OMG his PPT is Showing!!

You guys mostly know me and you know I HATE PowerPoint. Everyone that knows me knows that (except my students, would never discourage them not to create something with a program they feel comfortable with). So last night I was floored. The #ISTE10 keynote speaker (can’t remember his name and really do not care to) proudly displayed his PowerPoint for all to see. You don’t show that off in public! Cover it up man!

Speakers need to know their audience. I tell my students that so many times.  When you are presenting, you must know to who you are presenting. Yes, there were people who had no issues with the keynote and this man whipping out his ppt around for all to see, but there were more who did.   Most of the people who knows what’s up in education had to advert their eyes, it was a BIG ppt so you wanted stare, but then you were grossed out by the whole situation.

All laughter aside (yes laughter was what was going on in the bloggers cafe) there was much disappointment in the situation. The speaker did not research his audience and I feel ISTE did not research their speaker. You would think that would be important. Needs to be.

Take this man who exposes his deformed, animated, bullet lace, chart stacked ppt to the world as an example. Some people just do not get it STILL. We have to be louder!!

Made It!

I made it to Denver! It is nothing like I imagined. Yesterday/last night was wonderful! I have met so many people that I feel as though I have known forever.  People are exactly how I imagined, well I never imagined @thenerdyteacher to be so loud.  I can say guys that @michelle107, @ktenkely, @lamoureuxr and @simplek12 are even more beautiful in person, @web20classroom @mrplough07 @tgwynn and @kylepace are so down to earth and awesome. And of course @bethstill is just like you would imagine.  And @chrischampion is just as cool in person as well! There are so many more that I was so glad to meet but its 4:30am and well its 4:30 am. I also had a star stuck moment meeting the awesome Dean Shareski, y’all know that I am never shy, but could not come up with words meeting him.  I also got to watch from the distance many other awesome from afar at the blogger’s cafe. I had the few moments where people who do not look like their avatars recognized me and I was clueless to who they were, I’m sure that happened the other way around as well.

My earlier fear of not knowing anyone or being alone is long gone. Steven Anderson blogged earlier yesterday about how real the relationships with in the PLN are/are not. They are real, those people I love online I love in person. I just wanted to hug them all, and if you know me you know only a few special people are allowed into my personal space for a hug or more!

These people are worth opening your personal space for!


Watch Out PLN (and Denver) Here I Come!

Did you ever go to camp when you were a child? If you did, do you remember that feeling of fear of not knowing anyone, having to meet new friends, etc? I never went to camp but I did go to Girl’s State the summer of my Jr year of high school and the National Young Leaders conference in DC my Sr year.  I remember the shear panic before leaving for both.  When I went to DC I had many things putting me into panic mode: it was my first time to fly alone (I was only 17!),  my roommates were from the north, what if my accent embarrasses them, and I was missing a major holiday for state of Alabama, it was Iron Bowl weekend. Most of all the idea of not knowing anyone was so scary. I was and still am used to people knowing me where ever I go. I changed schools in Jr high and had no worries because I knew so many people at new school before I arrived! Being alone is a scary thing.

Which brings me to the present.  I have never attended a large education conference (or even a non-conference). Mostly because of the fear of going to a strange city alone.  I remember last summer I threw my back out. As in pain injections and stuck flat on my back for a week. It was the same week as NECC (now ISTE). I remember laying there reading the tweets (lol I couldn’t do much else) thinking how fun it all sounded but there was no way I would ever be brave enough to do that!!

Well things change. Over the past year I have developed so many relationships with educators from all over the country, and even different places of the globe! This past winter while reading tweets from my now friends at #educon and only getting to be part of #noneducon (you can read about #noneducon here ) I decided to go to #ISTE10 this year.

Going to #ISTE10 I will admit is a huge financial burden.  I sold all of my gold jewelry (most were from ex’s over the years so no harm done, right?) and had to make sacrifices.  I do not have a tech position (no matter how bad I want one) so there is no way I could get financial help for this conference. But everything is now ready to go.

As I make my schedules and pack my bags those fears I had in high school of being new and alone are coming back.  I could go on and on for days of those little fears, luckily @thenerdyteacher already made that list.  I made the comment that if no one would hang out with me I would go to my comfort zone and find a sports bar and watch the college world series. I was only kidding, a little. But I never thought I would get as many @ and DMs about that comment saying that would not happen.  I still have a large part of me that thinks retreating back to my room alone will be most comfortable, but the support to do otherwise is there and incredible! Thank goodness because I would!

There is this group of people I am dying to meet. These people who have taught me more than I could ever give back.  The thought of them being there and some having the same fears is turning my fears into excitement!! Still surprises me that some would want to meet me as well, but heck I’m going to with that and take it as an honor!

Plane leaves at 5:30 Sunday, and I cannot wait! Thank you to my PLN for all you have taught this past year and 1/2 and I cannot wait to learn from you guys in person!

I always say having a PLN is like sitting next to the smart people in the class, they will always help you and they know the answers.  Its time for me to take my seat!!

