Last year, a friend, and colleague, encouraged our PLN to look at what is in our bags. I think that what is in our bags, tells a lot about who we are. I tend to have a lot in my bag. But, recently, I have been trying to shrink my bag and eliminate some of the unnecessary items that I carry with me on a day-to-day basis. I feel like this is an expression of my desire to simplify my life. Honestly, I have a lot going on. And, my bag is something that I can control.
Annotating an Image with ThingLink
Last year, I created a ThingLink to show what was in my bag. If you are not familiar with ThingLink, it is an amazing tool that lets users annotate pictures with “hotspots”. I like this site because it is very easy to use. You can upload a photo and then annotate directly on the photo. It saves in your ThingLink account. You can click on my image below to see all of my annotations.
I’ll tell you, my bag looks very different today. Maybe that is another post!
What is in your bag? And, what does it tell about you?
Here is a tweet that I wrote less than a month ago.
I think about change all the time and often reflect why some people are so resistant to change? After all, without change, wouldn’t life be boring? If my life never changed, I would have never gone to college, grad school, become a teacher, married or had children. I would have never left the classroom to do professional development for teachers. I would always be wondering “what if…” Is change scary? Yes. Absolutely yes. But, as one says “change is the only constant.”
Technological Change in the Classroom
I battle technological change daily. Some teachers tell me “I hate computers”, or “I’m bad with computers”, or even “I can’t do this.” I find it very ironic when I hear this from my fellow educators. When I was teaching classroom World Language (French & German), I told my students that they were not allowed to walk into my room and tell me that they could not do the lesson that I had not yet begun to teach. They had not learned it yet, had no experience and no confidence. Now, I am facing this same issue with those people educating today’s students. How strange.
So, what do I do? Just like with my students, I build relationships. It has taken me four years and I have built many but there is always work to do. More teachers to reach, more confidence to build. I believe that this parallels my time in the classroom. I cannot teach without building that relationship, that trust, first. How can I make you believe in yourself and push you past your preconceived notion of what you can and can’t do? I encourage. I model. I empathize. I go off topic (yes, that is important, too.) I learn while they learn. Then, I do this all over again.
I have found it important to keep my expectations in check. When I first went into the classroom, I thought that my students would love French and learn quickly. Anyone who has been in the classroom knows that it is only a very small percentage of students who love the content and learn quickly. With most students, you have to take baby steps. Baby steps help to build self-confidence in the student and trust in the instructor. As I moved out of the classroom and into the professional development world, “take baby steps” has become my mantra.
Change is inevitable. You might as well embrace it. Just embrace it in baby steps.
I don’t spend much time here, in my office. I travel between five schools, so I am mostly in teachers’ classrooms. I feel like I have a comfortable and cozy spot; sometimes, I wish I were here more often.
On my desk, I have a lot of paper. When I receive it at meetings, I really don’t know what to do with it, so it ends up on my desk. In the picture, you can see the stacks of papers. On the papers, I have a magazine open. I will frequently, check my mailbox, find a magazine, read it on my way up to my office and leave it open on my desk so I can come back to it. It is hard to find time to come back to my open magazines, although, I always have good intentions. The paper and the clutter on my desk bothers me, but I never have enough time to deal with it.
If I could take one word and describe my desk, it would have to be clutter. I am not very good with paper, however, as an educator, I feel like I live in a world FULL of paper. Does anyone else ever feel like that? Each day, I walk past the copy room and hear that poor machine chugging away. Somedays, I walk into the copy room, wanting to scan something on the machine and someone is making 200 copies of a packet that is 4 pages front to back and stapled. Oh! Those trees! I frequently go into meetings and receive a paper agenda. Or, worse yet, sometimes, I receive a copied version of the PowerPoint, with space available for note-taking. I’m sure you know what I mean. I look at those small thumbnails of the presentation, the lines off to the right-hand side and I think “why?”
Other than the paper, I am happy with my office space. I love my big window, which lets in a lot of natural light. I love my plexi-glass! I have lists of teachers who are looking for virtual field trips or collaborations. The lists are a constant reminder to me of what or who I should look for.
I didn’t make it until midnight on NYE this year. I was exhausted. So, when I woke up at 6:30 a.m. with my kids, I thought about the New Year’s of 2016. My big New Year’s resolution was to blog. I looked back and on January 2, 2016, this is what I posted:
Last year, my New Year’s resolutions were to get on Twitter and to blog. So, I got on Twitter very successfully, but the blogging didn’t happen. 2016 will be my year to blog.
It didn’t happen
That is OK. But, I will try again. On January 2, 2017, I looked in my e-amil to see a message from a newsletter that I subscribe to claiming that it is easier to blog when others are blogging with you and you all are holding each other accountable. I believe that. So, I signed up to be part of the #Edublogsclub.
Prompt #1 – My Blog Story
As you can see, I have some experience in blogging. Last year, I made it through March and my goal this year is to make it until at least the summer. If I can blog all year, I will be thrilled! I enjoy writing and sharing my knowledge and story, but it is hard to dedicate the time every week to blog. I like the idea that quantity is more important than quality so I hope to keep that in mind each week as I blog.
I enjoy reading other blogs. It is helpful to me when I subscribe to the blog and receive the updates in my e-mail. Then, I can read a summary and, if necessary, go to the website to read more. One of my favorite blogs is Eric Curts’ Control Alt Achieve. He always provides me with so many ideas that I can share with my colleagues. If you haven’t looked at it, I encourage you to do so.
Thanks #EdublogsClub for encouraging me to blog again! This is a great idea!