To Deserve or Not Deserve

I have heard the word "deserve," quite a bit lately as others found out that I will be receiving one of ISTE's Emerging Leaders award at this year's conference in San Diego. Technically I knew since early April and tried to keep it under wraps for as long as possible. Words cannot express how grateful I am from all of the lovely messages from my PLN who really made me the educator I am today. At the same time, I am still wondering whether "deserve," is the right word? It seems more like I found the golden ticket to a career I really enjoy.

"Lucky" might be a better word. It seems like some of the events that put me where I am right now was a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Before being a Tech Integration teacher, I was teaching sixth graders to be true readers and writers. Just happened to be one of the few teachers that would put in the work with the mobile labs. So I was offered the new position and lucky to have an AMAZING, supportive supervisor that has put up with me for five years. Lucky to win so many grants to build up from a set of desktop computers to a multimedia lab.

"Fortunate" would definitely describe my journey of instructional technology. The DEN, Discovery Educator Network, has been so wonderful to me over the years! Some of the absolute best people in my PLN, I met at a DEN event. Not only did they share their expertise, but they have the best positive attitude about changing the world of education one classoom, school at a time. Being a Google Certified Teacher and Trainer has expanded my network to include more fantastic educators. As I see so many tweets from those that can't make this year's ISTE conference, I am fortunate that I have been able to attend 5 years in a row.

When I submitted my application at the beginning of this year, I knew I didn't "deserve" any award. There are so many young educators that are working hard to try and change the face of education, they deserve awards too. Going through the application was actually the best part because I could reflect on what has happen and decide where I want to go in the future. When I submitted the application and now receiving the award, there is so much more to do. I vow to work even harder to earn the word "deserve."


Having Control

Like most educators, I like having control. So much so that it took me a while to give control to the students when it comes to projects. Never regretted that decision.

Unfortunately, it is easy to get wrapped up in the things you can't control in a school. Colleagues not completing their assigned duties. Knowing that students are not getting the education they deserve. Seeing students that are being left behind when something could be done. To know that change can't happen with the current climate.

Since I fell in the trap, I spent way too much time angry and sad. When Friday morning started off just as rough as the past three mornings, I took a moment to stop myself and the pent up resentment. In that moment there was a decision to make: to hold on to the anger or make a change. The choice was change.

I took a quick moment to write two thank-you notes to staff members that really helped me during this rough week. Both already told me how much the notes meant to them. By letting go of the anger, it allowed me to see how hard my students work in my class. It resulted in me giving lots of feedback, praise, and pats on the back.

This post written on a Sunday night is really meant to be a reminder. A reminder that the problems existed last week still exist. A reminder that I do have control if my week is a positive or negative experience.


New Year? New _______?

As I have stated here before, the beginning of a new year means a lot to me. The chance to be better and start new adventures. There is a different feeling to the beginning of 2012 compared to other years. Not sure I can really describe it...More peaceful? A lack of charge to run out and conquer the world? This feeling has me questioning: What do I want from 2012?

1. I want to keep learning! I want that feeling that I had when Web 2.0 was new to me or using the iPad for the first time.

2. I want to be healthy! This is not a resolution to go on a drastic diet or run 10 miles a day. I just want to continue what I started in 2011. Moving every day and conscience of what I eat.

3. I want to be free to be me! I did change in the past year after losing my mother. Too much time was wasted trying to be the "old me." Now is the time to learn who I am now and being okay with that person.

That is about it. Other than these three simple things, I am ready for whatever 2012 brings. Hopefully more blue skies than gray. Even in the gray, may there be some silve linings and a couple of rainbows.