One could say that my job is nothing but presentations, and that might be the case.  That being said, I got asked by my curriculum higher-ups to present at a conference right at the beginning of the summer.  I decided to partner with a co-worker and we decided right off the bat to make our presentation all that it could be.

Here are a list of qualifications we wanted for our presentation:

  • We want our presentation to be practical.  We both agreed that there is nothing worse at a conference than not leaving with something you can use in the classroom.  We want our presentation to be chalk full of things people can use tomorrow in the classroom.  This is a bit of a challenge because we are predicting that we will be presenting to mostly administrators.  Our plan is to offer them a variety of usable practices so that they can introduce something that their faculty can use.
  • We want our presentation to appeal to a wide audience.  Neither of us want to give ideas that can’t be used by multiple grades and all kinds of different classrooms.  We want to offer some non-tech options, some slight tech options, and some ideas for technology professionals.  We understand that not everyone in education is tech-savvy or even tech-proficient, so we want to offer a ton of possibilities.
  • We want to model technology use in the classroom.  We want to show people how easy it is to use technology and do it in a meaningful way.  I hope to communicate that technology doesn’t have to be scary…even if you fail sometimes or it fails sometimes.
  • We want to give people who come to our session time to work.  At least part of our presentation will be time for the attendees to work and brainstorm ways to use what they’ve learned immediately.  We all know the feeling of getting a bunch of great information and not using it immediately.  Often when this happens, I completely forget how I’m going to use it…if I remember it at all.

This is clearly not a comprehensive list, but it’s what we came up with to use for this summer.  I’m excited to add this presentation to my list of accomplishments.  I’m sure you’ll see this being talked about here again soon.


The Little Things


Coming back to school after winter break is a time that can’t be explained to people not in education.  Everyone is tired, there are new clothes a-plenty, and we all feel (somewhat) rested and rejuvenated.  I’m also making some little changes in my classroom to see what happens.

  1. I’m structuring my classroom to minimize negative interactions.  After some reflection I noticed that I was having an increasing number of negative interactions with my students.  Most of this was because there was ambiguity of what the students were supposed to be doing and any given time.  To remedy this, I’m making sure that my expectations for my students are presented clearly before we get into anything.  I’m also making sure that I’m reinforcing positive behavior and putting kids in a place that they can succeed where they are.  Changing seating charts and changing my delivery of lessons slightly are part of this plan of mine.  I’ve only had two days worth of school so far, but so far it’s working well.
  2. I’ve decided to have fun no matter what.  An old principal of mine used to always say “choose your attitude.” I found that at the end of last semester I was not choosing the best attitude I could have.  I’m going to do the best I can to choose my attitude daily and laugh a lot more this semester than I did last semester (which was quite a bit).
  3. I want to help people more than look out for myself.  I’ve been known, at times, to hunker down and concentrate solely on what I need and what matters to me.  This next semester I want to make sure that I’m helping out others as much as I can.  Even if that is changing my reactions to things, changing the way I speak to people, or rolling up my shirt sleeves and helping people get things done.

The bottom line is that I want to be a better person than I am today.  I don’t think that I’m a bad person, but I want to make sure that I’m always pushing myself to be better in new more difficult ways.