Sunday, November 23, 2014

My Impact Project:

My Impact Project: I am sharing and building an awareness and understanding of how technology can be used to engage, enrich and interact with families to be informed about their child's learning inside and outside of the classroom.  As I begin thinking about my actions for my work, I am also thinking about "how to" best go about building an awareness of what I am presenting doing and seeking perspective from both former and present families.
So I reached out to former and present families asking for their input.  So very grateful for all their support, I begin to collect information and impressions from immediate and past families in regards to engagement.
 I created this Google Form for former families and this Google Form for present families.  I am already finding a variety of perspectives and ideas as I continue to create and design my impact project.

Moving forward I am thinking of how I can create and design opportunities for my families to engage more in the learning that is happening inside and outside of my classroom.  After an awesome Twitter chat on Saturday morning thanks to #satchat I am thinking of possibly holding an EdCamp for parents.  This is just one idea I have as I begin to think about ways to interact with families.  

Twitter is one place where I look to share how easy it easy for me, my students and others to share, reflect, collaborate and inspire others.  Last week another class tweeted a photo of my students in a video we created about how we are making  difference.  My students were so inspired and excited to see that others were interested in what we were doing that this offered another opportunity for me to highlight how we are mentors and through our sharing, we inspire others too!  This is a wonderful thing.  I need to think more about how this type of interaction can also benefit family engagement.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

How Do I Keep My Candle Burning? My Inspiration…… Fresh Air…...

This blog post is a response to a question as an America Achieves Fellow I(along with other amazing educators) was asked by Jon Schnur, the Executive Chairman of America Achieves.

I think about all the passions I have and feel grateful…  How do I keep a balance? Open perspective? And the courage and energy to carry on….

Breathing in and out, fresh air and perspective offers energy. Being transparent, inspired and having my thinking challenged has really offered me great insights into learning and also focusing on what is important. So for me, in order for me to pursue my passions and keep fueled, I have to be well in my mind and body.  I exercise daily, sometimes twice a day and eat healthy foods.  I strive to keep balance and variety in what I do to keep physically and mentally fit. I also try to find ways to be outside in the fresh air which gives me an opportunity to catch my breath and reflect.
As an educator it is so important to be well, having total wellness gives me ways to refuel and re-energize in ways that can be routine, but also challenging.  I need to be totally present each day inside and outside of my classroom.  No grumpiness allowed in Kindergarten!  My students need me to be present cognitively and emotionally. In order for me to achieve this and yes, I mean achieve I have to make time for my passions and interests.

I feel fortunate because many of my passions and interests weave in and out of my professional interests.  The common passion in both aspects of my life is passion for learning.  Learning “how to” be well, being able to have control over things that I can change and make a difference for are very important and part of who I am.  This includes knitting, swimming, walking, hiking, and other things. I value my time with my family and friends most of all.  Many times they overlap which is wonderful.  Re energizing is all about shifting my thinking and perspective about what I am involved in and what my priorities are at this moment. Many times life takes unexpected turns and sometimes paths open up that are unexpected for inspiration, challenge and growth.
When I need to refuel I walk and breathe in as much fresh air as I can.  Drinking lots of water and exercising are the ways I get recharged and refueled.  Being overwhelmed and feeling like I am in a state of disequilibrium is where I do some of my most valuable thinking and learning because I am being challenged through ideas and perspectives that offer a new way of thinking and require a mindset that can be flexible and adapt, while also giving me permission to ask questions, observe and be curious.  Curiosity is one of the best ways I know to pursue an idea, an inquiry and explore a new perspective.

When I am asked about how I find time, I reply;”It is there, you have to plan for it, but also be open in the moment to adapt to what needs you have.”