Thursday, December 31, 2015

Reflections of 2015

This past year has been an incredible year of opportunity and first-time experiences. For the first time, I was asked to participate in a BAM Radio #Edchat podcast, present at UCET (a tiny division of ISTE), and was nominated for a BAMMY Award. I didn’t even know what a BAMMY Award was at the time. I was flattered and honored that so many people, that I've never met, would write nice things about me. I also participated in the Global Student Play Day, learned with Google Cardboard, built a Makerspace in my classroom, integrated Genius Hour, and Skyped with several of my eduheroes.  My learning continued as I met some PLN members face to face, spoke in front of the school board, made shifts in a lot of my teaching practices, and continued to connect to inspiring educators around the world. None of those opportunities would have happened without being a connected educator. Perhaps one of the biggest changes that happened was being awarded several large grants so that I could go 1:1 with Chromebooks. I am living my dream! It wouldn’t have happened if my PLN hadn’t responded to a tweet. Although I have many circles of friends on Twitter that I adore, it’s been an incredible year of learning because of my #leadupchat tribe. For this reason, I can’t close the door on 2015 without paying homage to the tribe.
In my quest to learn more about leadership, and to connect with great minds and role models, I actively connected with many principals and change agents. Many of those connections started to weave together when #leadupchat began last March. The chat was mentally invigorating, inspiring, and fun. I looked forward to early Saturday mornings. Shortly after that, I joined the Voxer group, and that has made all the difference in my personal and professional life. Although I was connected on Twitter to many in the Voxer group, I also connected with many people that I didn’t know. Voxer took our connections to a higher level. Within a very short amount of time, the #leadupchat Voxer group felt like family. There was a level of trust and sharing that I’d only experienced with a small group of Edmodo Ambassadors prior. But, even that experience was different. 
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Under the leadership of Nathan Lang @nalang1 and Jeff Veal @heffrey, thought provoking, reflective discussions happen every day. It’s a place of positivity, inspiration, and motivation to be the best leader possible. We share resources, experiences, pictures, and stories of our personal and professional lives. It’s a place where we share our successes, our mistakes, and our goals. It’s home. Although I’ve never met a single person face to face and am jealous of the leadupmeetups, I know I will some day. I look forward to meeting my family. You can learn more about this incredible group of leaders here

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