When we have each other, we have everything.
Last June, Kristin Wallace asked me to think about teaching a session with her at TIES 2013. I took some time to consider it and thought, "Well, if I can teach at WTA (our district's technology conference during the summer), I could probably teach at TIES." I was feeling pretty calm, but when I woke up this morning, I realized my entire dream sequence last night revolved around going through my presentation slides again and again and again. To say I was nervous was an understatement! I would be teaching teachers, adults, and techies...oh my!
As I sit here cozied up on the couch with eggnog and a lit Chrismas tree, I reflect on this amazing opportunity!
1. I taught alongside my "Technology and English Teacher" idol. I have a GREAT amount of respect for Kristin and her passion for English literature, her willingness to integrate technology to enhance the learning of her students, and her endless creativity to do anything fun (IE: Shakepeare finger puppets and color coordinated outfits).
2. I had the experience of teaching at TIES. Out of all the sessions that were most likely submitted by teachers from the 6 states that attended, our session was approved and we were able to share our passion with others. It was such an energizing experience to stand up there showcasing technology that has made a tremendous difference in our classrooms and to see the individuals in the audience vigorously taking notes on their devices. Our session was jam packed with standing room only in the hallway outside of the doors with teachers who are eager to make a change!
3. We are experiencing exciting times as educators. There isn't any greater feeling than to be surrounded by so many teachers with the common interest of bringing 21st century and personalized learning to classrooms. I attended a session from Suzie Boss (@suzieboss) regarding project based learning. I came away with a ton of resources to personalize learning for my students based on their interests, I can still meet the core standards, and bring global connectivity into my classroom. It was quite the session!! What other time in education has provided those types of opportunities to teachers!?!
Amazing day today and I am sure tomorrow will bring many more learning opportunities! In addition to all the amazingness of today, I will get the opportunity tomorrow to walk on the stage with the other 2013 TIES Exceptional Teacher award recipients. Thank you to Christy Zachow and the others who decided that I deserved this honor! It is humbling and an incentive for me to continue to bring innovative changes to my classroom!
Ben, Julie, and Amelia