Friday, April 4, 2014

A needed TLC: A journey towards a second calling

The journey of teaching this 2013-2014 year has been quite unexpected. I have had experiences that I never thought I would reach. Connected with the most inspirational educators across the country. And perhaps found an additional calling within the teaching realm. All of this was made a reality through the CTA Teacher Leadership Cohort CTA (TLC).

Through CTA's TLC, I have been given the platform to expand on other passions, inspiring teachers to embrace technology. It has been a whirlwind of #EduAwesome! I have met so many people, learned so much from the participants and Karen (my techie soul mate), and continue learning more about myself as a learner and educator. I suppose all I needed was a little "TLC".

I have always loved sharing knowledge. Whether it was discussing novels with my seventh graders, using manipulatives with kindergartners for adding and subtracting, or showing students how to use technology as more than simply gaming and social media. Even on my site, I have always been talking with colleagues about technology in the classroom or techniques I use to reach my students. I had no idea that I could take that even further.

I have blogged before about the joys of inspiring teachers. It first started with the creation of the Tech Think Tank with the infallible Karen Taylor; then blossomed into creating workshops on the integration of technology, Common Core, hosting a Twitter chat, and so much more that lately I have been teaching teachers my second calling?

I know, teaching is teaching, right? Well, it hasn't always felt that way to me. Believe it or not, I have always been extremely timid about sharing with anything with colleagues. The first presentation I had ever given to teachers was completely nerve wracking. Sure, once I started and my passion came through to my participants and eased my fear, but that fear was (and still is in many ways) still there. I know what does work in my classroom, but will others see the value in what I am sharing?

I think through TLC, being a SMART Exemplary Educator, Google Certified Teacher, and the power of Twitter has built my confidence. Through conversations (or chats) others have sought me out, connected with me, collaborated, shared, motivated, and inspired me. It has given me the confidence to continue to share with other educators, to share my knowledge, my successes and failures and to be available to any educator that has ever connected with me. 

The joyous part of all of my journey....other educators have connected with me and my ideas! I have received emails and tweets of thanks, of inspiration, of additional ideas, of collaborations, that motivate me and keep me going! 

I am simply excited to where this new found journey and passion for inspiring educators can go! It has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. Possibilities inside and outside of the classroom. The outside is where I never dreamed I could venture.... alas, that is where my road is taking me. My horizons are broader and I get to reach more students and educators alike. All I had to do was follow my passion. 

Your passion cannot be wrong. Your passion will lead you to unexpected, but grand roads! Your passions will open your eyes, fulfill your heart, and bring true happiness to you. It can't be work if it is your passion, right? It's like when I go to school (see what I did there?). I NEVER say I am going to work. Not once since I have been a teacher. Even a substitute for that matter! I have always said that I am going to school. Work implies pain, stress, and things I don't want to do. School is fun for me, not work. My passion has led me here.

It can for you too!

A special thank you to Rafranz Davis, Karen Taylor, and Robert Petitto for your support, belief, and laughs! You each have helped me realize so much about myself, my future, and my passions! Adore each of you!

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