Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dusting off the Blog...

I took some time away from intense blogging and deep reflection in October to work on one of my personal goals for the year! I recently blogged about a honest reflection on the question "What would you do if you weren't afraid?" and I answered quickly with this: I would take some of my ideas and experiences and share those with others at local workshops or conferences. 

Big leap for me to act upon that, but I started small. I presented at at local mini-conference and the title of the presentation was 30 Day Blog Challenge: A Reflective Journey. For an hour, I shared with the audience about my journey with blogging as well as instruction on how to set up one's own blog challenge for either students or teachers. It was a success and I really felt great doing it while at the same time realizing that I was checking something off my list that I should have done a long time ago. 

So as you can see, I really did not leave my blogging or any of the people in the wonderful PLN created at #reflectiveteacher too far behind because I took them along with me as I spoke about the 30 Day Blogging Challenge! Thank you to Justine Hughes for the constant support and thank you to those of you who let me use your comments in my presentation!

So hello, you slightly dusty blog, you. Time to open you up and start reflecting once again Justine and I here at the +TeachThought Community Wiki start up the November 30 Day Blogging Challenge promoting an "Attitude of Gratitude"  Hope that you can join us!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday at the TeachThought Blog

Thoughtful Thursday at the TeachThought Blog

Why is it important to be connected as an educator?

If you read this great image above, it pretty much says it all. The importance of connection to other educators, organizations and educational movements is integral to moving forward as educators, to being even better than we are today.

It is through my connections that I am able to keep up to date on new language approaches. My connected "amigos" give me ideas for use in my classroom and they many times confirm that I am not alone in my daily struggle to create students that are independent thinkers and self-reliant. Their positive comments and sugestions help me to tackle tomorrow with a renewed spirit, to get on my horse once again and fight those windmills just like Don Quijote did. The Cervantes symbolism still works in 2014.

I am learning new things every day from my connected friends and it also feels really great to be able to share what I know, share something that worked for me, or support them with a kind word or caring comment. It is infectious to learn alongside other dedicated and outgoing teachers.

So thank you PLN for helping me be the best I can be! 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Thoughtful Thursdays at the Teach Thought Blog

Thoughtful Thursdays at the Teach Thought Blog

When and how do Connections become "authentic"?

As human beings, connections are a basic need. Connections to places, people and things. Is it a favorite place from our childhood? Is it a favorite blanket or toy that we still have? It it a dear friend or family member that cares about us deeply and who knows us better than we know ourselves? These connections attach to something inside ourselves and bring about pleasant memories, warm emotions and positive affirmations. Seeking out those comforting, trusted places and individuals get us through life, keep us moving forward and are the constants that we tap into as life ebbs and flows. 

Just like personal connections, we have ones in our teaching as well, and they too can become truly meaningful and "authentic". My connections become "authentic" when positive moments and feelings get attached to them. They benefit me and my students and through the build up trust and confidence in that connection, it becomes meaningful and "authentic". I have connections with students that are authentic, connections to great activities/approaches that benefits my classroom and authentic relationships with colleagues who offer me wise advise that I use every day. These "authentic" connections help me be a better teacher every day.

Do you have great connections in your teaching- why makes then authentic for you?


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thoughtful Thursdays at the Teach Thought Blog

Thoughtful Thursdays at the Teach Thought Blog

This is October and it is Connected Educator Month!  I am happy and honored to be working with Justine Hughes again to help lead teachers in reflecting upon their practice and deepening connections with other around the globe. September was a great ride and I am ready for October!

We begin the month with a Thoughtful Thursday Blog Post centered on the question of:

"What does connected education look like?"

We all love strong connections. Connections bring us love, laughter and (in the case of my husband and the many people he knows) sometimes free/reduced price items or events! And I do love me a good wi-fi connection as well. Lots of bars, no lag time, no waiting, no awkward moments, no missed opportunities. Paradise.

A wi-fi connection allows me to have strong connections to the world outside my classroom and building. Don't get me wrong, I have connections with many wonderful people in my school, but my outside connections online have strengthened my teaching immensely. And this is what connected education is all about-being members of groups, chats, wikis, book clubs, nings, etc. where we gather together as educators and talk about our successes and failures, our dreams, our wish lists, our bucket lists

My connection to others outside the building gives me a lifeline to resources and support and encouragement to keep being the best teacher I can be. For all of the people that have helped me, thank you! For all the ones moving along with Justine and I on our October journey at the TeachThought Community Wiki, I hope that you feel a part of our community!