Monday, September 14, 2015

Be a Daring Defender, Part 1

Hey gang! It's the beginning of a new school year, so let's put into perspective why we're here. Why we do what we do. And even when you may be testing 89 days out of 180 - there will always be time to do some really great things for our kiddos.

Even one or two lessons of AWESOME can change a life, mind, and outlook of a reluctant learner (or fellow teacher!) And gee, I think this post will have to be in 2 parts and please bear with my conversational tone which is high overdrive today. This is a blog not a novel. 
Change & Innovation
So embrace some change in your school or classroom. Try something NEW this year! Even if it
scares you. Especially if it scares you! I'm in my Danielson evaluation year this year & am
quietly freaking out over wanting to do a GREAT job in my observations. I really haven't been observed formally in YEARS!----

Try something new, and if you don't like it, you don't have to keep doing it! I know, I know... I prattle on a LOT about this - embracing change, embracing the fail - am I trying to convince you or myself? Both? I've previously blogged passionately that when it comes to new technology or new teaching trends You Don't Have to Marry It... just Date it! So why not give it a swing?! What exactly? That's YOUR call!

Is it BYOD? Makerspace? Google Hangouts? Skype an Author or classroom? QR Codes? Vine? Instagram? Twitter? Lesson Paths (formerly Mentor Mob)? could even just be something small like setting your alarm 15 min earlier and getting to school earlier. (I'm trying that this year, though I've only been successfully EXTRA early fifteen min twice, LOL) It doesn't matter what the Something is, just pick one and give it a whirl and then do it. That's how we grow!

Tenacity & Grit
Stick with it - even when it gets hard.  This may be slightly contrary to the above paragraph, but keep
reading! How can we preach to our kiddos to stick with their goals, studies, a new piece of technology or learning if we throw up our hands too easily?

Sometimes I wonder why our kids seem to give up too easily in school or want things spoon fed when I know that when it comes to gaming they are TENACIOUS!
But I admit, I've done it. Given up. I could write whole paragraphs at a few things I've attempted, tried, and failed. (National Certification- bought the box, never started)

Some things I've given up easily (Facebook) and some things still burn inside and haunt me. But I keep going. One success was Second Life. I tried being good at it many times, I quit and gave up 20 times over six months before I "got" it. The learning curve was WAY STEEP!  But I did, eventually get good at it. Building, creating and teaching in a beautiful virtual world. Forget that it's sorta OUT now (because it WAS so hard & expensive?), I learned it. I loved it.  Like Photoshop which I've used for over 10 years now, and it's also very hard but I'm still learning.

Stick with it! Show tenacity, grit, determination. But forgive yourself also if, after giving it a fair try, you just don't like it or it just is causing you too much anxiety. It's all about balance. You can do it! Heck, maybe someday I'll run a marathon!
And maybe someday  monkeys might fly outta my butt, too! LOL

It's OK, I ain't perfect. I'm actually letting go of a LOT this year since I know it will be hard one for me. Step one was painful, letting go  and passing over the management and running of the  #TLChat Virtual Cafe monthly webinar series to the amazing Librarian Tiff (OK, she makes it easier!) I did it for 5+ years after Joyce Valenza created it and I LOVED it...but I have to learn to let go of some things to give me some head space to do a good job at my job and cope this year...and that's...OK! Because, I'm Good enough, I'm smart enough....
Or to quote Stewart Smalley, You're Good Enough, You're Smart Enough--and Doggone it, People Like You. Well, if I'm really being honest, not everyone likes me (some do!) I'm a bit too impatient, OCD, unfiltered, immature, sophmoric, snarky, abrasive, self-aggrandizing, vain, silly, and of course ridiculously humble. [grins] Heck, sometimes I even exhaust myself! But you...I'm sure people like you! You ROCK!  Now get out there and try something new and stick with it! We'll talk later.

So yeah, this is part one. I know it's sort of feels like a pep talk or a lot positive affirmation  So be it. I think sometimes we ALL need to think positive. Which is what I will blog about later. It's too beautiful outside today - I need to eat a late lunch, get dressed, & get out and enjoy it. Maybe I'll even run...err... walk my car! L'shana tova, friends!

Now it's YOUR turn! 
What did I miss?  Am I kidding myself with this try something new but you don't have to marry it bit. Is it to contradictory?  What would you add? Your comments are always welcome!

(But you spammers, why do you waste your time?  I will NEVER publish your comments hawking your products & tawdry essay writing for money offers! Sheesh, it's like you don't even READ my blog to be asking!)


  1. I actually HAVE started setting my alarm earlier. Thanks for this encouragement and reminder.

    You rock!

    1. No, YOU rock! Thank you Suzi so much for your comment! And YAY! Even though I'm not getting to work 15 min (ahead of my already 20-30min) earlier much - I do find I'm less stressed! I think the summer flying around & getting up super early to get to the airport has helped with this! I DO love my sleep though!

  2. Thank you so much for this post! I've been following your blog for a while, and you have inspired me to try new things. In the past year I have started a blog and joined Twitter. Yesterday, however, was one of those days when change was hard to embrace. Thanks for your (timely) words of encouragement!

    1. Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for your comment. Your kind words of encouragement mean the world to me! Also, I'm so proud of you - for joining Twitter & starting a blog - YAY You! I'm following you now! I had a hard week last week - staying positive was an EFFORT! LOL Snarky comments may have come out or been bitten back, but always it's the kiddos that make me smile that keep me going! Next week will be Awesome!
      Cheers dear! ~Gwyneth

  3. Great post. I love it when teachers invite me in when they are trying something new. I admire and respect risk takers.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Todd! Yup! Trying something new & being bold about that it might tank with the kids (and admin!) shows the kiddos that anything worth trying in life sometimes takes a leap of faith! Failing has taught me more than any of my successes!



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