Thursday, November 18, 2010


JUST THE FACTS - in the last two months or so many facts have been running around in my head.  Today I let them loose. 

The fact that all principals don’t require teachers to be on twitter surprises me. The list of reasons is endless:

• Amount of resources available

• Teachers helping teachers

• Teachers connecting classrooms around the world

• Teachers encouraging other teachers to be better

• Bringing the world into the class

• Showing the students how small the world can be

• Showing the students that there are other ways of doing things beside the one they have grown up with all their lives.

• FREE Professional development

Since joining Twitter in June of 2010 (BIG thanks to @kevcreutz) I have completely transformed my teaching. I never used to reflect. Reading other teacher’s reflections opens my mind to so many ideas to think about. I have never tried so many new things in my classroom. I have never been so challenged to make the learning experience each student has every day the best one possible. I have never viewed teaching as a gift more than I do now. (great quote from @gret)

The fact that I still use worksheets bums me out. I have a personal goal to do an entire unit paperless in SOMETHING this year. Difficulties are time in developing that unit, getting the lab time every time I have that class and parent reservation about not having “tangible” work during a unit. I will overcome them. I would love feedback/comments on how other teachers are doing making this work. Mobile devices, understanding staff, awesome students are factors that will help me make that happen.

The fact that I still have to fill out a professional development hours sheet puzzles me. After attending two online courses in the last 2 weeks that were far above any workshop I have attended in a while I got to thinking about this. Who do I need to talk to get ‘credit’ for attending these workshops? I get a feeling of what it must be like to be a student and having to do every assignment for a grade. After I attended those online presentations by @shellterrell and @davedodgson I walked away with ideas that were both thought provoking for long term change and applicable the next time I set foot in a classroom. (Shout out to both of them for great presentations!) These were done on my time, did not pull me out of the classroom and were great. (They did distract me from grading papers ) But now I will have to get a sub and find workshops that the state will count toward my professional development and prove to them that I am growing as a teacher.

The fact that the biggest project I am going to do with my 8th graders this will have no grade associated with it really makes me smile. Since October they have taken over 1400 pictures for this project, took an oath of secrecy, logged a ton of hours in the computer lab and done a great job! They are excited about “Project X” and they cannot wait to unveil it and NEVER have they asked “is this for a grade.” One small step of no grading, one giant leap toward educational change. PS – unveiling will happen December 1st! Only 13 short days away!

The fact that I have to now grade the science tests the 8th graders took while I wrote this bums me out too.

Thanks for reading - comments welcomed and appreciated!


  1. I hear you, but I do understand the time factor for teachers here. My elementary teachers can't divide the time and attention. I am working on sharing hashtags and focused twitter following. I am a tech integration specialist in my district. The teachers don't really know how to participate yet, and there is a learning curve and habit change that isn't easy when admin has so many initiatives. I do wish our admin would give the teachers some blocked time for self directed PD! The "to do" list is soooo long!

  2. It is a fact, loved your post! I'm trying to nudge the teachers I work with (I'm a VP) to join the twitterverse and to blog. A few are reluctantly dipping in a toe and finding it scary, but engaging. I'll pass your post along as a form of encouragement.


  3. What a great post. Many of the things that I think about all the time. Every time I push that "COPY" button on the copy machine I cringe. I know I shouldn't be. I also can't tell you how much I've learned on Twitter, it's unbelievable. I don't know why it took me so long to join. Now, it's weird to say or think about but I can't imagine teaching without it. I'm glad that you have joined now and I feel blessed to have met and now collaborated with you and your class. Abiding Savior is blessed to have you teaching there. Keep up the great work!!! @karacornejo

  4. Cool! I love the idea of Project X. Can't wait to find out more about it on December 1st. Great post!

  5. Sakerson,
    Loved the post and agree that tweeter and blogging are fantastic for any teacher that wants to make more connections and build stronger relationships with their students. That said, I will address your comment on why principals don’t require all staff to have a tweeter account. As a principal, I have found that requirement usually negatively effects enjoyment of whatever one is doing. Teachers are extremely busy and I choose to suggest (by my Thursday Tech Tip) and entice (with examples of other’s work) trusting they will venture into this new area. It usually takes much longer for individuals to get on board; but once on board, I find them happier and much more enthusiastic Let’s not forget that “Differentiation” is effective with teachers also.
    Amen to the use of worksheets and good luck with your paperless project. I look forward to Dec. 1 and Project X. I can feel your passion for learning. Keep up the wonderful efforts with your class.

  6. Really great post!!Technology is a win, win situation for all... If more people realized that with technology you can do more for less, our education system would be much better than it is today! Teachers, admins etc must be open to new ideas, new concepts and strategies to teach our children, not to standardized tests, but to prepare them for college, career and success... That's why I applaud companies working hard to introduce technology and education to the students, teachers, parents and administration

  7. I too am trying to go paperless. I have really cut down on my paper usage, but still give weekly assessments because the parents want to see the tests. I do some testing online, but parents without computers can't see them.

    Twitter and webinars I attend online offer me great PD that I do not get credit for with my district, but I choose to participate. Why? Because I get PD on things I need and want to learn about. I choose my own PD and I like that.

    Can't wait to hear more about Project X.

  8. Good post.
    I agree that twitter and blogging are two wonderful tools for any teacher that wants to make more connections and build stronger relationships with their students.

  9. It's great that you've been able to make connections with Twitter and blogging. Having a PLN outside of school is good because it gives you a larger variety of viewpoints and opinions, not only concerning your subject area but how you see your students.

  10. Very nice post, thank you. I went paperless a few years ago. Thankfully I had a great principal who visited and understood the "new" way. I have seen and heard from others that have wanted to go paperless but the administrator at their school didn't understand or told them no.

    With some school districts professional development is so outdated and cumbersome. This is the area of education that needs more definition. Twitter allows you to learn on your own. Teachers tell us all the time they don't have the time so alternative methods of professional development could be tested.

    I can't wait to see your completed project. Student engagement is key to education reform and your commitment is applauded.

  11. Great post and thank you for sharing! I really enjoyed reading the transformation that has happened since you took up tweeting. You describe the postive factors so well.

    I am trying my best to encourage teachers to join Twitter whenever I have the opportunity, but it's sometimes a bit of a struggle. The "time factor" excuse not to join is the most common one I hear.

    I look forward to hearing about Project X


  12. I loved your comment about Project X. It seems as long as the activity is fun and interesting the students do not care about the grade as much. Now the true test will be if you can recreate the excitement again for another project and move the no grade concept forward in their minds.

  13. What a great post! Thanks for attending the workshop! I'm hoping online ptlrofessional development will be adopted in schools! Most of the great presentations I've attended have been online! I love that you can attend for free, in your comfort and still have time to spend withthe family! You also get the choice of many to choose from! Thanks for wearing the badge as well!