I’ve been nominated for a Bammy. Two weeks ago. I finally posted about it on Facebook yesterday. Many of my Twitter friends have been posting about it. I am completely honored and must admit a little embarrassed. It is very difficult for me to share about the things I’ve done this year. You see, I haven’t done any of them alone. There are amazing educators that have worked with me on every project. I think they deserve more praise than I alone can muster. Let me tell you about them.
On my campus, I work with some amazing educators. My principal listened and supported the idea of having Edcamp Branford even though he had never been to an actual edcamp. I found other educators that were willing to accept my instance that edcamps were truly unique and they would not regret helping create one. Stefani, Dawn, Bobbie Jo, Julie, Nancy, Debbie, Vanessa, Daphne and I worked together to create an awesome experience for 45 educators from around our state. Each of these amazing women discount what they contributed to the event, but I can tell you that without them, Edcamp Branford would not have happened.
There are also tons of educators that I’ve connected with on Twitter that have shared resources and support beyond what even they were aware. Jerry Blumengarten (@Cybraryman1) has encouraged me every time I’ve seen him. He is a great wealth of information and I have deep respect for him and his career. Kristin Harrington (@KristinCHarr) supported Edcamp Branford by contacting vendors to support our efforts even though she had never been to our school. Sean Farnum (@MagicPantsJones) is always there to show me how to have fun while educating. There are so many others — too many to mention here.
#FLedChat (The Florida Educators’ Chat): I co-moderate this chat with two amazing educators. Dennis Dill (@DennisDill) and Celeste Clemons (@Celeste_Clemons) have collaborated with me for over a year now to connect educators across our home state. Dennis teaches 6th grade social studies in Lakeland, FL. Celeste teaches 4th grade in Tallahassee. Our team collaborates to find chat topics, guest moderators, and are planning some exciting events for the future of our corner of the Inter-webs. This year Celeste was named Teacher of the Year for her school. Dennis has also been nominated for a Bammy for Middle School Teacher of the Year.
#RuralEdChat: John Martin (@Edventures) and Natalee Stotz (@NataleeStotz) and I organize this weekly chat aimed at connecting educators that are generally “solo silos” because of geography. Every Tuesday night we come together. I am always amazed at how much I learn from these two amazing educators. Natalee is an amazing leader on her campus and is always striving to provide her students with a 21st century education. John, until recently, was a school board member as well as a technology specialist (for which he is also nominated for a Bammy). I admire both of them in their seemingly untiring drive to do their absolute best for their students and educators around the world.
FullCirclePD.org: Through several twitter chats, I became connected with several educators that have stretched my thinking and pushed me to grow. Eric Turner (@_ericturner), Beverly Ladd (@BevLadd), Rik Rowe (@WHSRowe), Justin Nacarato (@TeacherInMe), Michelle (@Math912Teacher), and I have a Google Hangout every week. Our conversation about our own personal professional development has led to a bi-weekly Tweet & Talk where we combine both Twitter (#360pd) and Google Hangouts on Air to share our experiences. Together, we’ve gone deeply into topics such as the PLN and the Whole Child until we feel we have a strong grasp on what we need to support our students to our fullest potential. We continue to strive to discuss topics that will push us beyond our comfort zone. Each member has done amazing things outside of our little group. From Beverly’s 24 hour skype with her 2nd graders to Eric connecting with other retired military to Rik’s large number of chats that he moderates, this group never ceases to amaze me with their energy.
#BFC530: While I didn’t start this, I would be derelict if I didn’t give a shout out to Jessica Raleigh (@TyrnaD) for keeping this spark chat going. Her leadership has given me a wonderful example of what a positive outlook and desire to connect others can do. Her support has led to the BFC Lounge, a Voxer Chat group that I feel some ownership of since she and I are the remaining original members. The BFC Lounge is a group effort to have a positive support system. Everyone involved in either the 2 chats (there’s a MT version also) or the Voxer group have provided support and resources whenever I’ve needed it.
#CEOct: While this chat isn’t a recurring chat, it’s one night debut with Sarah Thomas (@Sarahdateechur) and Ashley Hurley (@AshleyHHurley) gave me a ton of self esteem. These two ladies and I encourage each other on a daily basis. This summer we will share our October 1st experience at an ISTE poster session. So many ripples have grown from this little band of educators.
This is just the people that I work with on Twitter, there is an equally long list of educators that I’ve connected with on Voxer that are doing amazing things. Instead of listing all the amazing educators (and accidentally leaving someone out) I will list the Voxer chats that have supported my classroom this year, in no special order:
GEG DC Metro Area
Digital Leadership (Book Study)
This list is not complete. I want to give a special thank you to the many educators that have answered the solitary Voxes that I’ve sent requesting information for my own growth or for support in my classroom. Frank, your support means more than I would even dare to say here.