Friday, August 1, 2014

Where did your boat sail to?

Hello everyone!
How did you spend your summer? I took the opportunity to get involved in a couple of wonderful initiatives and I hope you did too. Every summer, these opportunities are like a boat we all jump in where we leave the comfort of our homes and sail away to meet new people, learn new skills and with (or maybe without!) the aid of a map we hope to navigate exciting, uncharted waters!

Some of my ports of call:

Port of Call #1 The Chromebook Midwest Institute It was smooth sailing to this welcoming harbor that offered me loads of ideas for my classroom. This was a great place for me to connect with other techy people and it challenged me to think about how I can structure my classtime more around technology. This was definitely the port of call that offered me tons of "souvenirs" to take back and arrange in my classroom!

Port of Call #2  The National Board NBPTS Assessment Center in Naperville, IL. Had some stormy seas to navigate just to get here. Being chosen as one of five assessors in the country to grade over 100 entries of National Board Candidates in World Languages was a great honor but on this part of my journey I was tossed about the boat many times. I struggled with the rubrics, I struggled with seeing the evidence, grading without bias and my confidence was at a low. How could I carry my weight for my shipmates? I don't know about your experiences like this, but I actually wanted to jump overboard on this one! But I was thankful for my four other shipmates who supported me, guided me and helped me to understand the process. We were together for 12 days, 8 hours a day and together we trusted each other and learned from each other. Little by little the skies lightened and cleared as we pulled into this harbor and it was a beautiful place. This was the port of call with large thinkers and master teachers, offering me the most intense collaborative experience I have ever known. Here is where I insert a profound blog quote:

Port of Call #3 Illinois Virtual School Summer Workshop. Got a nice tail wind leaving National Board and my boat docked quickly here. I am honored to be a part of the faculty here and besides preparing my AP Spanish online course, I learned some new tricks in our course management system and got to connect with some wise people that have been in distance education for a long time. In my mind, this port of call is like a good Caribbean town: always sunny, has the most friendly and welcoming people and there is time set aside away from the work for laughter and celebrating!

I hope that you had an enjoyable trip in your "boat" this summer and that you are home safe and sound. I would love to hear about your exciting journey as an educator here or blog about it in your own space and send me the link. I hope that I have inspired you to share your journey with others!


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