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What I Learned From Traveling Internationally With Students

In June, I spent twelve days traveling across western Europe with a group of students. We started in Barcelona, Spain and slowly made our way north, ending in London, United Kingdom and it was a whirlwind of exhaustion, excitement, stress, blisters. Like any great travel adventure, I gained a new perspective on the world and a better understanding of new culture, but most of all I understood the benefit of traveling with your students.

During those twelve days, I got to witness a whole new side to my students. I was used to seeing them in my classroom or in the hallways at school surrounded by their peers, but on the trip I got to see them away from their friends in a new environment, experiencing a foreign culture. Within the first 24 hours, one student had a meltdown because the Coke in Spain did not taste the same as the Coke in the United States; it was mostly the jet lag talking, but it became a running joke and we made him try Coke in every country, just to be sure. There was ano…

Blogging as a Master's Student

I'm in the final stages of my Master's program at Boise State University and my personal blog has definitely slowed down as a result. Even though this blog has been really quiet, I have been updating my edtech blog for my degree quite regularly.

Its seems silly to double post things that I have published on one blog to another so I figured I would just share the link.

Each class has had varying levels of blog integration and I've linked them below:

Edtech 501: Intro to Edtech
Edtech 502: Educational Website
Edtech 503: Instructional Design
Edtech 504: Theoretical Foundation of Edtech
Edtech 505: Evaluation Educational Technologists
Edtech 532: Technology Integration  (still being updated)
Edtech 533: Youtube in the Classroom
Edtech 537: Blogging in the Classroom (that was actually done on this blog!)
Edtech 541: Educational Games and Simulations (still being updated)
Edtech 542: Project-Based Learning

Brushing Off the Cobwebs

That has been my school year so far. 
No, it hasn't been anything bad. But there is so much to do: New responsibilities at work. Finishing my Master's Degree. Moving. Trying to be more 'present' at home. Teaching. Grading. Lesson Planning. Taking care of my fur-babies. I could go on and on, just like anyone. 
Unfortunately, I have been neglecting my online #PLN. Ironically when I published my last post on August 11th, I was incredibly optimistic about my blogging plans for the future and I totally failed at it. So much so, that 'Blogger' didn't even show up in my suggested websites when I got on today. My twitter is pretty much in the same state. 
I'm so frustrated at myself. 
I know that I am not the only one to to fall off the grid when things get crazy. 
So this is me brushing off the cobwebs and making a conscience effort to be more engaged online with my #PLN. 
What do you do to tell balance your online and offline life? Any tips or ideas …

My Blogging Plans

Below are my plans for blogging over the next two months. The bright blue indicates when posts will be published while the brigth yellow indicates important dates.

Reading-For-Fun as a Teacher

Even though reading is my favorite pastime, it falls by the wayside when school is in full swing. That's not to say that I'm not reading, but by the time I finish reading all the blog posts, assignments, essays I'm too exhausted to read-for-fun when I'm home.  Since reading is a stress reliever for me, I've tried to incorporate more reading into my every day life and the best way, for me, has been through Audible. Initially, I was against listening to books since 'that is something old people do' but now I'm hooked.  I look forward to my commute. I've always loved having time before and after work to decompress and reflect, but sometimes it can get a little boring. I've even found I'm more alert and awake instead of getting lost in my thoughts. It keeps me engaged. As a teacher, its so important to stay relevant and connected to the world around you. It helps me remain 'human' and also helps me connect with my students even when I…

THRIVE Everyday Every Day

While many people believe that the best educators earn respect with grand gestures, Aaron Hogan disproves this final myth in the sixth chapter of Shattering the Perfect Teacher Myth. He insists respect and rapport from students is gained through everyday interactions and gives simple ideas to implement every day.

Its so simple. You don't have to do anything crazy, invest a ton of money, or take away from family time. You just need to do a few tiny things every day that show students that you care. As someone who is not the insanely outgoing and goofy teacher who has no fear, I appreciate that the 'little' things matter. I always try to be proud of my reserved manner and find beauty in it, but I still find myself beating myself up for not being the crazy, energetic that the myth requires.

My three thing I plan to add into my every day schedule:

Greeting students at the door - Hogan discussed how a daily routine or question will help you notice irregularities. A greeting is a…

Teaching in the Classroom v. PD Session

Without a doubt, I am a project-based teacher. I have set aside the "sage on the stage" mentality and have embraced my role as one that guides and facilitates learning for my students. If you walk into my classroom, chances are you will find me on the side, monitoring students, answering questions, or providing assistance where needed.

But during my professional development sessions, I'm back in front of the 'class', with the learning and focus back on me. I know that its true; after sessions I would be exhausted from all the talking and would walk away wondering if the attendees got anything from my presentations. While the official feedback from the attendees were mostly positive, my worries were confirmed with the constructive feedback that I needed to make it more hands-on.

#perfectionistsworstnightmare #imtheworst #whyme
Then I realized: I have *mostly* embraced failure in my classroom, but not in my professional development sessions. #fail

August rolled arou…