An Inspiration to Blog

All during Thanksgiving week, I decided to ignore work totally, something I never do.  My focus was to enjoy my visit at the beach with my family.  I especially didn’t want to miss a moment with my adorable 4 month-old grandson who does something new and totally captivating with his every breath.  Baking 5 pies and a mudslide cheesecake was indulgent and symbolic of my avoidance of what was to come.  I was going to face what I so inaccurately called, “a week from h%*#” once my blissful Thanksgiving break ended.

Why was it a week I was dreading so completely?  I needed to finish preparing 5 conference slideshow presentations and get my head wrapped around a 3-hour professional development session I was to deliver to a group of WCPSS principals.  Did I voluntarily overextend myself?  Yes.  Sound overwhelming?  I was. Totally.  Little did I realize it was going to be the best week of my professional life, EVER!

I won’t lie.  I procrastinated (I work better under pressure I tell myself.) and had to stay up way too late three nights in a row to get everything done and feel super prepared, my key to warding off a major anxiety attack before presenting.

Under the direction of Marlo Gaddis, The Wake County Public School System’s Instructional Technology and Library Media Services (ITLMS) department organizes a 2-day conference each spring and fall called Convergence Symposium (#wonderwake) for media and tech staff.  She clearly sends us the message she values investing in our professional development and that we are vital to our district’s instructional program and students’ success.

This was our 6th conference, and it continues to get bigger and better.  Over 600 dedicated attendees networked and experienced amazing sessions by over 90 talented presenters and keynote speakers.  George Courous, well-known author of  the book, The Innovator’s Mindset, delivered a closing keynote that was life-changing!  His presentation was quick-paced, funny and inspiring.  We laughed and cried and most importantly, he made us THINK!  He encouraged us to get connected and blog.

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I thought about it for a split second, but deep down inside I was filled with doubt.  My 7 year-old attempt at blogging had ended quickly.  Who was interested in what I had to say?

Over the next few days, several of my amazing PLN (Personal Learning Network) members  (Melanie Farrell and Chistine Tuttle) who were already blogging sent a series of encouraging private messages to nudge the rest of us to dive in.

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My postings on Twitter congratulating, KyleHamstra and Brendan Fetters for getting their blogs up and running resulted in a Tweet from Bill Ferriter (The Tempered Radical) who asked if I had a blog he could follow.  Next came the icing on the cake, a tweet of encouragement from George Courous in which he encouraged a colleague, Kim Collins and me to publish.  (He even called us, “bestie!”)  Now, I had to do this!  They convinced and helped me believe my thoughts do matter!

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So, here you have it….my first posting of my renewed attempt to blog.  I am thrilled to get this going again!  My intent is to share how I am helping myself, other educators and students “be better”, and hopefully we’ll all laugh and think along the way!

Karen

PS ~ My conference presentations were a success based on evaluations and session participants’ comments and tweets.  My dread over presenting a digital learning session to principals was really a result of my fear that I would look incompetent or unprepared.  Thankfully, I was neither.  The Central Area group was welcoming, friendly, engaged, and contributed to thoughtful conversations.  It was an amazing week of professional growth!

PPS ~ Please consider blogging and guiding your students to blog.  If I can do it, so can YOU!

18 thoughts on “An Inspiration to Blog

  1. Karen, nice job! I enjoyed experiencing your journey from your perspective. Thanks for sharing your feelings leading up to your presentations. So amazing to see how the collective inspiration and encouragement expressed by a few can be so powerful! I appreciate our PLN. Looking forward to your next post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kyle, Thanks for reading and taking the time to post your kind words. Now if only I can paint images with my words as wonderfully as you! I’ll keep trying! I appreciate our PLN, too. Aren’t we lucky? 🙂

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  2. I do enjoyed reading and had no idea you had that much on your plate that week. You are an excellent presenter and so talented at IT and your navigation of creating presentations. I know this as we presented together this past week and I saw your talent and dedication. Keep blogging and I’ll keep reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wanda, Thank you for taking the time to read and comment! It was an honor to present with you. Go, BrainPOP! I can’t wait for you to get your blog started and read your wonderful thoughts. 🙂

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  3. You are truly one of my EduHeros! Loved reading your reflections and I am BETTER because of you! Well done you! Keep growing and reflecting! Feel truly blessed that I have you and our amazing PLN!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mary, Aw, shucks! You have touched my heart! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. I value your feedback! Have you considered creating a site to blog? Would love to read YOUR thoughts!

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  4. Karen wrote:

    I thought about it for a split second, but deep down inside I was filled with doubt. My 7 year-old attempt at blogging had ended quickly. Who was interested in what I had to say?

    —————–

    Hey Pal,

    A quick reflection on the quote above: When I blog, I’m not even remotely interested in what other people think of what I have to say and/or share. For me, blogging is an inherently selfish act. I write because I need to reflect. I write because writing forces me to sit down and think about my practice once a week. I write because putting my thinking into writing forces me to polish that thinking — to work on what I know about my practice as a teacher and a professional.

    That means audience is irrelevant. If I have one, great. If my thinking resonates with others, great. But if no one read anything I wrote, I’d keep writing anyway because the outcome that matters the most to me has nothing to do with other people. The outcome that matters the most to me is the reflection that I do and how that changes me as a practitioner.

    That helped a ton when I first started writing because if no one looked at my work, I didn’t get discouraged!

    And two reflections on your blog:

    1). You are a GREAT writer! I really enjoyed your voice in this post. It flowed and it gave me a sense of who you are as a person. I’m really impressed by that. It’s one of the most difficult things about being a blogger and you nailed it.

    2). I’d REALLY encourage you to start using the standards that you are held accountable for as categories for each of your blog posts. That would help to turn this into a digital portfolio that you can use to document the work you are doing. And if you start now, it’s easy — you can do it for every post. I learned that from George on Thursday — and I’ve got 1,000 posts on my blog that I need to recategorize so that they are sorted by my evaluation standards!

    Lemme know if you have any questions. Always willing to help.

    Bill

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bill, The struggle with worrying about what others think is real, and I appreciate you encouraging me to let that fly right out the window! I will work on that! I agree we need to reflect so we can grow and become better 🙂
      I so appreciate you taking the time to read my post and provide such helpful, positive feedback. You are an awesome mentor, and I look forward to you helping me through this process! ~Karen

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  5. Way to go Karen!!!!!! Your first blog is amazing! I love the honesty behind it 🙂 Looking forward to continuing to learn and grow from you! You are truly and inspiration!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Molly, Thank you for taking the time to read and posting your kind comments! The learning process never ends. I continue to learn and grow from you and my other amazing ITF colleagues, so I appreciate you for inspiring ME! 🙂

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  6. Karen, what a well thought out blog post that includes the personal side of who you are. Thank you for the nudges and encouragement that you give everyone you meet. You are an amazing resource in WCPSS!!

    Liked by 1 person

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