Monday, November 10, 2014

No more excuses

I have blamed my inability to decide upon a name for my blog as the reason I have not started blogging. I really have tried to put a lot of thought into a blog name. Wanted a catchy name, wanted a name that identified who I was and what I believe in. I really struggled. I am not that creative. So I just continued to procrastinate starting my blog.

This past week, I had to complete an assignment for one of my graduate classes, Supervision of Instruction. I was posed with the discussion post: "describe a positive classroom environment that I am familiar with--what does it look, sound, and function like?" 

I quickly knew of a classroom in Cozad that I felt fit the best "positive classroom environment". The classroom is set up is not in rows with the teacher desk up front. The desks are moved frequently and always in groups. There is alternate seating (other than standard desks) for students, the teacher’s desk is mixed in with the student’s desks, and the teacher is always moving around the room. The teacher uses a variety of technology integrated into her lessons. She uses video, screen capturing, sharing students screens, smartboard, etc. The teachers expectations are posted and they are different than most classroom rules. They state: “This will be like no class you have taken before.  You will have the opportunity to move and work at your own pace with a few limits and guidelines.  You’ll get to have me as your coach, helping you train to become mathletes.”  Students’ successes are celebrated as they meet chapter objectives. Students are collaborating and are engaged. The classroom definitely has a positive environment and is conducive to learning.  
When I posted this answer on my discussion board, one of my peers responded that they love to refer to their students as "mathletes" and that they use many of the skills they have learned in coaching to engage, motivate, and teach their students. As I was reading their response, I thought that is exactly how I want to approach the teachers and students that I work with. One of my duties as Technology Integration is to offer professional development to our staff. I want to be more of a technology coach and encourage and engage our teachers. As I thought about this, I thought of what I want my blog to be--I want to provide information for "Techletes". In searching, I found that there is a company already named "Techletes" so I edited it to "Tech-letes"......thus the beginning of my blog site. I hope that I can create a positive environment just as our math teacher did here. I want to give my teachers the opportunity to move and work at their own pace with few limits and guidelines. My Blog site is finally named and now I have no more excuses. Wish me luck!


I'm beginning, I am making myself move foward. My 2014-15 school goals have been staring me in the face every day. We are into the second quarter and I just keep reading them. I am ready to take control of my own professional development and move forward. What made me make this decision this morning? Is it because I have read my goals for over 100 days and not made a solid attempt? Maybe. I guess that our guidance counselor, Mr. Favinger, had a great motivational way for us to set our goals and to be held accountable.

This past summer our district was fortunate to send 17 educators to the ISTE Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Our district’s goal was to inspire and transform the mindset of our staff through the sessions, keynotes, and networking opportunities. We expected they would bring back ideas and resources to share with other staff members in our district. Our guidance counselor, Dustin Favinger (@CHS_M-F) was “wowed” by the remarkable Adam Bellow (@adambellow) and his session where the attendees were asked to take a selfie and post to Instagram with the hashtag #TYIW (This Year I Will…).  Mr. Favinger pointed out that it is easy to set goals once and never have to revisit them and reflect on your progress. The power in this activity is he created his goals, posted and shared with staff, students, parents, and administration. He feels highly accountability. He can see it every day when he opens his office door and it is not something he can “put off”.  Posting the goals keeps them real and something he must pursue. At end of year he believes part of his evaluation discussion could be based on what goals he has accomplished. His vision is to bring staff together at the end of the year and talk about what we accomplished, what we did not (and why?), and how we will move forward.

This movement compelled me to reflect on my own professional objectives and set my own goals. I would like to share these goals with you and encourage you to keep me accountable. I also encourage you to set your own #TYIW and share with your colleagues and others. The encouragement and help of your Professional Learning Network will inspire you! As a NETA member, I am excited to have the opportunity this spring to hear Adam Bellow at our Spring NETA Conference in April. Thank you @adambellow for sharing this idea with educators!

  • Begin blogging to share and reflect.
  • Develop and work on personalized PD for our staff.
  • Build stronger relationships with staff and students.
  • Bring coding to our elementary students.
  • Make more connections in my Professional Learning Network
  • Be an active Technology coach.