Monday, November 21, 2016

Kids Deserve It! Week 8: Chapters 22-24

Here are a few questions to consider discussing this week:

  • What are some of your favorite tools for continuing your learning?
  • Do you remember a time when you got the "alien look" from colleagues about a new idea you had? How did you work through the feelings of doubt those looks may have caused?
  • How do you seek out support for the battles you face?
Thank you for all you do for the students in Indiana! We hope you all enjoy a few well-deserved days off this week! Next week we will be reading and discussing chapters 25-27.


67 comments:

  1. In my department, those with"new ideas" are not alienated. I usually ask a few questions and ask for more information on a plan to make what they want be successful. Sometimes, they find out that the idea doesn't work so well through the planning, but Never are they discouraged for even trying. Also, they can ask for input during our Professional Learning communities(PLC) time. Our administrators are very supportive of a new way to do things.

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    1. YES!!! We are so lucky to teach in a place that encourages new things. I'll never forget being told, "I'd rather you try something new, and it fail, than to never try anything new at all." That sort of encouragement from our administration is what makes us better teachers, not afraid to try.

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  2. The suggestions I offer as favorite tools have at one time been shared by friends, at conferences, or here on the e-learningbookclub as the basis for discussion:

    For any subject area Matt Miller offers helpful tools at http://ditchthattextbook.com/ I also recommend media outlets such as http://indiana.pbslearningmedia.org/

    An additional resource for Spanish teachers is entitled Top 20 Websites Spanish Teachers SHOULD know about! and USE!
    https://srtanrodriguez.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/top-20-websites-spanish-teachers-should-know-about-and-use/ (Some links are rerouted, but the website as a whole is worth me passing along.)

    Finally, as a math teacher I have found support from http://www.insidemathematics.org/search?q=home and at the more specific math location previously mentioned above,
    http://indiana.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/mathcore/

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    1. I subscribe to Matt Miller's blog and he has such wonderful and innovative ideas. He is also a great speaker at conferences, if you have a chance to see him in person!

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    2. If you haven't followed Matt Miller, I would highly recommend his book and blog!

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  3. My favorite sites for professional development are: edWeb.net, and professionallearningboard.com

    The edWeb.net site has free webinars on many different topics and the professionallearningboard.com site offers many courses at a low cost. Each site emails a certificate after completion.

    As far as the "alien look", yes I have had this. The feelings of doubt flooded my mind, but I tried to remind myself of my mission and passion. I talked to other colleagues and they cheered me on and helped me pursue my new idea.

    For the battles I face, I do several things:
    1. Pray
    2. Talk to friends and family
    3. Google (the information is endless)
    The battles are always learning and growing opportunities. Learning to work through the battles will only make me a better teacher.

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    1. Thank you for the two resources on webinars! They sound like something I would be interested in!

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    2. Thank you for sharing those sites! I will look into them.

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    3. I have been using edWeb.net as well and have found a tn f great webinars! And they are free! I love free! One of the authors of this book put on one about a month ago. Did you catch it? I did. It was great to hear him talk about these ideas. The only thing that I don't like is that you cannot get the PGG's if you sign on with your phone without taking a test. I have caught a couple on my way home and hooked it up to my car stereo through my phone.

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  4. 1. To continue my learning, I have to thank the IDOE! This is the second book study I have participated in and I am grateful for the collaboration among Indiana educators. I also have attended conferences through the IDOE's Summer of E-learning. Again, I am grateful to connect with and learn from Indiana educators and educators across the country. I am always looking for other ways to learn that are low-cost, so I would love suggestions!

    2. In regards to the "alien look", it usually comes from educators that have done the same thing for years and do not want to stray from their lessons/units. I take the time to share my ideas and tell them that I would be happy to help if they want to implement, but it does not go any further than that. I just shrug my shoulders and go on with my business and they can see the positive impact it has on my students.

    3. I guess I turn to colleagues and my boyfriend more than anyone else. Sometimes just venting out the issue helps, but they can also give me guidance. The great thing about speaking to my boyfriend is getting an outside perspective, whereas my colleagues can relate more to the problems at hand.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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    1. I totally agree that having the opportunity to just vent is very important. Usually after I have had a chance to talk through a situation with a person I can trust I do feel better.

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    2. My drive to work is about 30 minutes, and I have found that reviewing the day and taking out time to sort out my feelings about any given situation has been helpful too.

