This year I began my 10th year as an educator and my first year as a digital learning coach. I have had 3 different positions now all in the same district. As I reflect on the ride, there are so many things I am thankful for.
My first role as an educator was as a special education science teacher. I entered the education world as an alternative certification educator. I had been a physical science TA for 4 years in college, but that was so many years ago. I still remember two days before the kids were to come in sitting in front of my computer wondering what I was going to do with them. Just as the panic was really starting to settle in, my mentor, Sharon Pyburn, came in, walked me off my cliff and helped me plan my first lesson. She was so supportive doing all she could to help me get the resources I needed. She made a difference for me and for my kids. I co-taught with many different educators and gained valuable lessons from each one of them, but Angie Mahalic became not only a great co-teacher but also a valued friend. In addition, when I was going for my Master’s degree she was so open to every idea I brought to her, no matter how challenging or involved it was.
My second role was as a 6th and 7th-grade science teacher where I taught both GenEd and GT learners. There, my principal, Laura Springer made such a difference. She gave me room to grow and explore new ways of doing things from competitions to gamification and a number of things in between. In addition, she gave me the best example of loving your learners where ever they are that I have ever been blessed to see. She knows the names of every kid in her middle school and gives hugs out daily, to both learners and educators.
In that role, I also got to work with the amazing Jodie Dienhammer. The first thing we did together was to co-author an iBook, In The Science Lab. I am pretty confident she didn’t need my help to do that, but she taught me so much about new ways to implement the power of technology in the classroom. She also helped me see the different kids can make if we allow them to. With that jumpstart, my kids wrote or contributed to 5 other iBooks.
This year I started a new position as a digital learning coach, working with the Coppell DLC team and a whole collection of amazing teachers throughout our district. As I reflect back on that first position, staring at a blank lesson plan wondering what I would do when the students showed up I am grateful for the parade of amazing supportive educators who have enriched my life more than they can imagine. They have allowed me to touch the lives of my learners in powerful ways that I could have never done without their support.
The education profession is rich with talented people doing their best to make the world a better place. They do this each and every day by supporting the little (and not so little) people that come into their classroom as well as the other educators they work with down the hall, across the campus, in the district and now with Twitter and other powerful social media outlets throughout the world. Twitter has become such a powerful way for me to improve and learn from others. It has opened doors that I wasn’t even aware was there.
As I look back at where I started, and where I am now, I feel so very blessed for the parade of amazing educators that have supported me on so many fronts and in so many ways. I have definitely been able to go farther by going together.