Sunday, January 18, 2015


I absolutely loved the frankness and honesty in @stoodle's blog post on Exorcising Teacher Demons@MrOrr_geek took this one step further and started #10GoodThings - a list of, well, ten good things that happened to him and his classes in 2014, to remind him (and others) that we are indeed fighting the good fight, and doing great things.

So here is my list. They are mostly BYOD/tech related because that seems to be my focus of late. I'm going to nominate fellow #rdsb21c bloggers and bloggers-to-be (@hpennie, @bauerE9, @henschsci, @MrJamesEady) to complete the challenge as well.

Here are my #10GoodThings from 2014

1. 2014 was the first year I started using Twitter to really connect with other teachers. Not just to say hi, but to collaborate on projects and have my students create something along with other students across Ontario. @PatGrew's Ratio Project and @MrOrr_geek's Pumpkin Time Bomb really stand out, as well as @s_m077's Skype chat between grade 3s and grade 12s.


2. I had great support from my principal and vice-principals on BYOD. Every step of the way, from applying for grants, to taking time to figure things out in class, to letting my students run around the school taking pictures of slopes, they've allowed me to experiment and grow. I'm very appreciative of that (and of them!).

3. 2014 was a banner year for attending conferences and non-board PD! Off the top of my head, I was able to connect face-to-face with colleagues at functions by Ontario Principals Council, STAO, STAO Congress, OTRK12, 2 EdCamps, and Manitoulin IGNITEd. It's tough being out of the classroom, but great to get out and discover new ideas.

4. Along with attending conferences, I also had my first opportunities to share my BYOD experiences and help other teachers get started with online pursuits.

5. I finally had the chance to teach true e-learning in the summer with an online Physics course. I had been wanting the opportunity to really test out D2L's vLE waters for some time.

6. I started overhearing good things - unexpected things - from my math & physics students that I'd never heard before. Some would tell each other that this was their favourite class, some would jump in to help a struggling student learn, many would say that they liked the pace, tone, and informality of our class. One student even told me that she likes ending the day with math because she goes home happy. I'm not pretending all students are in the same boat, but teaching-wise, I think I might be on the right track...

7. I became much more of a risk-taker in 2014, teaching a little more like a PIRATE both in how I deliver information as well as building up the excitement in my classes. My students are STILL talking about the mysterious build-up to our Hallowe'en activity.

8. In 2014, I learned to appreciate blogging a lot more, both as a reflection practice for myself, as well as taking the time to read other blogs (through #comcon and #blogamonth) and participate in conversations by commenting on others' blogs.

9. In the latter half of the year, our school's digital infrastructure was improved immensely, giving students and teachers much better connectivity. Slow connections and inconsistency in actually staying connected were perhaps my biggest frustrations while introducing tech into the classroom, and I'm happy to say it is so much better now. Now if I can just convince the powers-that-be to unblock youtube...

10. My husband (@christheij) started adopting and embracing technology in his own ways in his music classes in 2014. It was a really good year of developing ideas alongside him for our respective classes, and growing together as teachers. He has been a huge source of support, and he helped keep me sane throughout a crazy year.

What are YOUR #10GoodThings??

1 comment:

  1. These are 10 great things…and a great reminder to look for the positives while we teachers run around with our hair on fire!


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