Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Diving into the Water

April 2013

This is it, my very first blog and it is bit like the first time you dive off of the diving board.  It seems like a fun idea, you climb the ladder, you get to the edge of the board and look down.  A sense of panic comes over you questioning whether or not it really is a good idea, but you decide it's worth a shot.  The question is whether or not you'll enjoy the experience and find the water warm.  To be honest, it was not my idea, but one that I had repeatedly heard from some fellow educators who had attended either  a workshop or talk that I have given.   They told me that they would like to hear any new ideas or approaches in education that I discover.  It's funny to hear that someone wants to read my thoughts about education, but as more people asked me I decided that knowledge is meant to be shared--much like sharing a pencil in class.  

I hope that if you have come across this blog that you find something interesting and worth sharing.  I'm hoping that it may start or continue the dialogue.  Educators, administrators, parents needs to work together for the betterment of education and students.  

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Debunking a Myth about Teachers

My badge of honour and inspiration.

This weekend I was part of a group of educators that prove teaching continues after the bell rings. Hundreds of teachers brushed the snow off the cars and arrived at a school at 7:30 on a Saturday morning to learn. I bought my ticket to this conference immediately after hearing about it at ECOO12 ; that was a smart choice as it not only sold out, it had a waiting list of over 100 disappointed educators. I learned more then what was presented at the various workshops. I learned that the passion for being better educators is alive and well. I met amazing educators and support staff of all ages from across Ontario, Quebec and even Michigan. Educators left their classrooms on Friday after school and began driving so that they could learn some new tools and approaches to make learning better for their students. At the Google Chrome Summit of Ontario, we explored a variety of Chrome apps. More importantly we learned a different way of thinking or possibly a different way of approaching learners. The new digital age is providing tools that can expand not just how but how many ways we can teach. It’s not about one method fits all; it’s about finding the right approach to maximize the learning impact both in and out of the classroom. Twitter was exploding with #gafesummit tweets from all of the workshops and presentations. Educators were tweeting to share with not only the educators attending but for the followers located worldwide. I was amazed to discover how far I was being followed. The world became a lot smaller this weekend and a lot brighter for learning.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Inspiration can Create Drive

I was feeling very daring and inspired after attending the Google Apps for Education Ontario Summit.  It is the middle of the semester and I turned myself into a first year teacher.   After finishing my masters project, I began to exam my teaching materials and realized that they needed updating.  As an educator, I find myself muttering this to myself constantly.    More frequently, during this process, I “get busy” and “distracted” and it’s a new year.   I sat at my desk and decided drastic measures were necessary.  I wheeled down one the large recycling bins and began to purge without back up materials.  It was exhilarating as I watch my bookshelf empty and the recycling bin fill.  The next day, a new feeling settled over me—panic.  My bookshelf was empty; my binders were empty.  I had stripped my resources to the bare bones.

After taking a deep breath, I realized that it wasn’t really that bad.  I had a fabulous opportunity to create new current and creative resources to better meet the needs of my students.  I do have to be honest that my workload has increased with the building of new teaching materials, but I find that they are better at engaging my students both in and out of the classroom.