Friday, August 29, 2014

Dedicated, Innovative, Hardworking Teachers

South Berwyn School District 100 has the most dedicated, innovative, and hardworking teachers!

During the second week of school in +South Berwyn 100...

On Monday, students in @5SL were working on math problems on their iPads, and submitting their work in Schoology. Natalie, student Ignite Presenter from @4CPershing last year was using Evernote to describe how she felt about the problems in class and she further explained how to solve the problems. 

In Ms. Vega's bilingual classroom 1st grade students were logging onto their laptops and exploring SMART Notebook to practice using the track pad and keyboard, coming from 1:1 iPad classroom. The students were so excited to get their device and they did an amazing job following step-by-step directions!  (Walking to laptop cart, hugging their device, placing laptop on the table, logging in with the username and password, with a capital S!)

During AOW (Article of the Week) +Sarah Larson was engaging her 8th grade students in a writing discussion on Ebola. Students were researching and writing about the deadliest outbreak and deciding if we in the US should be worried. Students had to use a variety of sources to make sure they were getting accurate information and then choose a creative way to inform others of their findings. Many students are choosing to create a movie, but they were left inspired at the end of the class period when Mrs. Larson shared a catchy song, "Ebola in Town" by D 12, Shadow, & Kuzzy of 2Kings. The purpose of the song was to inform others and avoid the infection. I'm eager to see what the 8th grades create!

At Komensky School the new 5th grade team is on fire! +Ryan Kozin & Dan King are new to co-teaching together AND Dan's new to an iPad 1:1 classroom. Students were reading together looking as though they had been in school for months. +Jonathan Palles moved from 2nd grade to 5th grade, already in a comfort zone he's ready to dive into iSWAT (I'm a Student willing to Assist with Technology) planning. Students in 5C were sharing writing samples, and Mrs. Cooley was anxiously waiting to hear how she can get her students involved in #iengagebwyn.

I'm simply amazed walking though classrooms amongst our 8 buildings. Our teachers are dedicated to the success of our students. They don't make excuses and they uphold high expectations.  They are powering through any "techy" issues (yes, we still have plenty) and are focused on the learning. They're learning from each other and sharing experiences via social media. I can hardly keep up with all the new blog posts and tweets!

Finally, the iCoach team, +Ramona Towner +Todd Bittorf and +Jordan Garrett have put together an amazing Google Community, The Toolbox & The Fridge, where all D100 teachers can share and learn from each other without physically being in the same room or even the same building.

It seems to me like we're ready for our 1st site visit!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Balance: Welcome to a New Year

1st Summer as an Admin! 

It was an amazing summer of learning, collaborating, and presenting. I attended iPadpalooza in Austin, TX, ISTE in Atlanta, GA, and Ed Tech Teacher Summit in Chicago, IL. Each conference helped me grow as an educator and a leader in different ways. Each experience will have a direct impact on my education role in South Berwyn School District 100.
This summer I also spent time with my beautiful 6 month old niece. I learned what it was like to be a "mom of an infant" for a whole day. I learned how she liked to be held; I learned that she'll fall asleep in 5 minutes in her stroller. I learned the painstaking feeling of seeing her sick and not being able to do a thing to make her feel better.
I hosted professional development for my school district, and I also spent several hours behind my desk preparing for 1:1 updates. My fiancé and I bought our first home, and I spent some time catching up with friends and family. I'm busy, we're all busy. Thus, this year in my iCoach Department, our theme is BALANCE.
We are leaders in our professional and personal lives, thus we always have a LOT going on. We cannot continue to learn and grow and be our very best if we don't have a work/life balance. I'm challenging myself, our coaches, and all educators to do the same. Don't forget to focus on yourself, spend time with your loved ones, exercise, and be all that you can be at work. Oh, and check Twitter updates somewhere in between. Schedule times throughout the day to put your device down and enjoy your balanced life.

Have a great school year!