Mentor

Mentor. As I say the word aloud there are immediate images that appear in my mind. I even feel a slight nervous flutter that often accompanies my anxiety when I’m taking a risk or starting something new. It’s not a bad feeling, especially when I know I’m not stepping into the unknown alone. I can still visualize the calm, reassuring  smile of my very first teacher mentor as  we would sit across the table and plan lessons or problem solve. She seemed to always know what to say and never made me feel I was interrupting her work or asking a dumb question. I know I thanked her a thousand times, but I don’t know if she ever really knew how thankful I really was for her patience , kindness, and generosity in sharing her wealth of resources and knowledge- but most of all for her friendship and believing in me . I have had other mentors across the years who each shared their expertise and our relationships often varied. Each adding to my foundation of knowledge and continued growth as a teacher and professional.  Inspiring me to mentor others in return.

So -now fast forward 20 + years to 2018 and via Twitter I read about Noa Daniels and Leigh Cassell amazing  #OEMConnect Mentors  project. A virtual mentoring program that connects Canadian preservice teachers to experienced teachers and experts in all grade levels and content areas through a Digital Human Library. WOW! First, I am blown away someone had this creative idea and secondly,  that they were able to follow through and make it a reality. So I did what I normally do- I proceeded to stalk them on Twitter. Which I faithfully did until a couple of months ago,when Noa invited me, an American teacher,  to join their pool of Mentors! NEW ADVENTURES- NEW CHALLENGES- GROWTH OPPORTUNITY of course I said yes, after I cried in humility. What an honor! I have submitted my Mentor profile and now I wait- hoping to be lucky enough to be selected as someone’s’ mentor.

I kind of feel like I’m back in High School  gym class waiting to be selected for someone’s team- but this time I’m doing the  “Pick me! Pick me!” dance…and so I wait … to be continued. Meanwhile, Check out the Digital Human Library https://www.digitalhumanlibrary.org and  Learn more about  OnEDConnectMentors on Noas’ blog  https://www.buildingoutsidetheblocks.com

 

 

 

 

 

2019 : A Year of Intentionality

2019 – Intentionality

My #oneword for 2019 is intentionality.

I have tried to stay focused this year and work “within my lane.”  I have many partnerships and many overlapping tasks that often make that difficult. For that reason,  I feel that it is essential to be very intentional in all I do and say with regards to students, teacher supports and even in my own personal life – so that each area reflects a clear purpose. 

Just to be clear- I have a confession. Once I reached 30 years of service in education,  I stopped counting the years. I know this year will be late 30 something and probably closer to 40 years than I’d like to admit.  Despite the aches and pains and inability to sit criss-cross applesauce on the floor any longer, I really don’t feel old and no, I’m not ready to retire. It’s not that I think I’m too good either-its the exact opposite-I’m still not as good as I want to be. I still believe teaching is one of the greatest professions and that it is a privilege and great responsibility to be a part of impacting so many lives.

Every year there are more and more ridiculous requirements, while in contrast there are more advancements in technology plus the unpredictable challenges that we now face in reaching a diverse and unique population of students. These are the points that motivate me to keep learning, growing and improving my practices.

My Twitter and Facebook PLN connections have also provided deeper and more relevant PD than I have ever experienced. The connections I have made through Twitter alone over the past 4 years have played a valuable role in helping me to stay motivated, engaged and informed.

I want to thank John Seidlitz and the representatives of his amazing team of specialist who have educated, motivated and inspired me – Carol Salvo, Dr. Lara, Nancy Motley, Michelle Yzquierdo – thank you all for your dedication and hard work and your generous gift of time and knowledge to me and thousands of more educators. You are our rock!

To Noa Daniels- the most creative and innovative teacher I have not yet had the privilege to meet- you voice beams with joy and that makes me happy. I love you and your passion for inquiry learning and thinking outside the box. You are the kind of teacher I always wanted to be or work side by side with. ( FYI- My playlist keeps changing,  so I guess it’s a good thing I’m not BIG enough to be on your show- but I am listening!)

To Emily Francis  and Tan Huynh  your stories and lives are a testimony to the strength of human spirit -and your dedication and commitment to EL students and education are truly inspiring. I wonder if you realize how much you impact the lives of those you come in contact with? I feel blessed to be a part of this PLN circle.

There are so many others that I plan to highlight and intentionally thank as the weeks progress. For now, as I begin this new year and blogging journey-  know that my heart is overflowing with gratitude for many reasons. 

Challenge: 7 Books I love in 7 Days

7 Day Challenge to Share the Cover of 7 Books I Love

See, I told you I can’t turn down a challenge!  I guess it’s a subconscious link to all those  “double dog dare yous ”  from my childhood.  I have been challenged by my colleague and Twitter friend to share the covers of seven of my favorite books over 7 days. On Twitter, I can not post any comment, reviews or recommendations about the books-simply the covers. In turn, I am supposed to challenge a new person each day to do the same. Challenge accepted!

Well, for those of you who know me well, you are aware of the conundrum I am facing! Selecting only seven books is both an easy and grueling task. Easy, because I have seven or more books currently stacked  on the coffee table and in my bookbag that I am reading. Grueling – because as a collector and connoisseur of all genres -how can I possibly select only seven? Besides, did she mean seven professional education books or did she mean seven new titles?   Or perhaps she meant seven great classics? Or should I infer that these are seven books I can’t live without-forever? See, these are questions I needed her to answer. But, because it was New Years Eve and I was trying to be cool and nonchalant about something that really had my little nerdy heart all aflutter- I decided to provide a mixture of responses and not overthink the issue. I mean, if there is a 100 day challenge sometime in the future I don’t want to be so high maintenance that I’m not invited  to participate again.  So, here are the seven I have decided to share on Twitter. 

 

Challenge Accepted

Goal #1 for 2019 

One of my personal faults is a tendency to be a “little bit” competitive from time to time. I blame it on growing up in a household with five siblings and feeling like I always needed to jockey for my parents attention. Whatever the reason, I’m accepting the challenge and finally diving into the world of blogging. Okay, I confess I did make three other attempts but I was a classroom teacher then and there were so many restrictions on what I could and couldn’t post that I gave up. So here I am, at it again -but this time with a goal of at least 100 posts. I know I have at least that many opinions, ideas or reactions to the words, attitudes and actions of others.  And if I feel brave enough, I ‘m sure I have at least 100 ideas rambling around in my head. Perhaps this is the best place to share my disclaimer. I have been in education for over 30 years. I have never been satisfied with the middle of the road approach and my actions and attitudes are fueled by deep passions. I am always on a mission for growth and self improvement and prefer to be surrounded by like minded folks. It is my belief that effective educators must have a growth mindset and maintain a reflective attitude.

Warning: The contents of this blog will be based on my personal ponderings and experiences. As I am on the journey for continuous self improvement, HONEST reflection and a desire to be a better wife, mom, teacher, friend, mentor, coach, trainer and advocate -political correctness is not my priority. ❤️