be greatful.

…and yes, I meant to misspell it. I know it’s¬†grateful. I’m an ELA teacher, remember? ūüėČ

Between the professional development day we had yesterday, and the fact that today is Digital Learning Day, I’ve been thanking my lucky stars that I am where I am in my career. A year ago, I was doubtful that teaching was my calling, and now? Well, a lot can happen in a year, let’s just put it that way.

Yesterday, several things happened:

  1. I¬†was an audience member of an awesome PD on SAMR and TPACK, two schools of thought and philosophy when it comes to teaching with tech, blended into one, clean & simplistic¬†template. And who did I find out¬†created that incredible¬†template? Some of the creative brains in my school district, along with my fourth grade teacher, Mr. Mika! I was blown away and am STILL so excited to have reconnected with him because of work he did with my district. We talked briefly yesterday about the work that BSD 100 does day in and day out, and the gravity of the opportunities we have — as teachers and¬†students —¬†because of that work.
  2. Jordan Garrett and I talked a¬†lot about the SAMR model, and in her efforts to explain it more completely to me, she talked through a great example using a cell phone. I’ll share it with you here:
    1. Substitution (no real change): What is the most basic communication device when it comes to phones? A landline. 
    2. Augmentation (all about improvement): How did we make it so that the landline did the same thing (allowed us to communicate), but was improved? We made it cordless. 
    3. Modification (redesigning): What was a complete redesign of the landline phone that made the communication process better/easier? Cell phones, that you can take anywhere and everywhere. 
    4. Redefinition (allowing for¬†new tasks to take place): What completely changed the way that cell phones worked and allowed for new functions?¬†Smartphones. In the words of Jordan, we can, “talk, shop, Google a word we don’t know, all while texting our mom! Boom!”¬†Drop the mic. ūüėā Couldn’t have said it better myself. And thanks to Jordan for painting such an awesome picture for someone who is definitely a visual learner. Made understanding the whole SAMR thing a lot easier!
  3. I re-watched a video that made me choke up again, and one that absolutely defines my life perspective over the last several months. I won’t give it away, but if you want to watch it,¬†grab some tissues and click here.
  4. I was reminded just how lucky I am to be working in a district that strives to better their students and teachers, to challenge the norm and to push forward, even in the face of adversity. Because it is readily apparent that these conditions are what make the teachers in our district not just teachers, but leaders.

So the reason for the spelling¬†greatful? To remind you that, whether it’s opportunities, individuals, circumstances…reflecting on those components in your life and making use of them is what allows you to be¬†great at what you do.

Students, teachers, administrators, curriculum developers, whoever you are: be grateful for where you are, and be great at what you do.