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    3. Kathleen- I understand the drive, I commute for over an hour! Sometimes that in itself can be therapeutic and helps me leave those worries behind.

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    4. I have a 45 minute drive...and I agree that sometimes that is very therapeutic. It gives me time to think about the day and re-charge for home.

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    5. I love the DOE book studies too. I have read books I would not have normally picked up.

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  5. I use the website teaching american history for great pd on history. They have some wonderful experts on many topics they have great topics to discuss with great experts.
    I get the alien look many times from my fellow educators just did that one today when talking to them about a new way to grade papers and compare data.
    I always turn to my family when in need of help always have and always will.

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  6. My favorite tool presently for continuing my learning is these elearning book clubs. I have participated in two so far and hope to do more in the future. What I really enjoy about this opportunity to continue my education is that it only cost the price of a book, material is relevant, I can stay home, and it does not require a lot of my time.
    I feel I get the “alien look” just by being the special education teacher. I have general education teachers questioning me all the time and I feel like I am an island. When they all meet with their grade level peers I do not have another special education teacher to share thoughts or ideas. Luckily I have friends that teach special education in other buildings for support.
    Like I just mentioned I seek support from other special education teachers. I can also share my concerns and ideas with my family and close friends.

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    1. I am sad that you feel like you are alone on an island. A special ed teacher can be a gen ed teachers best resource!!! I often have to ask for input from the special ed teacher and try to strategize as a team with that teacher to help a student.

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    2. I totally appreciate my special education teachers and can't say enough about the support they give me. Do those teachers know what you do in the background to help students survive in their rooms? Maybe a little more sharing of what you do for kids might make them appreciate what you do. I also need them for ideas on how to help my students. Have you shared tips with teachers on how you can make their lives easier with students of special needs?

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  7. I also appreciate these Indiana e-learning bookclub opportunities it is great to see other awesome Indiana educators discussing ideas together. I find Twitter very helpful and growing as an educator following # like Tlap learnlap, IMMOOC and satchat. Following people like George Couros, Matt Miller, Paul Stolarz,, Alice Keeler, Katie Martin, Tara Martin EDU, Beth Hough, and Todd Whitaker not only give me ideas I have implemented with my students, they are the ones I go to during times of doubt or times I get that "alien" look. They, among others, have similar passions and help me maintain my excitement to keep transforming for the sake of my students.

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    1. I couldn't agree more! This bookclub has really impacted me. Especially the last one on Digital Citizenship. I learned so much and was able to implement many great ideas that I would have never known about. I love how this club is really child and teacher centered...how we all can become better!

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  8. I would sometimes get the "alien" look when I would share and idea but the idea seemed like it would be too much work...that it would add to an already full plate. I once introduced an idea on data notebooks. The kiddos kept track of how they were doing in my classroom and then made and set goals for themselves...each week we looked at their goals individually and as a class. We graphed out our success or an area that needed work. We then thought about ideas of how we could improve...this took time to role play and teach. I got many looks..but when teachers saw the success and pride of the kiddos many got on board. Sometimes you just need to share and show others how it is possible! I loved how they involved dads with the DOGS program and the dinner. Dads often seem to be in the background while mamas push forward. The school my son attends has "All-Pro Dads" it is a breakfast once a month with teaching point on something they want the kids to learn, for example: no bullying. The kids come away with learning something and the fathers are involved! My son looks forward to this special time each month. Once we had forgotten and he was so upset that he missed that time. Such a strong impact!

    My favorite tools for continuing my learning...one is this blog. I have only done 2 book studies...but have already come away with so many wonderful ideas. Especially the digital citizenship book...There were so many cool things I had no idea existed! I also love summer programs that the district puts on. These we get to hear people speak about ways to make our classroom better. I may not always love the idea 100% but often can find ways to make it work for me. An example was last summer I went to one called, Conscious Discipline" I learned about the importance of make the child be heard and that even though they are little their ideas and feelings matter a great deal.

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  9. Teaching Health, Khan Academy has been very helpful as an extra resource for my students and myself! I have never noticed the "alien" looks, but if I'm being honest...I'm sure I've given them before. With that being said, I also love when people push the envelope and try new things! I'm very thankful for an amazing work community filled with colleagues that clearly want the best for our students and allow us to try new and innovative things.

