Prior to having technology in my class, I never would’ve considered myself a “geek.” Now I want to get t-shirts and buttons made saying, “EdTech Geeks Rule” with my name emblazoned. I’ve transitioned from someone that only heard about ISTE to one speaking among the sea of educators. It’s a very humbling experience.
I was also made aware of a few things along the way and checked some off my “Bucket List”……
#1) I suffer from a bad case of “Twitter-celebrity-itis.” Simply put, this means when there are people I follow (And think are so eduawesome) and see in real life, I start sweating, lose my voice, and almost trip over myself (See #5). I will not name names here because I wasn’t as brave and admired many from afar. I know they are people just like us and occasionally it’ll happen with me on the receiving end, but I’m so in awe and smile as the list grows longer. #IheartTwitter
#2) Meeting fellow #1to1ipadchat peeps- After chatting and co-planning chats for months, the ability to finally meet @Techgirljenny and @teryl_magee in person was worth the trip. I won’t go into extensive detail about the night (#Inthevault) except for the fact that there was food, spirits, laughing, and dancing involved. Reminded me of the power of Twitter.
#3) Mascots: “Hoot” and “Moby.” So, I’m not a huge sports fan but boy, when I see educational mascots, I break into the goofiest smile I can imagine and develop “cute aggression" (an actual condition) making me want to hug and squeeze them. When I finally got a picture with “Hoot” from Subtext and “Moby” from Brainpop, I just about lost it. Exhibit A & B (notice the smile):
#5) Angela Maiers- You know when paths cross and you are so thankful? After debating with myself whether to catch the hotel shuttle from the Convention Center, walk or ??, I hopped on the shuttle (I sometimes have an indecisiveness problem :)). The seat next to me was vacant until a young man sat down. He started a conversation about how he is working with Angela to help spread her message into more schools across the country. To me @amaiers fits into #1, I’ve seen her Ted Talks and constantly love her passion and voice to spread the You Matter message.
I shared with Charlie how I adore her and at our school we’ve done something called “Challenge Hour” where school-wide we gave students a voice on how to make school better. Starting with an idea on a sticky note, each student at our school posted, teachers put them into categories, students signed up for their passions and staff selected theirs, joining a group and making a change.
Charlie mentioned how he’d love to work with us and I with them. As we were exiting the shuttle that’s when I notice…Angela was on it. Charlie introduces me and her welcoming smile instantly made me feel at ease. A women filled with so much love and kindness, on a mission to spread the message that all children are important and have so much to give to the world as a whole. I had to ask for a picture to remember it by or I may have thought it was all a dream.
In my “eduawesome” stupor, after saying goodbye, I start walking up stairs adjacent to our hotel, thinking it was an alternate entrance. At the top, the door was locked indicating it’s not associated with the hotel. On the way down, my foot catches my long skirt, and in a matter of seconds I envisioned myself tumbling down the stairs, splitting my head open, and the ambulance coming as Angela and Charlie look on. Luckily, crisis averted, I caught myself, and went back to basking in the experience like a cartoon character with stars over my head.
Please notice the steep steps in the background...yep, those are the ones.
#7) Meeting San Diego Peeps- With the vastness of ISTE (Over 14,000 people) if I knew someone was attending, unless I specifically tweeted or contacted them, the chance of running into them was slim. I was certainly amazed when @jenwagner swung into the Subtext booth to say hello, @LeighMurrel was sitting three rows up in a session and I joined her. Then, meeting @Reuben and @ for the first time, as I recounted my Angela Maiers story, was the icing on the cake. More people I continue to love to learn from within my own hometown. #eduwin
#8) Speaking- When I initially threw my hat into the ring to give a session on what I call my “Reading-Writing Techshop” I was certain, my first time submitting would be met with a “Thank you, but…” response. I read the statistics, over 1,000 submissions and around 300-400 accepted. When I got the welcoming email, I cried. I cried because I was so honored and then cried because, what was I thinking? Am I ISTE material? Those rooms are huge..would people come. And then I remembered I am a learner, I am a believer, I am a dreamer, and I am a teacher. When you share what you do in your classrooms, a little piece of your heart is shared with it.
I know what you’re thinking, so I will end the suspense, no, I did not get a standing ovation but instead, I got to chat with a handful of educators that lined up to talk to me right after and said things that made my heart smile and I know that piece that I shared was safe and sound. #wortheverymoment