Archive for July, 2014

Why I Blog and Tweet

Posted: July 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Here’s a video about why I am on Twitter and why I blog.

You can find me at the following sites:
Twitter: @MrP_tchr
Instagram: @MrP_tchr
Voxer: @MrP_tchr
Current Blog: http://www.randomteacherthoughts.wordpress.com
Past Blog: http://www.educationallyminded.wordpress.com

Random Alphabet

Posted: July 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

I was sitting at home this afternoon and just started staring at Twitter. The only thing I could think of was the alphabet. I was about to say it via Twitter when I added a little twist. After finishing I thought some people might have missed it and would want to see what I said, so I archived it and placed it on my blog. Enjoy!

The tweet with the most attention was “T is for teacher.”

Which was your favorite? Would you replace any letter?

This post is a little overdue. I want to apologize to my PLN for not sharing the information earlier.

I have taken a 6th grade math position in Enid, OK this next year. I’m excited about the drop to a lower grade. However, it will be a little challenging. The biggest change for me will be remembering that these kids will be coming from a self-contained classroom. I know it won’t be too bad, but gotta remember that at the beginning of the year there is a learning curve.

A challenge that I faced was trying to get certified in Oklahoma. In fact, I’m still waiting on the actual certificate. I encourage anyone changing states to just call the state department of education and find out exactly what all you need to do and where to send everything. I learned in this process that test scores go to a separate place than the rest of the certification paperwork in Oklahoma.

I also want to encourage all pre-service teachers to KEEP YOUR TEST SCORES! I did not keep mine from 2004 because I thought that: A) I would teach in Kansas and B) ETS would keep my scores for me. Well, A) We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto, and B) ETS only keeps them on file for 10 years. Yup, I’ve been out of school for 10 years. Luckily my Alma Mater had my scores, so all is good.

Again, I’m excited about my new adventure for this school year. It will be a new challenge learning standards (Oklahoma repealed Common Core) and everything I need to do to prepare students. I also will have an hour drive (one way) each day to get to work. I”m excited to listen to podcasts (if I can figure out how to get them on my phone) and the planning time that I can have while driving. Thinking is what I need most of all.

With that, if anyone is wanting to have great education conversations once in awhile via Voxer at 6:15 am (CDT), I will gladly talk with you. @MrP_tchr is my name on Voxer, Twitter, and Instagram.

Facebookless Summer

Posted: July 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

This week has been a great one! All my plans changed on Monday evening when I saw that Vision 2020 was this week. It’s been a great way to connect with Oklahoma educators as I begin a new journey here. However, that’s not what this post is about.

This summer has been different. Not because I’m living in Oklahoma now, but because I haven’t been on Facebook. I closed my account and have been enjoying some great times on Twitter and reading great books. Well, at Vision 2020 I have heard about all the great education things in Oklahoma that are happening on Facebook and I was starting to think I needed to get back on there.

Then I had some great friends share a couple of posts.

The first was from Amanda Dykes (@amandadykes) wondering “Are You a Connected Educator or a Connected Person?

Then Brent Catlett (@catlett1) shared “My Own Personal Struggle“.

Both of these pieces hit close to home. First, Amanda got me to thinking about my life on Twitter. I do think about what people think when they see I post about Big Brother on CBS or when I share about hanging out with friends. Is that bad? But then again, I’m showing I’m a human and that I do things other than live in my classroom.

Then Brent has me thinking about what I share on social media. Am I sharing too much? Are people going to just come find me and talk to me? Ok, so that happens at conferences. Teachers know who I am and what I do before we ever meet. So in that aspect it’s great because then I don’t have awkward “this is me” conversations. I’m able to just jump in about our passions of education and have great talks.

So this brings me back to Facebook and how it hasn’t been a part of my life this summer. Has it been tough? A little. My past coworkers are mainly on Facebook, so I haven’t been able to keep in contact with them as well and I haven’t seen what they’ve been up to this summer. My family is also on Facebook, so I am missing out with what is going on with all of them.

When it comes to my profession though? Well, I’m happy not to be on there. Facebook was my place where I was me. It was a place that I shared some professional stuff, but it was mainly about me.

So I guess I’m not at a place that I don’t know when I’ll rejoin Facebook. There is life outside of it. I miss the posts of family and also sharing about the changes in my life. But for education? Well, when I do rejoin, I think I will limit how much professional life will happen on there.

What are your thoughts? Did Amanda and Brent get you to thinking as well?

Continuing Education

Posted: July 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

First I have to give a disclosure:
Yes, I watch Tabatha Takes Over on Bravo. If you’ve never seen the show, go check out an episode.

A little background, Tabatha is a well-known hair stylist who travels the world designing hair. Her show is about going into failing salons (she now goes into any type of business) and transforms the staff to make the salon successful. But I’m not here to talk about the show.

I want to point out something that she always mentions in the episodes. “Have you had any classes or training lately?” She asks the stylists if they are continuing this education. WHAT?!?!?! They need to do that? Of course they do! Have any of you see the hair styles change over time? What if you were given a hairstyle that your stylist learned to do in the 1980s?

Salon managers can bring in education for their stylists, but in many of the episodes, the hair stylists talk about how they go and find their own means of educating themselves. If they want more clients and to give people the latest styles, they have to learn the latest styles and keep up with the times.

Likewise in schools, we teachers need to be out there and learning about the latest “styles” in education. What is different than when you were in learning about teaching? What can you do to help students be more successful?

I graduated from a teachers college 10 years ago. Did you know that Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist then? What if I taught they way I learned to teach? What if I didn’t use the latest technology and teaching techniques? I don’t think I would be as effective as I am. Yes, I could wait for principals to bring in the education that I need, but they are doing so much that they can’t always provide for me.

Just like in my classroom, every teacher is at a different place in their teaching. Principals can’t make professional development to easily fit everyone, so we need to step up and find our own learning. I myself attend Edcamps and connect via Twitter and starting to use Voxer. These are ways that I stay connected with my teacher friends and learn from them.

It’s time to not wait for people to come to you. It’s time as teachers that we reach out and learn more things so that we can be better educators.

So I realized that I wrote this post on my old blog.

Educationally Minded

This morning I was watching Today Show and they shared a story about how children who are over scheduled are not developing correctly. Some of that development is not knowing (what I feel to be) common knowledge information. Over-scheduling children is not allowing them to have the free time that they need to learn on their own. It may also be keeping them from being successful on their own.

As a teacher I’ve heard several reasons why students need to have the team building outside of school because in the classroom students are just study, learn, sit and other non-physical activities. Parents want their child to be able to work well with others and I agree, but I know some students who are in football, then wrestling, then basketball, then swimming, then baseball throughout the entire year. Some kids never get a break.

Now, I know that we can’t just…

View original post 282 more words

Where’s the Passion?

Posted: July 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

Today I started reading “Teach Like a Pirate” by Dave Burgess. I’ve heard so many great things about this book and I’m ready to jump into another school year. In the first chapter called “Passions”, Dave asks us to do some reflecting and answer some questions. He told us to write them down, so I’ve decided to share my answers here.

Content Passions
Within your subject matter, what are you passionate about teaching?
Well, I LOVe teaching scatter plots and data mining. There is so much that you can do with data and getting into sharing with students ways to discover the world with numbers is awesome!

Profession Passion
Within your profession but not specific to your subject matter, what are you passionate about?
I love the connections that I make with students. I have a passion to see students find new information and share it with others. I also enjoy talking with other educators and sharing what is going on inside each of our classrooms.