Saturday, August 12, 2017


We just finished our first full week with the students. Teachers have been back since the last week of July officially. This year has started off at full speed and to say I'm at the pace needed yet would be, well we all know it takes a month or so to get into a routine where you feel productive and have balance again. The picture above was from our Institute speaker (Mansfield Key, III). He issued several challenges that day, but this is the one that stuck with me, Someone's Destiny is tied to our assignment. What we do each and every day makes a difference in the lives of more than we realize. It's not always about what we can see in the moment that makes the difference. Sometimes we are the ones that plant the seed, sometimes we may be the one that waters it, but in the end, growth is what matters. Some of our students may simply be searching for that person that be that voice every day saying, you can do this. So many times we let our focus at the beginning of the year be numbers driven and paperwork focused. While those both have a role, the destiny decision is in taking that moment to listen when a student says hey can I talk to you. The destiny decision is made in taking that moment to be that smile for a student. The destiny decision is also in being patient with yourself and taking care of the most valuable resource that those students, the teacher. So many times we pour so much into what we do, that we forget to pour into who we are (which in turn fuels what we do even more). This year give your students all of you, that 110% because the difference being made is tied to someone's destiny, but also take the time to give to yourself too. 

Another challenge offered this year was to be bold. Boldness for one may not mean the same as boldness for another. Maybe bold for you is taking that class to better your educational leadership skills, maybe it is learning how to use that tech tool that has always seemed to scare you, or maybe it is using your voice and telling your story. Growth happens out of our comfort zones. Growth happens when we realize maybe it's that extra push that is what we need to climb the next mountain. Boldness happens when we step outside of our comfort zones and shine. Be bold in what you do, bold for the students that you will see each day, bold for you as a professional who has so much to share, and bold for your community, your reach, that needs the spark you have on the inside of you. 

You have a story to share, so share with care! The world needs your contribution as Angelia Maiers always says, so add something to where you are planted at. 
Be amazing this year readers! 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Create more than consume (AETC take-aways and more)

My heart's in ISTE right now, but my feet are not. I am anxiously awaiting for the time when ISTE comes back closer to home so I can drive there. It's not easy funding PD on your own (I gotta find a grant next year).  On to talking about AETC (Alabama Educational Technology Conference) from a couple of weeks ago.

Tech conferences in the summer are a time to connect with friends in my professional learning network from outside my system and meet new people to add to my network. We all have something to contribute and learning to share that is half the battle. (As Jennifer Hogan always reminds me, I have a voice). In the midst of a fast-paced conference, sometimes it's hard to truly see what the takeaways are, I have learned after ISTE to reflect a week or so later to truly glean from the learning that took place. My session at AETC was on using tech tools to differentiate instruction. (The link is included below the picture to the handout if you are interested). My heart when I present is that every educator present as something to take back to their classroom. I've learned a lot over the last seven years presenting and still continue to learn. There is something though about sharing your voice, your passion, your gifts....and empowering others to do the same. If you have any questions about any of the tools in the presentation feel free to reach out to me via email, Twitter, or comment here.

My biggest take-away was a reaffirmation, a challenge to create more instead of just consuming. So often we are consumers of technology, we are takers, but not givers. I want to always be someone that adds back and gives back, to add my piece to the digital puzzle as we all work together to do what is best for our students. I have slacked on creating and lived in the consumer zone for the last year or so, but through this conference and some wisdom shared from my PLN, I'm ready to get back to creating more. (I have a list ;-)) So keep a watch on my LiveBinder for updates as I add more resources etc and feel free to share it with others at your school! We are truly are better together!

Friday, March 17, 2017

The extra degree

When you lose sight of the impact you can make and are making, you lose sight of the passion that made you start doing what you do in the first place. Other people may put labels on you and define you by your title, but don't let that define who you are and what you can do. As Angelia Maiers always says, you matter and the world needs your contribution. The world needs the mixture that makes you, quit with the comparing, the competing, and just be YOU.

I know it's been a while, but between buying a house, moving, catching the crud, and well just plain busy...I have lost sight of some of the things that fuel my passion. I had let the labels again dictate the voice that I have and almost convinced myself that I had lost it. I had almost let the hustle and bustle of the motions drive out the passion of what makes me move. A conversation with my administrator one day a couple of weeks ago was the turning point professionally that I needed. He shared with me about 212 degrees (a training he had attended earlier in the month(there is also a book)). At 212 degrees water turns into steam and steam can propel an engine. At 211 degrees water is just hot, but it's that extra degree that makes it boil...and boiling water can make a change. We all have the same hours in the day. What we choose to do with them is our choice? What are you giving your extra degree to? Is it fueling your passion or maintaining the motions?

As educators, we must constantly be pushing ourselves to become better than we were yesterday at the same time while realizing that our yesterday made an impact in someone's life. We can't lose sight of the push or we will become comfortable in just staying at the 211 point (or below) and our passion, our students, our profession is longing for that extra degree.