30 Day Blogging Challenge Day 6

Today’s challenge is to blog about a good Mentor.  

Having a good mentor as a teacher, can be quite valuable.  But, like most things in life, something that you cannot be just assigned (as a first year teacher would be).  It is something that you have to go out and seek  yourself.  When I first started teaching, I taught in three different schools during my first three years as an educator.  Each of the assigned mentors were helpful.  However, I did not truly begin to thrive in having someone to watch to try and emulate until I started to seek out my own examples of excellent teaching.  

Today I find that most of my mentors are found through social media networks.  By following professional educators and groups on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook, I am able to have numerous resources at my finger tips.  It is amazing, and only something that can be done in the 21st Century!  I love having a question, and being able to tweet it to the correct person. I love reading a book, and being able to tweet the author to let her or him know that I am walking along side them reading a book they wrote recently.  

30 Day Blog Challenge Day 5

The blog challenge topic for day 5, is to create a picture of my classroom. I think it best that I actually take a physical picture of a my classroom and upload it. But, besides just seeing the color and excitement of my room, there is so much more to what my classroom is about.

I currently teach in a computer lab where I have a journalism class (random pieces of projects and advertisements all over the place), computers, and my English class. The ability to teach all of my classes in the same room in the same building is something that I have not had the opportunity to do in such a long time. It feels so good to be grounded! I love that my English class can be taught in a complete blended learning style. Tables in the middle of the room for collaborating, computers circling the entire room, and a large book shelf in the corner lend to tremendous possibilities Many students also have their own devices.

The use of the Edmodo Platform enables me to team teach with myself! I love it. I really feel that flipping many of my lessons allows for me to read allowed. Articles about technology to my computer classes and novels to my ELA class. I will always be a literary nut no matter what I teach. Excitement for literature, no matter its form always seems to win over. It is truly inspiring and exciting to see students reading from a novel in a classroom filled with the latest gadgets and devices.

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Day 4 30 Day Blog Challenge

The challenge for Day 4, is to talk about what I love the most in education.
I remember when I was first interviewing for jobs, and a college professor instructed us how to answer this question. He maintained that we should say, “I love kids and I love my subject area.” While I would agree that for the most part this is a pretty true answer that has not changed all that much, it is fairly vague.

Today, one of the things I have found to love actually has shown itself through being a community member and having my own kids. It all came together as I was sitting in curriculum night for my first grader two years ago. The teacher is also someone who lives in the community in which she works. It really made sense when she talked about how other teachers help her biological kids, and she too guides many kids in the ways in which she would want someone to do for her kids. I love being part of that community. I see kids all over the place outside of the classroom, and truly feel as though I am part of a larger community. I love watching my own children be guided by teachers, and then in turn being able to guide other people’s kids as if they were my own. I always do what I would like someone to do for my kids. Sure enough, that is happening every day.

30 day blog challenge day 2

Today’s blog challenge is to write about technology that you would like to try out.

Where do I begin?

There are so many resources.  Some of these resources, I don’t even know exist right now!

1.  I want to make some use of Skype and other things like google hangouts.   I am nervous about trying some of these things, but really need to give it a go at some point.

2.  I want to play with augmented reality.  I see some potential for this and  am excited to show students the possibilities.  

3.  I want to become more proficient with digital photo editing and video and recording programs like iMovie.

I cannot wait to see what is not even out yet!

Making Magic in Education

Today I had the privilege of attending one of the most amazing conferences around.  http://www.sccresa.org/toolsforschools/21stcenturylearning/21stcenturysymposium/

I am truly inspired to go and do great things this year. I am being reminded of what it is like to be a learner, when you cram your mind full of the most amazing things.  The tough part is always figuring out where to start.  Which things will I take an immediately start working on in my classroom?  As I think about these questions a few goals come to mind for this year.

1.  Focus on building relationships through technology.  Build relationships regardless; but use technology to reach out and make it fun for my students. 

2.  Try Project Based Learning.

3.  Continue flipped and blended teaching methods.  (Stretch to do even more this year).

4.  Remember that teaching is a privilege.  I am the one that gets the opportunity to notice kids and make them feel important. 

5.  Continue to try new things.  Inspire my students to create and see technology as magic at their finger tips. 
6.  Be one of the most passionate and energetic people that teach in this school. 

7.  Remind students and staff that they matter.