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    1. The Math teachers in my building use Khan Academy as a skill builder. They like it because the students can direct their own learning. And there is always something else they can work on so there is no excuse for finishing and not having anything to do.

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  10. I have in the past joined book clubs that my school has done in the past. This is my first elearning book club. Already I have learned some things that I would like to try in my class.
    I recently have started using Twitter and I have found a lot of useful information on pinterest by some of the same people that the authors recommended. I have not seen the alien look but I am sure it has happened. I just reach out to friends and family in those difficult times.

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  11. Talking to my colleagues is a way for continuing my learning. Our school has an instructional coach and lucky for me, she taught English for over 35 years, so she is a huge resource that is available to me. She offers a lot of professional development opportunities for our staff and meets with teachers one on one to help in any way she can. I’ve taken a few grad classes as well, but haven’t done so in a couple of years. Obviously this Book Club is helping me learn as well! It’s good to connect with other educators and learn from not just the authors of the book, but also from you all!

    I have never had an idea that has been met with the “alien look” but I will be honest and say sometimes I have given that look. Usually it’s because of the lack of time, not because I don’t think the idea isn’t needed or a great one, but because my brain automatically assesses how will the idea be possible with such limited time. Time is something teachers never seem to have enough of!

    In chapter 23, it said, “We’ve learned that battles are easier to deal with when you share your struggles with others.” I couldn’t agree more with that statement. For my first few years in the classroom, I felt very much alone in my daily struggles. Now that I am in a program where it’s more of a team environment, one in which we have a daily team meeting time, I no longer have to feel alone. During our team time, we can share what we struggled with that day, and what occurred in our classrooms. We take care of each other and are truly a united front; when one of us is having an issue with a defiant student for example, we meet with that student as a team. It’s so much easier to deal with those struggles when you have a team of teachers that know you well, that know your students well, and that can support you and struggle with the same stuff you do.

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    1. What a great idea to meet with the student as a team. I can see that being helpful even to elementary students, meeting with teacher, counselor, principal, etc.

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    2. An instructional coach would have been amazing for me!! I got back into teaching after being out of the classroom for 15 years and figured a lot out myself. With everyone else being so busy as well it was a struggle initially to know a direction to take without a curriculum to follow. Thankfully over time I found sources online with a map.

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  12. Recently, I have enjoyed these e-book clubs as well as Twitter discussions. There have been times when I have been lucky enough to go to various trainings.
    When it comes to the "look," ultimately, I am not outside of my classroom to talk to others about what goes on in my room. This may be partly due to the fear of "the look." When I face various battles, I turn to the educators in my family for advice and reassurance. Typically if I have a new idea, I talk to them before I try anything so I don't really care if I get "the look" when I have the approval of educators I trust and respect.

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  13. I have not gotten the "alien look" from colleagues before, but the fact that I haven't will hopefully inspire me to try to be more innovative in my thinking about lessons and new ways of doing things. I do try to share my battles as the text said with my peers, especially those in my content area. It helps to explain aspects of lessons that worked and those that didn't with them and sometimes to get advice about how I could make it better in the future.
    As far as continuing my education, I found myself aligning most with the excuse listed in the book as not having enough time to devote to continuing my education in a formal way. I tend to use social media like Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook groups to continue my education in a less formal way. I use those social media sites to inspire me to think about different parts of my curriculum in new and exciting ways. I also take the time to ask questions to a Facebook group for English teachers that I am a part of as well. This helps me to think of new ideas for curriculum and to stay inspired by my content area. I know this is an area that I definitely need to improve upon in the future and hold myself accountable to make the time to accomplish it, just as the text says about operating with the belief that we make time for what is important to us.

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  14. I am lucky, I get to attend professional development conferences every so often. My corporation also provides us with great resources on our campus along with their own professional development.I have also loved being part of the eLearning Book Clubs, this is my second one and I hope to continue with them in the future.
    I definitely will go to my coworkers when I am seeking support in any of the battles I am facing. I also will talk to my family and close friends. Sometimes I feel that just talking about it, can make me feel better. I am thankful I have a support system, because some days it is much needed.

