Monday, October 17, 2011

A Needed Refreshment from ITEC 11

I made a goal for myself at the end of the 2010-11 school year to make a routine of blogging and Twittering during the summer in order to work on my lessons, applications, networking, and my overall professional development.

I like to tell myself I was so busy with planning a wedding, doing the getting married thing, and renovating a new house that I just did not have the time. Anyone could be nice and say, "Well of course you were busy." But we all know I had the time. So, the summer went by without me accomplishing what I thought would be a manageable goal of launching my Twitter career and keeping up with this blog. In fact, this school year is almost three months in, and still this goal goes unaccomplished.

I sit at the 2011 ITEC conference in Des Moines. I have once again been refreshed, once again been motivated, and once again feel so overwhelmed with all there is. I even contemplated quitting teaching just for a year because I felt this attack of "I need the time to learn. I need more time to get out there and learn how I can follow through with all of these ideas in my head." This was pure frenzy. I would not really quit, but I was definitly a pong ball, and ITEC was the graceful slab that hit me around all over the place today.

For example, I have a great idea for a lesson on inequalities that involves having the students program an ATM machine. I CANNOT PROGRAM.

I also want to achieve a successful flipped classroom for my Precalculus and Calculus class. I NEED TO MAKE VIDEOS!

I want my students to have professional mentors that are good with math and can help them. I NEED TO FIND PROFESSIONALS OUT THERE USING MATH ON A DAILY BASIS AND INTERESTED IN DEDICATING TIME TO COLABORATION.

I want to collaborate with other classrooms to have students form study groups across the state, maybe outside of the state, maybe outside of the country- to open up my students eyes to the universal language of math. AHHHHH!!!!

Now, I have always been one to say nothing is impossible. BUT, I need to be realistic and say there is no time to do all of these ideas this year. Even if I passed up on sleep I do not think I could do it.

Here is just one of my amazing moments today. I needed to meet someone who was a computer programmer, who was interested in working with a teacher to design programs and games for students that teach content. I needed this person to be able to connect teachers and build partnerships between schools, no matter the distance. I did not have a sign or anything that advertized this, but the person who sat down next to me at lunch was exactly that. He was a computer programming major, who was trying to build partnerships between schools. Would you believe that? He was the most perfect person to take a seat next to me at lunch today. Also, he was a vegetarian and had an allergy to wheat products. We had parmesan chicken for lunch today. Anyone who knows me knows I have a shameful appetite; I gladly took his portion of spaghetti and some chicken when he offered.. He really was the perfect person to sit by.

He and I will be in touch. It is absolute amazing how life plays out.

He mentioned that goals are 1% initiative and 99% sweat and energy. I am ready to be spending that energy. I am not looking forward to it, but I am ready and know that is the next step for me. I will be making videos to start the flipped classroom. I will be blogging in a week of my progress.

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