Showing posts from 2015

Mission:iPad Launch

We are embarking on a new journey!

After reviewing over 75 applications and ordering almost 1000 devices Mission:iPad is almost ready to launch.

We will be going 1:1 with iPads in 53 classrooms this year! Teachers will attend three whole group professional development days, one in the fall to kick everything off and share expectations, a mid-mission check-in in January, and a celebration in the spring. They will also be meeting twice a month for one-on-one support with their school's Innovation Advocate, Ben or I (depending on which side of the district they are on). There will also be a Google+ Community for teachers to share their work and ask questions of the group so that we can all learn together. I am excited for all of the possibilities that will be available to our students and teachers with these new devices and supports!

It's Time To Do The Dishes

I have spent this summer, as I do every summer since becoming an educator, learning. I have expanded my learning by attending conferences, reading, attending edcamps, and having some really thought provoking conversations. Inevitably in every conference or conversation the notion of teachers' plates being full and not wanting to add anything to those plates arises.

I agree that there is a lot being put on teachers at this time in education. I do not want to make things harder for teachers. I have in the past viewed my role as an instructional coach as helping teachers to balance their plates. I couldn't fix their plates, but I felt like I could help make things easier for them. I know that teachers have done a lot of rearranging and prioritizing of things to try and make their plates work.

Frankly, I'm just tired of talking about full plates. I think it's time to do the dishes. Clear them off completely.

Once our educator plates are completely clear and the dishwasher …

How I Got Here & Paying It Forward

I graduated from college with a BA in Psychology and started a Masters in Elementary Education right away. I completed most of my coursework and went through my student teaching. I spent my first summer teaching summer school and applying for every elementary teaching position within a 50 mile radius. I was having no luck in the public schools so in the beginning of August I started calling Catholic schools in the area. One of the schools I called was Saint Walter School. The principal, Mary Lloyd, called me on a Friday afternoon as I was driving in the city to go visit a friend. She asked me if I knew anything about technology, we had a discussion and I went in for an interview a few days later. I was offered a technology and library assistant position, and that's where my career in education truly began. I was in that position for a year, and the following year Mrs. Lloyd created a new position for me as an elementary technology teacher. I was so grateful for Mary taking a chanc…

Yeah Butters

At the beginning of March I attended the +EdTechTeam's Future Ready Summit at Leyden. It was probably one of the best professional development experiences I have ever had. The energy and excitement was palatable, but it was more than that. Everyone was focused on possibilities. The "could bes" and "should bes" but most importantly how to make those things actually happen. It wasn't a magically fairyland devoid of challenges, but the focus was on advancement and there was problem solving in the air. I left the summit excited about the possibilities, about being in education, and about life in general. I wish I could bottle that up and take a dose everyday. There were times this past year that I could have used a double dose. Heck there were times I would have passed that bottle of positivity and problem solving around. 
The truth is that not everyone has that focus. There are certain people that actually take away from that focus and energy. They are the pe…

Clicking Publish

For a long time I have felt like I am at the edge of greatness. I try to surround myself with really smart people and big thinkers, hoping to soak up just a little of their awesome. I was around greatness, but just far enough away from the epicenter of greatness to not consider myself great (maybe just good-ish). I haven't really felt like anyone would care what I had to say or care about what I was doing.

I currently have no less than 10 draft posts that I have written over the past couple months. Most of them are completely finished just waiting for me to hit the publish button. But something has been holding me back from sending them out for the whole world to see. For a while I had convinced myself that these posts that I had written weren't good enough or would not be well received.

I spent today at #EdCampLdr Chicago, again surrounding myself with greatness. Overall it was a good day filled with thought provoking conversations. I started my afternoon in a session called …

Check Yourself

Have you ever walked out of the house without looking in the mirror? I have such a routine in the morning looking in the it mirror probably doesn't make a huge difference wether I check the mirror or not. Even so I look in the mirror every morning before I walk out the door. Sometimes I'll catch some toothpaste I missed or see that the clothes that I thought matched in my half-awake haze don't actually look good together. Either way I don't walk out the door without checking to make sure that I'm proud of how I am presenting myself.

If we check ourselves in the mirror before we leave to make sure we look good, why then do so many of us go about our work without reflecting on our practice? I know that as a professional if I do not reflect on the things that I do I will not see my areas for growth. And wether we like to admit it or not, we all have areas for growth. We all make mistakes, and those mistakes can be very valuable... if we learn from them. 
There are lot…

Getting Caught Up

With all of the hard work we have put in to this school year, the weeks leading up to summer are always exhausting. There is so much to get done before the year comes to a close. The students start acting a little squirrely as the weather gets warmer. Schedules begin to fill up both for work and with family of all kinds of celebrations and culminating activities. All of these things added together can really wear people down and result in some negativity, and I'll admit it can be easy to fall into that.

The thing that has helped me to survive this end of school craziness has been surrounding myself with positivity. Spending time and talking with people that help build me up, that support me no matter what, and that have an uplifting positive attitude. I'm not sure I'd survive without them, and I am so grateful that I have these people in my life! 

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Hello Again Old Friend

Busy has become the new normal. It seems like I blinked and my days and calendar fill up before I even know it. I love the things that my calendar is filled with. Watching my son practice karate and guitar or play inline hockey fills me with so much joy. The work I do for my district in support of my teachers and the time and energy I invest in volunteering for Illinois Computing Educators gives me purpose. With all of these awesome things filling me up other things, like this blog, sometimes get put to the side.

I'm not sure if it's the time of year with all of the reflection that is in the air, or the fact that I have been reading more blogs for my new role in ICE, but I really miss this. So, time to heat up the old presses and get back in the routine of blogging.