Monday, October 6, 2014

My Blogging Challenge: Day 5

Have you ever reflected on your professional Space? Today's blogging challenge does just that! Today, I challenge you to take a glance around your classroom, office, or professional space and describe what YOU see....I did.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

This blogger's challenge: Day 4

This will be really interesting....Why does Shaina Victoria Glass teach?

O.M.G. Why do I teach? Why? Simple. The kids!

Yes, that was simple enough and I'm done, right? Not quite. Everyone says that don't they? Not sure what everyone else says but truthfully, I do it for the children.To make THINGS different.

Let's see. Unlike many passionate teachers, I didn't go to college to get a degree in education. My degree and passion is Art. Seriously. I love expressing my creative side. I love when others share their creativeness as well. I tear up when my 5 year old paints with water colors. Don't know why, I just do. It's me. So how did I become a teacher...The answer: through art.

I was working at the Baltimore Museum of Art on an internship where we brought Art into inner city schools and watch students learn everything from Math to History from Visual Arts. Regardless of if they created the product or if they were observing, describing or even writing about someone else's product, students were hooked and so was I.

I knew then I would teach. I imagined it being an educator within the Museum of Fine Arts but instead in came in the form of a small inner city school in Acres Homes, Texas (country in the middle of Houston for those unfamiliar). It was almost as big of a challenge as this blog challenge. Lol.

The kids. The kids' parents. The environment in which they belong. Their culture. Their own challenges, gaps, deficiencies. It was a lot. But I loved every minute of it! Yes, many would call me crazy. I gave my all every, single, day. And in the 9 years I was in the classroom, so did my students. They knew I expected it. And most of them tried to give nothing less. No joke. And I still expect them to.. I just completed 5 letters of recommendations from students I have taught. As I write this, I am thinking of ways to stay a "connected educator" to all of those who have transformed my life: my students. Funny. I was their teacher but I constantly was the student. I was just like them. I was seeking more educational opportunities and sucking up the information like a sponge so I could share it with them! I teach because I love to see students strive for their best. I love when they wonder, imagine, infer, create, problem solve, conclude and justify!

They might not like it, but I will continue to share with them..teach them..connect with them....I'm hooked. I'm still a teacher. Just a little different. And, truthfully, I wouldn't have it any other way.

This Blogger's Challenge: Day 2-3 (Weekend)....

Optimism has not diminished. I'm still excited and up to the challenge, yet, life with a 5 year old takes priority. I find, even as life happens, I'm living this challenge in so many ways. Over the lasts 72 hours I have been reflecting on my career as an educator. I've reflected on where I was when I began teaching and how all the opportunities I have been fortunate to experience--have molded me into the educator I am today.
So, enough mushie stuff, right? All of these periods of reflection leads me right back to this challenge. (Days 2-4 to be precise)

Day 2 Challenge. What form of technology would I like to try out this year? That's interesting. Don't laugh. Even an iTech has areas of improvement. OK. Here goes. I want to try out an iPad. Yes. I said it. An iPad. Weirdly enough. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

OK. So Shaina, why did you say a technology tool that millions of people use on a daily basis? Well, ladies and gentlemen, Mrs. Glass is an Android Chic and proud of it! I have everything Android or Chrome or Google based...and LOVE it. However, I now own an iPod Touch, and was provided with an iPad and iPhone and I don't utilize them at all. Sad. I know. My daughter has a tablet and Kindle Fire and this weekend was the first time she saw an iPad and can you believe it, she LOVES it. I must say, it's the apps. So, with this, and for my child's sake, I'm going to finally break down and figure out what all the commotion is about Apple Products. I can't make any promises but I'll give it the old college try. Wish me LUCK!

Day 3 Challenge: One observation area that I would like to improve on...

Not sure if you all know this, but last school year was my last year in the classroom. It was tough (and still is) but, Friday, June 6, 2014, was my last day as a teacher. With this, came my final teacher observation. It was bitter sweet but I always go over my results to look for what areas I still need to work on. For me, that lucky area is ORGANIZATION. For those of you that got the opportunity to visit my classroom knew that this was not a priority. The kids were. Their work was EVERYWHERE! Projects! Projects! Projects galore. My room started as my own painter's canvas and it was a work in progress until the very last day of school! It was constantly updated--striving for perfection.
----Did you hear the word organization is that description anywhere? Let me answer that: NOPE! Which is frightening, now that I'm an iTech. This job is all logistics and maintaining priorities...Y'all pray for me. I am a work in progress, so is my desk, my office,and I'll stop there. Reason: Google is my BFF! We are close. Two peas in a pod. Google has heard my cry and is assisting in organization what's in my mind to to speak. I'm organizing my thoughts with DRIVE...and they are categorized in folders.As I communicate others, Google sorts, prioritizes and keeps track of all of my emails. And so that I don't forget, ANYTHING!, Google holds me together with Calendar and Tasks! So, let's just see if I can keep improving or my weakest strand....I'm still a work in progress!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

This Blogger's Challenge...Day 1

So. It begins. Again. I am a beginner and not just on blogging. Let me explain. I begin LOTS of things but I find it extremely difficult to complete what I begin. My last blog post was well over a month ago and my goal was to blog at least once a week this school year of my life as a new instructional technology specialist. Well, truthfully, life as an iTech is BUSY--which is why blogging took a back seat. 

Well, I'm back and with the help of  +TeachThought and +Krista Tyler, I am taking on the challenge to blog for the month of October. This challenge should teach me a few things and inform many others in regards to exploring reflective teaching as well as sharing with others as a Connected Educator.

October is Connected Educator month! So, in honor of this month I will do my best to share and reflect.

DAY 1: What better way to start than by reflecting on my goals for this school year. 

The ironic thing is the first thing I thought about was #TYIW (This year I will...). +Adam Bellow  shared with me and a few thousand educators at ISTE this summer that we should take a moment to "reflect" and post what is the one thing (aka: our goal) we would like to accomplish or aspire to accomplish in the next 365. For this upcoming year, I stopped, closed my eyes....and here's mine:

When I took this selfie in the audience, I remember thinking, "what do I want to achieve this school year?" My answer: BETA. BETA to me is trying out something that's not quite done--so to speak. It's good, great even, but it could fail. I understand, many people don't "do failure" or hate to fail. But, look at it THIS WAY: if it's Beta, you can try it out. Well, as an iTech...I live in BETA...Everything changes, all the time. Technology evolves. We all must try it and not be afraid to fail. If we do, try, try again.

So, even though I'm a beginner, I'm going to try this Blogging thing one.more.time. 
I'm not giving up...why?
Because, Life in BETA is worth giving it a shot! And that makes BETA AWEsome!

So, I'm curious, What's your #TYIW? Share it with me. We can grow as #connectededucators!

Day 1: connected educators, what is that? The "connected learner" is YOU! To become a connected educator, you must FIRST become a connected learner.. Let's remember, educators are learners first and we must continue to develop networks and, connect with me!