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As I am maneuvering my way through the beginning of my coursework, I am amazed at all that I am seeing with my peers. There is passion, talent and strength within each member of this new community. I am anxious and hope that I can fulfill my obligations. I know now that there is so much to learn, and so much to be shared.

I have always believed in sharing information. I tend to talk a lot (always) and never had an issue breaking the ice or initiating conversations. I have been told I have a good sense of humor, and I use that to make others comfortable. I am quite active in providing professional development in my district – from best practices for reading, integration of technology, or even instructional practices. I know it is important for teachers to feel safe and have an opportunity to learn in a judgement free environment.

I began teaching in 1997 and have remained in the same district since. Can you tell I don’t like change? Only if it’s my decision… which we know, doesn’t happen often. I had my daughter during my second year of teaching and then found myself on my own with my girl by my third year. This has NEVER been something I regretted in life. I have never even used the term “single” parent either. My daughter was an AMAZING baby, who would sleep through the night. Bedtime was at 7:00… and I was left to try to fill my time with some type of hobby. Well, there are only so many acceptable things one can do during that night that would be enjoyable and legal… So, I began getting into my computer. Finding out what was going on online, scoping out different communities, programs, connections. There were articles to be read, school work to be enhanced, cute video clips to watch, and yes… chat rooms to be visited. Those experiences will be in a different blog…

I started to share my knowledge with colleagues at work. Luckily, I have always had supportive administrators, and they allowed me to “share” what I was learning (not about the chat rooms, though). I began with the productivity software the district owned, then we moved on to incorporating Smartboards in district, and then onto web-based tools. I was able to work as a district technology trainer for three years before taking the position as a reading consultant. I did moonlight with the Continuing Education Program to bring classes to adults in the community who were teachers. These were basic classes in Internet, Word, Excel and iPads.

I have always had a passion for using technology to enhance education, but more and more I am realizing that we are working during such an amazing transitional time. I remember listening to a presenter, who was a cultural anthropologist, describe why a district brought her in to provide professional development. They needed teachers to understand that they were no longer preparing students for certain types of employment. Teachers needed to understand that we need to focus on communication, collaboration and creativity. Initially, I thought this was insane. However, seeing some teachers who are not providing students with the tools they need to be college and career ready, it all made sense. I have never wanted to be an administrator… I don’t believe that is my route to success. I want to help teachers, students and others to embrace technology and make life what they need it to be.

I do think that life is a journey. All we do makes us who we are. This degree will allow me to share information that I think is vital to student growth and teacher preparedness. I can continue to share knowledge, support teachers and be what education needs me to be… Myself.

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