The moment you stop loving something, stop doing it. I work so hard to inspire my children to believe they can change the world; however, who am I to push that message off onto someone else, especially children, if I do not believe it for my own self. You Matter is not just a hash tag or a movement, it’s a simple reminder that each person’s voice has value. The collective heartbeat of the thousands of educators in San Antonio reinforced this very message.
People that Touched my Heart
Sometimes the most unexpected encounters take you by surprise and begin to change the way you think and force you to reevaluate your purpose and path. Before flying out to Texas, there was one person on my ‘must meet list.’ This person is an administrator who I admire for the work he does to truly impact people, not policy. What really makes me admire Jimmy Casas is the relationships he builds with people. To truly help describe the type of person Jimmy is, I highly encourage you to read a segment from George Couros… (click here) This post (especially the part about the hat) really reminds me the type of teacher I want to be in regards to classroom management.
@Casas_Jimmy & @KleinErin
Jimmy and I arranged a dinner that was open to people who wanted to join us Sunday evening. Luckily, it worked out that we were able to sit across from each other. During dinner, we exchanged conversation and got to know each other better.
ISTE 2013 – Sunday Dinner at Mi Tierra (San Antonio)
However, after dinner, we sat down with a few of our friends and began discussing what makes our schools so special. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to be surrounded by people you admire sharing positive ideas. So often, it seems like people get together and discuss what isn’t working… even if their intention is to be positive and constructive. However, our focus this evening was only on the good and how we could adopt the awesomeness of what each other were doing to bring back to our own practice.
Thanks Jimmy for believing in me and being an inspiration!
Though Jimmy and I didn’t have the opportunity to connect face to face much after Sunday evening, the meaningful conversations we shared will have a lasting impact on the way I shape my practice.
As if seeing a floor to ceiling image of myself staring at me as I come down the escalator wasn’t intimidating enough (though I do appreciate the gesture and am thankful for all ISTE has done for me), I had three presentations this year at the conference. Two of the presentations were with friends, but one I would be doing by myself.
People sometimes don’t believe me when I tell them I get scared to death before I present. Honestly, there are times when the butterflies are so significant that I question my physical ability to even walk to the stage. I choose to present because it forces me out of my comfort zone. I encourage my students to take risks, so I try to do the same for myself. Luckily, I have the most supportive and amazing friends that really help me in so many ways.
@TheNerdyTeacher & @KleinErin
I’d like to extend a special thank you to Nick and Steven for coming to see me moments before the session started. I have looked up to the both of you for so long and for so many reasons. Having you come to the front to offer me your support and encouragement really meant the world. Honestly, knowing that you two were in my corner gave me the strength to believe in myself. I’m blessed to have such amazing, generous, and inspiring friends.
Steven, thank YOU for being supportive and a great friend!
This overwhelmed me when I saw the feedback after my talk.
When preparing for this year’s Ignite presentation, I had a better idea of what to expect since I had given an Ignite talk the previous year at ISTE. I wanted this year to be different though. After reflecting on last year, I wanted this year to be more of a conversation with the audience. I wanted my talk to be natural and come from the heart. I decided to talk about the most important part of my teaching practice… my kids.
Thank you for all the ReTweets & Sharing!
Before I shift to sharing more highlights, I would like to thank those that helped me build the foundation for this talk. Without Brad, Drew, and especially Andrew this conversation would not have been delivered in the way it was Tuesday afternoon. You guys are so creative and inspiring. I appreciate the time you took to help me prepare. I’m fortunate to have such amazing friends right here in my backyard, Michigan.
@Avheuv, @TechMinock, @KleinErin, & @TechBradWaid
In effort to keep this post from evolving into a novel, I’d like to share the highlights from my 2013 ISTE experience in a brief slide-show below. I had an amazing time this year in Texas. I can’t express enough how meaningful the conversations I had are and how the people I connected with will have a lasting impact on me for years to come. Thank you to all those involved in hosting this rich, life changing opportunity!