(I’m also looking forward to learning at #ISTE10, those post will come later!)

My How Things Have Changed…Or Have They?

The classroom I am moving out of was built in the 1950’s. I wonder what changes that room has seen over the years. When my mom was a student at McAdory in the 1960’s my classroom was the kindergarten classroom.  I enjoy hearing her tell stories about school when she was young.  She tells of how teachers would “disappear” as soon as their pregnancies would start showing. (teachers getting fired for things they did outside of school?! Sounds like facebook issues of other generation!) Or how difficult school was for her learning style and shyness.

When I was in school my classroom was the classroom of Mrs. J. Walker (we had two Mrs. Walkers in 4th grade) she was a strict teacher, I did not have her, but was in the classroom next door. What I remember about her most is that she would make the entire class hold hands and say the blessing before lunch! I know that was 20 years ago, but still shocking.  When I was in fourth grade we would change classes for math and reading based on our ability level.  I was in one of the lower math class – shocking now since I am such a math brain.  I remember standing outside Mrs. J. Walker’s room while my math teacher (next door) told my reading teacher I was stupid and a trouble maker  and would never go to college so I needed to be moved down to the even lower math class.  I highly doubt schools do this today either.  Do not doubt kids still over heard teachers say that.  (By the way I went to college, and beyond, then beyond again.)

My brother was in my classroom in 4th grade and 7th grade.  In 7th grade he was in that room with a teacher who cared about him in and out of the classroom.  This teacher was a large part of my brother’s life throughout high school and even ended up officiating his wedding. It was also the first year McAdory was not all one school.  The elementary had moved to another location.

The classroom is now gutted and will be demolished soon.  Many years of history.  This one plug-mold filled-mouse infested-orange dust covered room will be gone very soon.  But I wonder if the first teacher who was in the room ever thought about who would be in the classroom for years to come.  What teaching styles would be used.  Wonder if she ever imagined that the last teacher in that room would be technology obsessed and almost get in trouble for hiding a wifi router so her students could use netbooks to research real-world data or even better had a PLN that spanned the globe.  I wonder if she used “play” to teach her little 5 year olds or if they had to sit in rows.  I wonder if she was able to collaborate with teachers who also taught the same grade as her. I wonder if she was stressed about standardized test.

Teaching and education is changing so rapidly these days, some for good. some for bad. Two months from now I will be starting my first day as the first teacher in my new classroom.  I wonder how education will change during the next 60 years.  I wonder how that teacher will be teacher her students.  Will she be worrying about standardized test or worrying about her students learning.  I hope when I am 89 years old, I can see it!!!

What is Remembered?

Love this quote: “Any culture which can put a man on the Moon is capable of gathering all the nations of the earth in peace, justice and concord.”

Who said this? Do you know? Wouldn’t it be awesome to have that man as a president?  Well he was.  One of my favorite presidents, and I am embarrassed to tell people that, here’s why.

This president did some awesome things. He ended segregation in schools. He improved relations with countries like China (he got the US pandas from there) and USSR. He brought home hundreds of thousands of troops from Vietnam and eventually ended American involvement. While in office the The Environmental Protection Agency was created. He was President when the first man landed on the moon. He balanced the budget (that is huge)! Equal Opportunity Employment and Title IX happened while he was in office as well.

Sounds like a cool guy huh? If you don’t know much about history and still do not know, this is probably the quote from this president you remember “I am not a crook.”

Yes Richard Nixon.  I’m sure when you hear his name you automatically think Watergate.  I can remember my excitement of walking into the Watergate Hotel because of its place in history.  Kinda sad.

As a teacher and especially a cheerleading coach I feel too many time like Nixon.  This past week I might as well throw up the famous Nixon peace signs.  Forget for 2 years we have swept competitions. Forget that I put everything I have into this part of my career.  Forget all the time it takes away from my wonderful children who do not complain when Mommy asks them to do something.  Forget that I know what I am doing which is rare in the cheerleading coach community.  Forget all of that.  I’m remembered because some parents do not like that I let the kids walk to the athletic complex as a group without me (I have done this before & have had kids injured, do not like the fact of my car 5 blocks away). No one remembers that I have told girls with less than desired talent they looked fine when they really looked bad, but I knew it was the best they could do, nope remembered for the one time I reminded them they were only ones not knowing cheer.

Its amazing how as humans we forget the accomplishments of people and remember actions that we did not like.  Teachers have this happen to them more often than other professions, do not let that discourage you. You do have amazing accomplishments and you and your students know that .  Do not pull a Nixon and go into seclusion. Hold your head up high and keep trucking.  My coaching days may be coming to an end, but I have 20 something former cheerleaders who on a daily basis remind me how much they miss me and that they appreciate the time I devoted to them. That is what is important, not the ones who do not know how good they have it.

I’ll leave you with one inspiring more quote from the President: “A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.”  It is OK to be defeated sometimes, quitting though is questionable.