August 11, 2017

A Better Me

This is the FIRST summer ever that I didn't sit at home planning each and every detail of the school year ahead. I took care of me. I spent time with family and friends. I spent too much money on things like decorating my new house. I got a new puppy who needed lots of patience, play, and attention. I sat outside and watched the sunrise and the sunset. I ate good food and slept in. I finally realized my health was a priority and started making little changes to my lifestyle. As a teacher, you can easily find yourself working too many hours and worrying a whole lot about things that are totally out of your control. You can find yourself saying, "yes," to things that you should probably say, "no," to instead. You can find yourself wanting to please everyone else around you. But then you find yourself losing sight of what's really important - your health and well-being. My goal this year is to find a healthy balance between my school life and my home life. Notice how I don't call it work. It's not work to me because it is my PASSION. But my passion also includes my family, friends and my fiancé, Bryce. My mentors have always told me, "Take care of you first. Take care of you first. You can't pour from an empty pitcher." But I never really listened because I thought, I'm still young. I can handle all of this. I'd say things like, "We'll just order pizza or I can skip dinner tonight. I'll eat a big breakfast tomorrow. I'll sleep longer on the weekend. Let me get up at 3:00 a.m. to work on that project I've been thinking about for a week." You think I'm making this up, but I'm not. All of these thoughts are not healthy. I became obsessive about my school life and my home life suffered. And then I realized, "How can I be a good teacher if I'm not being a good friend, daughter, and future-wife?" If you're not giving time to each important part of your life, the other parts suffer just the same. So yes it's a balancing act. Honestly, I don't know how my colleagues that are moms do it. But they say, "You don't even think about the fact that you're tired or don't want to do it. You just do it. You do the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the carpooling..." I admire my teacher mom friends. They are the ultimate masters of the balancing act. So I will close this blog post with the quote below. "Taking time to live life will only INSPIRE your work."

June 27, 2017

Schlechty Design Camp 2017

Yesterday and today I had the pleasure of learning with educators from GCISD, Texas, and other states across the United States at the Schlechty Design Camp. There were so many great ideas that I don't even know where to start. I will summarize my learning by different tools to make it easier.

Hyperdocs - I'm excited to use Hyperdocs to differentiate instruction. I also want to make my choice boards and menus into hyperdocs. I love the idea of students being able to navigate to different places all from one document. They can also make a copy and answer questions as they go.

Adobe Spark - Adobe Spark reminds me of Canva. It is a great design tool for both posters, web pages, & even video.

Google Slides - I love the idea of using Google Slides as a way for students to collaborate & see each others' work. I'm thinking of using Google Slides for group projects & individual assignments that can be turned in on one set of Google Slides. Number 1 pastes his assignment on slide number 1, number 2 pastes her assignment on slide number 2, etc. This way I can use Bitmoji to give feedback like stickers. I can also add comments using the commenting tool at the top.

Nearpod - We have premium memberships in GCISD? WOOT WOOT! So excited to use this. The kids will love it and I can easily collect data using the built in formative assessments.

Google Classroom - You can now add topics, guardians, and add another teacher as a student to collaborate.

I always enjoy being around other educators that are consistently working to improve their craft. What a great two days of learning!