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  15. One of my favorite tools for continuing learning is this book club! I started last summer I believe and haven't missed one since. I love that I just need to order a book on Amazon and I can be a part of a great learning experience. I also love the HECC conference in Indianapolis every fall. Not only are there great technology presentations but you get to walk away with some piece of new technology as well to take home and put into action. I went a few years ago when they gave out chromebooks and I still use it daily. Plus, my school ended up going with chromebooks when they went 1:1 and I was already familiar with it!
    I can't remember a time receiving the alien look from colleagues but I feel like I often get the alien look from my students. When that happens I try to just keep going on the track I'm on to see if they can see the value or fun in what we're doing.
    I feel like my group of colleagues who get me are the ones I seek out for support on something. Trying to get opinions before trying something or taking a situation to them after I've been through it to hear what they think always helps.

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    1. I have gotten the alien look from students many times! Haha! Sometimes they think the idea is lame or boring, and sometimes they really just don't understand it at all. It upsets me when they don't like the idea and think it's lame, but I always try to work through it anyway and then revamp it for the next year.

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    2. I have not heard of the HECC Conference. Thank you for sharing, that one is on my list for the future!

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    3. I haven't heard of the HECC conference either. Can't wait to find out what it is and when the next one is. Thanks for sharing. And those alien looks from students can sometimes make the best laughs for the day.

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  16. I too have enjoyed the elearning bookclubs. This is my third one. I have encouraged my friends and colleagues to join too. My district has many professional development opportunities as a corporation, building, and as an individual. I learned a lot through our weekly collaborations with our former principal. She was always up to date and had a resources we could take home to look at. I also love the staff of C.L.A.S.S. and the encouraging professional development opportunities they host. I always leave feeling uplifted and like I can actually put the new ideas into practice right away. I also read twitter feeds from schools in our county and research programs that I am not familiar with.

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  17. My school is blessed with innovative administrators who are very supportive of new ideas. They urge us to try new ideas, saying that the important thing is to try something new, whether the idea works out or not. That has really created a culture of experimentation and support for new ideas.

    Another thing that my administrators support is professional development. I just got back from a national conference in Boston, and I can hardly wait to implement some of the new approaches I learned there!

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  18. Some of the best tools I access are the IDOE E-Learning opportunities and also teacher blogs/ websites. I have received information on some great resources that I never would have known about otherwise.

    I do not know if I get any alien looks from others, as I rarely wear my glasses indoors. This strategy has been great for never seeing a cluttered house and it works well for avoiding "alien looks" too!

    When I need support, I often go to friends who can relate to my situation, and who are also good listeners! I usually let go of things pretty quickly.

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    1. I think it is our area to let go of things fairly quickly. We would have a lot of pent up frustration if we didn't.

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  19. My tools for continuing my learning are other teachers, conferences, and volunteering to be the "guinea pig" for new ideas or programs my administrators want to try. Sometimes I just teach myself by playing around with a new program I think is worth a try.

    I often get the alien look from other teachers. I often present to our staff on conferences I've attended or new programs we use. I especially get that look from our veteran teachers. They think it's great what I'm doing, but they have no desire to use it in their classrooms.

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    1. I am one of 20 teachers in my district piloting Blackboard in my classroom. It got off to a rough start but now it is just learning how to use the system effectively. I have always found the best way to learn about an LMS is to just jump in and start using it. Sometimes we find our own way to work around something as a group. I am fortunate to have a group to bounce ideas off of and to help me along the way.

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  20. I am so fortunate to work with great administrators and teachers, so I don't get the alien look. I teach middle school, so I get the look from the students! I get used to it and some things work and others don't, but it's not a bad thing to let the students see you attempt something you believe in and fail or succeed. I want the kids to know we don't always succeed and that it is "ok" to try.
    My tools for continuing learning are teachers, workshops, and websites. We have time to collaborate with the other middle school in our corporation and that is helpful. This book we are reading has also been helpful and inspiring. It talks about what we experience in our profession and motivates us and reinforces the confidence we need in teaching. I also take advantage of technology training our school corporation offers. This year our school went 1 to 1 with computers so the training opportunities have been plentiful and helpful.

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  21. My favorite tools for continuing learning are Matt Miller and Ditch that Textbook blog, TpT, Pinterest, IDOE Book Club, IFLTA Conference, and Foreign Language and Spanish Communities on Edmodo. we are encouraged to find opportunities to improve our teaching. I learn a lot from colleagues and administrators at my school.

    I get the most alien looks from my students! They tend to have a different look for different situations. I am sure that I have given alien looks to some colleagues when they are discussing new ideas!

