A Summer of Learning, Leading & Leisure (well, a little anyway)
This summer was an amazingly busy time with so many opportunities for growth in my learning, my profession and relationships within my family. I always look forward to the summer as a time to unplug, relax and recharge! I feel like while I did do elements of this, I also had some great opportunities to lead and work on my profession, which helped me recharge in new ways.
I started right out of the gates as soon as school ended by attending a planning weekend with other dynamic educators to create sessions that provided Digital Learning Competency credits for teachers around North Carolina. Educators in North Carolina are now required to obtain at least 2 DLC credits as part of their renewal cycles. The Department of Public Instruction, in North Carolina, hired many of us to provide these beneficial sessions for teachers. We planned early in June for sessions that were delivered in July for the Western half one week and the Eastern side the next. We fine-tuned our offerings and went away from our time with a list of tasks to accomplish prior to our sessions.
Not long after departing from this planning session, I left for 5 days in Chicago to attend ISTE 2018 (International Society of Technology in Education). I had an incredible time learning about so many Brainpop, Google and Apple resources, coding and programming as well as networking with other educators and enjoying The Windy City and all it had to offer. I have to say that with all that the conference offers, it can become overwhelming and exhausting at times so the best way to recharge is to go to the poster sessions that have kids. Listening to their enthusiasm; seeing their hard work and taking in the knowledge that they offer is truly inspiring and makes me want to be the best that I can be for our teachers and students. This was my 2nd ISTE and if you have NEVER gone, I can NOT emphasize enough the power of this opportunity.
Shortly after I arrived home from ISTE, I had some much needed down time with my family as we made our way to Florida for 2 weeks. We made sure to include a college tour into our plans for my son, as well as family time with cousins, aunts and uncles. We took our trip into the Keys where we enjoyed sun, sand and snorkeling together while making sure to catch some really great soccer during the World Cup. We also made time to venture up to Virginia a little later in July for some relaxation and bear adventures.
Once these trips came to an end, it was time to embark on the traveling road show of teaching DLCs on the Eastern side of North Carolina. This was a tremendous opportunity to teach others but to also see a variety of schools and interact with so many different educators, with a variety of backgrounds, opportunities and resources. I loved learning from other educators but also had an even larger awareness about equity within our state for students, teachers, resources and conditions. I could go on for hours about these topics but I found myself losing sleep at times thinking about this topic. In some schools, the resources were clearly there, but locked down, while in others the conditions were deplorable, possibly dangerous. Along with these revelations, I found myself in awe of so many great things that the other instructors on the team were doing in their school’s and counties. It was exhausting, it was draining, it was a LOT of work and I can’t WAIT to go back to do it again next summer!! I am including links to my presentations from the work that we did during that time and hope that others might be able to utilize some of these resources as well.
Once I was home from our traveling road show, we immediately started the work of my new position as Digital Learning Coordinator in Wake County Public Schools. We have already accomplished so much in a little over a month that we have been together and I look forward to reflecting on our work and links to our resources over the course of the next year. Until then, work hard, lead by example and make sure to spend time with the people that matter !!