I had a blast spending the last two days at our state educational technology conference. Coming home from a conference is always a very reflective time for me. Here are some of the things that have been running through my head the last handful of hours.
- I am really going to miss Ms. Haney (my principal). She is leaving this summer to become the superintendent of another district in our area. It is always fun going to a conference with friends from Parma. We always have a lot of fun, and my face usually ends up sore from all the laughing I do. Ms. Haney takes just as good of care of her teachers at conferences as she does at school. It will be so odd to attend a conference with a different principal in the future.
- I believe in miracles. Last year, near the end of the school year, one of our teachers was in a horrible car accident. I remember standing together as a staff in a circle, with held hands, the Friday after the accident. Ms. Haney led us in prayer after telling us that it would take a miracle for him to make it. By the grace of God, he made it. He’s still recovering from his brain injury, but he is well enough to volunteer at school multiple days a week, AND he joined us for MACUL. Spending the last two days with him was magical. He brings joy to everyone that he comes in contact with.
- #TeamJXN is the bomb. Jackson County ISD has 3 educational technology coaches that help teachers effectively use technology in the classroom. My wife joined the team in October, and I have been blown away by the work their team has done the last handful of months. They do such an amazing job of empowering educators. Kelly just joined the team, and I was excited to get a chance to meet her at MACUL. I can’t wait to get her in my classroom. Ann just may have the most energy of any one person that I have ever met. I’m so thankful that she is working with teachers and students in Jackson. My lovely wife Alaina totally rocked her session: Differentiate Like A Boss. I heard so many amazing things from the educators in the room. She left us empowered, and excited to head back to the classroom.
- Stop-motion fascinates me. Last week our amazing art teacher was telling me how he was doing a stop-motion project with his fifth graders. He told me that he doesn’t want kids to think that art is just drawing. He is doing an amazing job showing all students that they are artists. I was fascinated by the use of Legos to create stop-motion that I saw in the MACUL Makerspace area. I’m looking forward to trying it out over the next couple of week in my classroom. I think it just might be a cool way to help my students understand fractions. Aren’t we always looking for ways to help kids “get” fractions? The video below is an example of how awesome I’d like to see my students get at stop-motion. DREAM BIG!
- Session are getting better. I’m not saying that conference sessions were ever bad, but I really feel that educators are raising the bar. We are getting better at teaching. We are getting better at using technology. We are getting better at differentiating instruction. I just think we’re all better at what we do, and it shows in the passion and delivery of conference sessions.