    I get my support from my husband, colleagues and administrators.

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  22. Some of the best conferences that I have ever attended were through BER. Our administration encourages professional development, and sends us one at least one conference a year. This summer I went to Chicago and learned so much. Some of the activities take time to prepare, but are easy and interchangeable. I teach high school, and sometimes we will get questions for getting out crayons, blocks, tongue depressors, kids' play food, etc. Manipulatives have been a great success in my classroom.
    I also love Pinterest. I have found so many fun, simple ideas by searching for Spanish class activities. It's endless!
    I liked chapter 23, page 152. It talks about sharing our struggles with others to fight our battles. This is hard, because it can come off as complaining, but with the right people, with positive attitudes, they can see the dilemma, and help you work through it, or at least see it differently. They can share what they have done in their class that has been effective. This works with lesson plans and difficult students. We were not meant to be solitary people, working alone in our rooms. I have 2 coworkers in particular who help me through things....one is in my department, and is very positive and calms me down....the other doesn't teach, but just listens and gives me an outside perspective.
    Sometimes just verbalizing our frustrations or struggles can put them into perspective.

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  23. I am always looking for workshops or classes that deal with my subject area which is Health. We have several universities in our city so I keep a look out for classes or workshops that are being offered.
    I work with very supportive administrators that welcome new ideas. Besides teaching middle school health, I also teach a 6th grade elective course on Asian studies. I got the alien look when I told my principal I wanted to find someone to come in and teach the students kung foo. After a good laugh - I decided that Tai chi would be a little more appropriate! I found a wonderful instructor and she did such a good job that I also have her come in to my 8th grade class when we talk about stress management. Besides my students learning from guest speakers I learn as well.

    As for the struggles that we all face, I seek out colleagues to vent to and/or gain perspective. Many times, by sharing we find out we are not alone in our struggles and that is comforting.

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  24. For continuing my learning, my favorite tools are materials in Spanish. It’s important for me to keep learning Spanish, show interest in my subject, and find new resources in my subject so I can demonstrate to my students how being a lifelong learner works. I pursue my hobbies of reading in Spanish, listening to Latin Billboard, watching tv in Spanish when I can, and seeking out internet resources (and games and fun videos) in Spanish. I never know when I will bump into something useful for my classes! I also have a friend (Spanish speaker) I help with her English every week and it helps me to remember what it was like for me when I was intermediate level. I think listening, working with the lyrics, and sharing Latin music is my favorite tool for my own continuing education.
    I also attend foreign language conferences when permitted, which are always helpful because I don’t come in contact with many foreign language teachers during the school year, being from a small school. I love to talk face to face to someone who has similar interests, like foreign language and education.
    As far as the “alien look,” well, I don’t even know what to say about that because I feel like I get that look a lot. Haha. I just go ahead and do my thing, because I know my kids and I want to do my best for them.

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  25. My two biggest tools for continuing to learn are twitter and reading books. Many of the book ideas i get come from twitter as well. Participating in twitter chats (such as the INeLearn chats) has been a great source of learning for me. Being the principal of a school with a staff that is comprised mostly of veteran teachers (some of whom do not want to change), I have grown accustomed to the alien look with some of my ideas. I think what I have learned is to take it to a small group of teachers that are open to change first. If it passes the test with them, then I take it to the rest of the staff. That way I also know I have some staff support when the idea goes to the rest of the staff.

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  26. 1. I’m a pinterest junkie! I find all kinds of ideas & lessons there. I’ve also found links on pinterest that have taken me to other music teacher blogs. I now subscribe to some of those blogs and love trying out some of their new ideas. I get excited every time I try something new. I have also found some great lessons on teacherspayteachers.com. Why reinvent the wheel if someone already has right?

    2. I always get alien looks when I’m planning my next music program. I always feel nervous, but so far each idea has worked itself out.

    3. When I need support, I always look to my close colleagues that know me well. They always give me the support I need or reality check to ground me.

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    1. I also love pinterest and teacherspayteachers.com. I use both on a regular basis!

