopting" 25 kids for 180 days and becoming part of their lives.

TOP TEN Things I Will NOT Miss

10. Lunch count, we handled money.
9. Lunch duty (always afraid someone would choke, as I lost a student to choking in classroom.)
8. Restricted times to scoot out to the Necessities room.
7. Report cards.
6. Watching children take PSSAs, as I sit on my hands and bite my tongue.
5. Tracking down that "missing" precious possession.
4. Snow boots, hats, gloves, scarves, snowpants, etc...
3. Worrying constantly about what was or wasn't going on in the homes of the kids.
2. Field trips (not a fan of bus trips)
1. IST meetings.

Thanks to all who were influential in my decision. Here goes nothing! :)