Did You Develop Professionally?

Image Source http://zcache.com
Image Source http://zcache.com

Let’s review the facts.

On June 22, 2009 I responded to Clif Mim’s Professional Development Meme with the following four summer PD goals:

My Goals:

1. Complete the last two video podcasts for the grant project I have remaining and submit them to the funding partners.
2. Record audio and or video of summer PD and upload to the CMSCE Rutgers iTunes U account for archiving.
3. Continue building the UDL4ALL Ning – add resources, build community, cultivate conversations.
4. Add to my iTouch the Future series of posts.

Now, before you judge me, stop and think about how hectic your summer has been. Think about all the time you spent with your family and friends. Think about all the work you did. Think about all you actually were able to accomplish.

Let’s cut to the chase. Here’s the breakdown of the excuses for not accomplishing any of my goals:

  1. I didn’t finish the video project because during my two-week vacation when I was going to work on it (this is funny, right?) I had to manually code the Center’s fall 2009-2010 catalog (link).
  2. The sessions I intended on UStreaming were in fact recorded, I even uploaded them to Blip.tv . But when I went to convert and edit them down to import into iTunesU I ran into all sorts of errors that I just abandoned after a while.
  3. I did add a bit to the UDL4ALL Ning but not as much as I had planned. I have no excuse for this one.
  4. Blogging about the iPodTouch apps became less of a priority for me as my interests went elsewhere. I bookmarked many great resources and explored many great educational applications this summer though.

Though I did not comply with the 7th rule of this Meme in that I did not achieve my goals by September 7th, I do feel that I have developed professionally. Sometimes our priorities shift. Things happen.

I’m getting ready to welcome a new cohort of educators into the Center’s 21st Century Learning Initiative. I’m looking forward to the 3rd year of the INCLUDE grant and helping districts use the UDL framework to help students reach their objectives. I’m looking forward to traveling around New Jersey and the country to various conferences to speak about technology trends in education and exchange ideas with fellow ed-techies.

I’m looking forward to ANOTHER great year. How about you?

Professional Development Meme 2009

Clif's Avatar 2008
Clif's Avatar 2008

My first face-to-face meeting with Clif was as the Bogger’s Cafe at NECC08. He was easy to spot. I saw the skin on his laptop and immediately recognized the person that I had been communicating with for many months on Twitter with. I rather enjoyed those first few minutes — connecting a voice with the written word — attaching facial expressions with observations longer than 140 characters.

Clif happened also to be the last person that I saw at the Austin airport before I caught my flight back to New Jersey last June. I’ve since shared some time with one of his graduate classes, shared bookmarks, Tweets and perhaps even some Plurks with him. But I have not seen him face-to face since last June and I am very much looking forward to chatting with him at NECC09.

About a month ago, Clif tagged me in this PD Meme and I promised him that though I didn’t have time to write about it then, I would eventually have a chance to write out my summer goals and tag others to do so as well. I certainly don’t want to arrive in our Nation’s Capitol without having fulfilled my promise to my friend Clif.

Directions:

Summer can be a great time for professional development. It is an opportunity to learn more about a topic, read a particular work or the works of a particular author, beef up an existing unit of instruction, advance one’s technical skills, work on that advanced degree or certification, pick up a new hobby, and finish many of the other items on our ever-growing To Do Lists. Let’s make Summer 2009 a time when we actually get to accomplish a few of those things and enjoy the thrill of marking them off our lists.

Rules: (NOTE: You do NOT have to wait to be tagged to participate in this meme.)

1. Pick 1-3 professional development goals and commit to achieving them this summer.
2. For the purposes of this activity the end of summer will be Labor Day (09/07/09).
3. Post the above directions along with your 1-3 goals on your blog.
4. Title your post Professional Development Meme 2009 and link back/trackback to http://clifmims.com/blog/archives/2447.
5. Use the following tag/ keyword/ category on your post: pdmeme09
6. Tag 5-8 others to participate in the meme.
7. Achieve your goals and “develop professionally.”
8. Commit to sharing your results on your blog during early or mid-September.

My Goals:

1. Complete the last two video podcasts for the grant project I have remaining and submit them to the funding partners.
2. Record audio and or video of summer PD and upload to the CMSCE Rutgers iTunes U account for archiving.
3. Continue building the UDL4ALL Ning – add resources, build community, cultivate conversations.
4. Add to my iTouch the Future series of posts.