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  27. When I started teaching the only options for professional development were college courses, summer workshops, and conferences. I am glad renewal of licenses includes professional development pgp points. Now book studies such as this one and opportunities at school have made renewal much easier and less expensive for teachers.
    As for the "alien look", I remember suggesting using a google doc or sheet to track student behavior in real time. Working on a team, we tried to track student behavior and give rewards for good behavior and of course deal with consequences for poor choices. I suggested we use a google sheet and give access to all teachers on our team and they would use it to track a points system with our kids and it would always be updated. This was several years ago and the idea of google sheets was just beginning. My fellow teammates really didn't want to try it and we continued using a folder system which took a prep period together to figure out our team points each week. I was very frustrated due to the system saving that time. I understand their feelings, due to so often new tech actually taking more time to make it work. But I wanted to try using the google sheet idea.

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  28. I was glad that the authors touched on professional development in this section. PD is an ever changing topic in most school districts. When I started in the schools almost 20 years ago, computers were just being introduced. Most of our PD was half or full day face to face conferences. Many school district conferences were big picture ideas that matched government funding. Now most of my professional reading, colleague interaction and professional organization updates come through some form of online experience. There are twitter chats, facebook groups and other online sources to help us. The nice part is you can access these sources from anywhere. The language is not too heavy and often times you can find a synopsis or a person who has already tried to apply a new research idea. Reading posts from this type of interactive book club has been helpful for many of us too. As for the alien look, it is something you get used to and learn to move on from. Taking risks in any environment is challenging. If you believe in something, stand your ground and try anyway.

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  29. Some of my favorite tools for continuing learning are to learn from teachers who are seasoned, teachers who are enthusiastic and full of energy and motivation, and teachers who are new to the field. Obviously veteran teachers have a lot of little tricks and hints to reveal that could only come from experience. Teachers who have a zest for their careers tend to have the brightest and most engaging ideas that make students excited to come to your class and learn. New teachers are always a great resource because they seem to know some of the latest and greatest that a teacher who may be stuck in a rut could use as well as they are fresh and excited to get started.
    I do remember many many times getting the alien look for new ideas. Often time in gym class I try games that I have completely made up myself or that I student has brought to me from YouTube! My coteachers occasionally are afraid to try the new stuff out for fear that chaos will ensue and the kids will not enjoy it or understand it. I have also gotten "the look" from certain coaches about ideas that I have for the weight lifting room when it doesn't fit the exact criteria that they may desire for their sport. I try to keep everyone happy but for the most part keeping the kids learning, engaged, and working towards attainable goals is the lost important thing to me over some other teacher's opinion of my plans. I seek support over battles I face many time from administrators who I know that I can trust and have the students best interest at heart. I confide in the school counselor who is phenomenal and has great input for most situations. Believe it or not, our school nurse is a great support to me. Teachers who are like minded and many of whom are my friends help to support my decisions. My wife also gets to hear a lot of my rambling and offers advice where she can about struggles that I face.

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  30. Some of my favorite tools for continued learning include my colleagues, continuing education offered through my school, and online classes. I'm also always reading books that pertain to learning and teaching. I also use online resources for reading articles and new research about education. One of my main goals of teaching is to teach my students to be life-long learners and to LOVE learning new things. I think it's so important that teachers also be life-long learners as education evolves.

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  31. My favorite tools to support continued learning are Twitter and blogs. Twitter is an amazing PLN that both challenges my thinking and shares tons of resources. I also love to follow blogs so that I get email updates whenever a new post is shared. Some of my favorites are Matt Miller (for practical classroom ideas), Alice Keeler (for techie updates and tricks), George Couros (for inspiration) and a few others!

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  32. My favorite tools for continued learning include CCLC, ASL THAT, Learning Connections communities, and attend conferences for various areas I teach in. I also get ideas from teachers around me that teach the same area that I do. I have gotten many ideas off of the internet by searching for them.

    I get many alien looks from my students. Not so much from the teachers. I feel I get these because my students don't understand and they don't know the questions to ask me. I just continue to work through the looks and hopefully at the end of the lesson I don't have as many as I started with.

    I usually turn to a friend who understands and knows the teaching field. She gets to listen to my joys and frustrations, and gives my good moral support when I need it.

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  33. We just hired three curriculum coordinators in our system, and two of them taught the higher level English classes at the high school. I love to bounce ideas off of them. They understand my subject area and are passionate for trying new ideas. This is huge when I have an idea brewing but am at a lose with how to pull it all off. I also like to talk with my next-door colleague. She is a science teacher but is great for using as a sounding board.

    I use these book clubs for ideas. I also like Twitter feeds. The thoughts put out there jump start different ways of thinking for me.

