Sunday, December 28, 2008


It is my opinion that being a teacher is difficult for many reasons. It is not easy to see the progress that your students are making day to day. In many other professions a person can tangibly see the progress or lack thereof. This is an odd blog post. I would think that others that are reading this are looking for a professional teachers ideas regarding technology and the educational system. I have taken the liberty to write about the insecurity that I feel sometimes regarding my professional expertise. I know that I am not alone. If I feel this way at times, imagine what someone else who is not as tech savvy, a risk taker or unafraid of making mistakes might feel.

Recently I have come to the conclusion that the more that you know, the more that you don't know. I am a dabbler, I know a little about a lot of things. I am a sponge that is always out there somewhere absorbing new information. I am not an expert on anything. I am finding myself envying (perhaps too strong a word)those that are experts on things. If I am honest the reason is that I want others to count on me for my expertise.

Initially my computer teaching position was equal time teaching and equal time fixing computers, networks, printers... Recently this changed. This year I have 31 classes to teach each week, 4 more than last year. Computers, networks, printers... are working fairly smoothly and my "expertise" to fix something is called on infrequently. I am looking to find some validation. In the not so distant past, I was instrumental in getting SMARTBoards into our schools. I was making presentations to parent teacher groups, doing teacher training and getting things all set up. I am proud of these accomplishments. Things are going very well now which I am very happy about.

A little less than a year ago, I co presented at the WEMTA conference on "Smart Ways To Use A SMARTBoard In Your Classroom". The room was packed. There was fantastic interaction between us and the audience. We received incredible feedback from those that attended. I felt a real connection between all of us. Right after this conference was over, Notebook 10 came out from SMART. My school district sent a different teacher to become a certified trainer for SMART and my days of being the "go to person" were over.

As I read more and more blog posts, online articles, books and hear speakers on many different topics (remember I am a dabbler) I realize that I don't really have anything that I am an expert in, not something that has the "wow effect" that I feel like I can pass on to others at this moment in time. Perhaps in the future.

So as I write this post and let you the reader know how I feel regarding my need for validation it sounds shallow, egotistical and self centered. This is a part of who the "real me" is. I am not going to lie to you. It is a good thing that there are other parts of me too- parts that I am proud to be- kind, generous, enthusiastic and unselfish.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

One day at a time

Sometimes it seems that there is so much out there in this world- to be excited about, to be dismayed about, to learn, to share, to give...that it becomes difficult to know what to spend ones time on. Obviously that is why a person needs priorities. I find that as I learn more I want to share more. As I become more aware of what is going on around me and in the world at large I want 10 of me walking around helping others. If I could magically have 48 hours in a day or be in more than one place at a time I think that these super powers would not be enough. This is not a reason to be cynical or stop thinking that we can make a positive difference in the lives of others. All of us can, in small ways. It is easy to forget this and become overwhelmed with the problems one chooses to see.
If I could take home and mother the children that need a stable environment, give zillions of dollars to cure the world of the ills that plague it- I would. I am not in a position to do either. We can all still have a positive impact on others- sharing and caring and doing what we can to help our fellow man. Life is to be lived one day at a time, as good as one can. That is all that one can expect of oneself.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Embrace the Possibility

In Rodd Lucier's blog post "A Lesson Worthy of an A" he has a Pop!Tech video that you need watch. Benjamin Zander is an inspirational, life changing and possibly world changing teacher.
He speaks about the world of "possibility" - for your life and mine and how we can help our students to embrace opportunities and possibilities rather than the downward spiral of life as most of us know it.

What will you do today?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Our Favorite Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies given to me from the Kitchen of Martha Swanson
2 C sugar
1 C butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C sour cream
1 tsp baking soda
2 C flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3 C flour

Cream sugar and butter. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Mix the sour cream and baking soda together then add to the sugar and butter mixture. Mix in 2 cups of flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder until well blended. Add remaining 3 Cups of flour and mix well. Chill dough for an hour or more. Roll out on a floured counter...Decorate now or wait till after baked. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until lightly tanned. Makes about 5 dozen.