I tag:

Lucy Gray
David Truss
John Pederson
Liz Davis
Christy Tvarok Green

5 Changes To Education Meme

Image Source: http://www.medicalpracticetrends.com
Image Source: http://www.medicalpracticetrends.com

I have been tagged by Beth Knittle for this meme. TJ Shay began this meme with the following rules.

List FIVE changes you would like to see in the educational system.  Your responses should represent your perspective and your passion for learning and students.  If you have been tagged, tag as many people as you choose, but try for a variety.

This is the first semester in many years that I am not taking a graduate class in the evenings. I decided to take a break so that I would have more time with my family and to devote to the astonishing amount of professional development offered through the folks in my PLN via distance. Last semester, as I sat in a room without wi-fi listening to the class discussions, I found myself really feeling like I could spend my time more wisely participating in EdTechTalk events, the DEN or ISTE in Second Life or even some of the impromptu gatherings that happen via UStream or Skype. I just wanted to make sure that I was putting myself in an environment where I could learn.

One thing that stuck with me from one of my recent classes in supervision was that when you go into a school or a district as a new administrator, you should not make immediate change. You should observe and learn the culture before you can make decisions as to what would make improvements.

So, though a part of me wants to make changes in education, the other part of me knows that these things take time, and I’ll keep working towards making improvements within the districts that I have come to know the culture and populations of. The teachers that I work with know that I believe in “taking baby steps” and that things take time.

Here is my list. There are a few that are a bit more achievable, but I can dream big, right?

1.  I would like teachers to view themselves as professionals so that the portion of the population that doesn’t, that sees teachers as working from 9 to 3 and having summers off, will know how much we are devoted to our profession. There are so many devoted educators that put in countless hours to improve teaching and learning in their classroom and to make sure that they meet the needs of their students. Let this be known.

2.  I would like all educators to see the positive in each and every student. I know it’s difficult, but they are all someone’s child and they all need love, understanding and sometimes extra assistance or compassion.

3.  I would like students to play a larger role in the writing of curriculum. If we give our students more opportunities to take ownership of their education, then maybe there will be more success stories. Students need to invest in their futures as well and this is one way for them to do so.

4.  I would ask that administrators find the needs in a district before taking on an initiative to fix something. There is always more than one way to look at something. Let’s make sure we are addressing the right issues before determining what we think are the right solutions.

5.  I would like all teachers to “be teachable“. Mandated professional development is not always the way to go. Educators, and people in general have to WANT to learn in order to truly learn. I would love it if all teachers were open to trying new things, open to doing what they already do well – more, and willing to share resources. How do we accomplish this? Well, I do believe that enthusiasm is contagious…

If you are reading this post, you most likely have thought about this list of 5 things to improve in education. Perhaps you’ve even implemented changes to make these improvements. I’d be curious to know what other things you are looking to change. I therefor tag the following bloggers, but anyone is welcome to leave a comment or post the meme on their site.

Clif Mims

Chris Craft

Cheryl Oakes

Liz Davis

Bud Hunt

Seven Things You Don’t Need to Know about Me

Liz Davis tagged me in this meme. I figured that it would be a great topic of conversation as my husband and I prepared for the family to come for Christmas dinner. It was pretty entertaining to create the list as we peeled shrimp, sauteed various vegetables, and worked to keep the kitchen clean and the kids occupied.

Seven Things You Don’t Need to Know about Me

1. I was always envious that my cousin had a lavender room when we were kids. I fulfilled a childhood wish by selfishly painting my daughter’s room lavender.

chocolate

2. I actually dropped a math course in college because the professor lectured using his middle finger. (The professor was rumored to have been the inventor of AstroTurf, but I’ll admit that it wasn’t until I wrote this that I finally confirmed that false.)

3. My first career out of college was in book publishing.

4. My second career out of college was in financial services. But I moonlighted as a cannoli stuffer in my then boyfriend’s (now husband’s) pastry kitchen.

5. I met said husband at a photo copier. He was making copies. (Don’t you remember the Saturday Night Live skit with Rob Schneider?)

6. My husband accuses me of favoring Dirty Dancing as my movie of choice, but it’s really Clueless.

7. My parents had my brother and I convinced we were allergic to chocolate growing up. When I got to college, I became a chocoholic – and lived to tell about it.

Here are 7 more bloggers that may have 7 things to share:

AJ Kelton

Clif Mims

Kern Kelley

Erica Hartman

Angela Maiers

Lisa Durff

Cathy Nelson