    My principal is a person I seek for support if I feel a battle is brewing with parents. He is a great sounding board and is good at backing his teachers. I try to be diplomatic if I am facing issues with a colleague. There are many times I find it best to agree to disagree. We all have different styles of teaching. I think content matters, but I don't think we all have to do everything exactly the same. I find that refreshing.

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  34. 1. I absolutely love conferences! They relight my passion and fire for what I do. I come back from my FCSed conference with so many ideas and things I want to try in the classroom. I try not to miss it! Last year I was having a baby, so I was unable to attend. I look forward to going this year! I also love these book blogs, this is the 3rd one I've done and I enjoy the pace and connections you can make with other educators. I also find MANY ideas on Pinterest and other FCS Teacher blogs. Lots of interactive things going on!!
    2. For the last 2 years I've helped lead some form of PD at my school. I was a GoogleGeek (as most of my college classes required) and our school is using mostly Google products so I've been asked on a few occasions to do "google topics". I know its uncomfortable for some staff as they have not done anything with these tools. We have a very diverse staff (40years + to 1st year teachers) and everything in between. This year I was asked to help assist with all our professional development for the year. It has been interesting seeing how much our staff varies in interests and what they feel they need 'help' in. Staff who are uncomfortable with the new technology often respond with, "Why?" or "I've done it this way for so long....", or just the 'alien look'. I try to understand and explain the best I can the benefits of using ____________in the classroom. I don't usually let alien looks distract me from trying something. As my own department I do some silly things, it keeps me entertained!!
    3. Battles happen inside and outside the classroom. As a 'new' teacher (4th year) I still have questions about basic teaching ideas. I usually turn to my mentors for that. As a new mom I battle how to balance school and home- I usually turn to other "Mommy-Teacher-Friends" or my family. I know my family understands, and they are very patient with me. In turn extended holiday breaks is my time to spoil my family with all of my attention. It really depends the 'battle' as to who I turn to.

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  35. I have joined a few professional organizations for Media Specialists and find it really helps with having people offer great advice as well as understanding when there is a problem at school. There are so few of us "librarians" left, it is nice to know there is someone who understands with only an email. I also really enjoy this book club and I have watched some helpful videos on Ed Leaders Network. I think going to conferences is a great way to meet people too so I try to go to at least two media-related events each year.

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  36. Some of my favorite tools for continuing my learning are my colleagues, conferences, and online resources (blogs, twitter, etc). At my school, the math department meets regularly to share ideas and collaborate. I enjoy these meeting because you can learn new ideas or share some of you own! I also like to attend conferences, especially NCTM, where you can get ideas from other teachers and professional from across the state or country. And, I enjoy looking for new techniques and resources online through social media and other sites to give me quick, new ideas that I can incorporate immediately.
    There have definitely been times when I have tried a new idea and it didn't go as well as planned. I try to think of these situations as learning experiences and just work to improve them or change them for the next time. As teachers, we are continually learning as well, and not every new technique will be successful.

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  37. What are some of your favorite tools for continuing your learning? I have used so many different websites for continuing my learning such as CTE websites for curriculum ideas, familyandconsumersciences.com, online book clubs. I have gotten help from close by health teachers to guide me in what to do bc of not being in that content area before. I have also collaborated with other FACS teachers I know to keep me on the up and up.
    Do you remember a time when you got the "alien look" from colleagues about a new idea you had? How did you work through the feelings of doubt those looks may have caused?
    Yes I have gotten alien looks and unfortunately I have let some of my ideas go to the back burner bc of it. I am slowly working new things in. And slowly gaining more confidence in myself.
    How do you seek out support for the battles you face? I definitely get support from my husband and other teachers. Im thankful for both!!

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  38. Two of my favorite tools for continuing my education are books/book studies and collaborating with other teachers in my subject area. One of my best friend's is a nationally acclaimed educator, and also one of my biggest resources. I constantly find myself asking him for ideas and picking his brain on his best practices.
    Honestly, as far as the "alien" look goes, I really don't care what other teachers think of me. I would not give an "alien look" a second thought.

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  39. I continue my education by: watching or listening to webinars, doing book studies online and with colleagues, attending early childhood conferences, reading up on ideas on blogs/pinterest, and having ongoing conversations with colleagues. I am constantly looking and reading up on best practices and new ideas to use in my classroom.
    When I think about a new idea I first talk it through with a colleague. Sometimes when I talk it through, she gives me ways to help it work or sometimes I see that it most likely won't work at all. I have worked with so many wonderful people and honestly cannot say I've gotten the look but that's not saying they weren't thinking it. Sometimes things go as planned, at times ideas need to be revised, then other times we laugh and scratch the idea altogether.

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  40. One of my favorite tools for continuing my learning is the IDOE book clubs. Since I am currently out of the classroom, it is important for me to do whatever I can to stay current in education. I have truly enjoyed all of the book clubs and have learned so much about new resources available in education.
    I also love to attend conferences and workshops. I always leave feeling like I have something new and exciting to take back to the classroom.

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  41. A few favorite tools that I use for continuing my learning are twitter, eBook discussions, and Google groups. I feel using a combination of these methods is introducing me to new ideas while putting me into contact with individuals across the world.
    I actually had a co-worker start yelling at me during a PLC meeting about an idea I had brought up. I realize some teachers are set in their ways and I strongly feel that unfortunately they will be left behind or unemployed if they continue to buck the system. When the majority of students don’t pass a test, I think about what I could have did better - I do not knock the intelligence of my students - I do not feel 100% of the blame lies with them. For me, I am open to others ideas and interested in what they are doing in their classrooms. This situation made me more aware of how I react to others ideas and even cause me to try a couple that I felt were “not for me” because the activity might work for my students. Just because I am not fond of a particular activity does not mean it will not assist my students learning the material.
    I seek support with my small group of trusted individuals in the building.

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  42. I’m not exactly sure what my “favorite” tools are. I’m always looking for new ideas and new tools. I do love Matt Miller and have really enjoyed these book clubs on the IDOE. I have found several tools on Pinterest and from other educations blogs and listservs. There’s just so much out there, it’s hard to pick favorites.
    I love the second question, because I get the “alien look” a lot…but I’m not sure it’s about my ideas or maybe it’s just me, lol. I will say, that I do get those looks a little bit, because most of my conversations start with “I have an idea”! Sometimes my ideas are well received and sometimes they’re not. But, that’s life. I try to have my ducks in a row and have all the information I need, in order to “sell” others on my ideas. I think knowledge is power, so the more information you can share about your idea, the less likely you are to encounter those alien looks.
    Finally, I seek support from my husband. He’s definitely my rock and gives me very sound advice. I also seek support from the other FACS teacher here in the building. She and I were hired the same year and we have just got the best relationship. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without her here!

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  43. Some of my favorite tools for continuing my learning:
    I definitely enjoy that the IDOE does this eLearning Book Club Blog so frequently. I always offer it to my colleagues when I sign up because I often enjoy the books we read, and the blog posts are so informative.
    Our school corporation has begun to model the IDOE and begun hosting similar book clubs in a variety of formats, which has been nice as well. I enjoy that we’ve had a variety of “hosts” for the book clubs on a variety of topics.
    TeachersPayTeachers is another great resource for me. Even if I don’t buy anything at the time, it’s a great source for inspiration or ideas.
    Our school corporation has recently put on some great conferences at the beginning of the summer so that teachers are inspired/motivated to work on things over the summer. We get a lot of technology inspiration, and a lot of swag! It’s a lot of fun, and they keep expanding our options each year.


    I can honestly say that I’ve never really gotten the “alien look” from any colleagues about a new idea I’ve had. Many of the ideas that are presented by our colleagues are often ones that many of us have heard of but just have not had the time to explore more in depth. When one of us has more information, we are more than willing to listen to our colleague to see if it’s something that we’d be interested in implementing.


    When I do have a “battle” that I face, I seek out support in a variety of ways. I first look to my close colleagues for advice. They know me well and know the situations to give me the best advice.

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  44. I get a lot of ideas from my co-workers. Sometimes going to a conference can be overwhelming. You learn so much without the opportunity to try anything, and by the time you and try something you forget. One of my closest friends if really great with technology and a much faster lerner then I am. She also happens to be a teacher (and goes to all the conferences) that is willing to help me when I need. I love hearing about what apps and extensions other teachers are using and how they are using them both successfully and unsuccessfully. It is easier for me to come up with how to make something better them than come up with the idea from scratch. I am excited to try the latest technology I learned about, plicker. I am hoping to use it to get/give immediate feedback during reviews.

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