The best part of my journey is that this will not be my last blog post. I know a few topics about my summer work will be dropping in the next few weeks, and that alone demonstrates the power of being in charge of your own learning experience. A capstone is considered a “finishing stone” or a crowning achievement. I AM JUST GETTING STARTED! I did not create this website to fulfill a course requirement. It became a tool for me as a teacher and now as an administrator. Moreover, it helps me be a person, as I can reflect and share experiences of all kinds. My last two posts have been based around the approach to my coursework, the projects themselves, and how I reacted to the experience. Today, it is all about the website that I have constructed for a few hundred hours over the last 18 months. That being said, I am
I created a makeshift highlight reel of blog post content and Twitter posts to showcase a few reasons that COVA and Lamar worked for me. The best part? This stuff happened in my schools! I was an active learner and made each project from Lamar relevant to my personal learning environment. So, instead of navigating you through my website and showing you where every assignment is, I am going to ask you to answer these questions about yourself. I assure you that all of my work can be found on my website if you want to take a look, dropping a few dozen links won’t help a reader who may have stumbled across my blog for the first time. My website allows you to search or check out the monthly inventory. My page structure showcases many aspects of what was made possible thanks to my coursework at Lamar. So, please answer these questions (and view my subconscious thoughts) and then watch what I think to be the best decision I have made as a professional, learner, and parent.
- Where did you start?
- You are reading this post for a reason, I hope. What are you doing as an educator, leader, or member of society? Are you doing enough? Can you learn more? Can you be in charge of that learning?
- I thought I was doing quite well as a teacher. Facing the reality that I had so much to learn allowed me to open up my mind to a tremendous amount of information from others.
- Who is involved?
- Do you have colleagues that will innovate or disrupt thinking with you? What does your administration or boss think about you wanting to try something new?
- Lucky guy here, the teachers I work with are pretty amazing and the administration supported each risk I threw at them. Find a support system and let it spread.
- Do you know how you learn?
- This has to be the hardest question to answer, and I will venture to guess you do not offer the same opportunities for your learners. Ask yourself if you would want to sit in your classroom, sales meeting, or product pitch.
- I found out I need to experience things and I do not like to READ about data or research if it is not formatted in a manner that makes sense to me. I also learned that I can learn a ton on my own, that’s why I picked up a lot of momentum on my journey.
- What have you created?
- I’m not talking about a cool lesson plan or video you show to parents at the end of the year. What have you created that made a change? Are you creating or just borrowing ideas from others? Either way, that’s okay!
- I’ve created a system to collect old iPhones, built two Design Studios, helped introduce Student Edcamps, reconfigured professional learning, and shifted mindsets. Most important creation? I have created a spark in a few teachers that I hope spreads like wildfire.
- What do you hope to accomplish?
- Backward design helps. Create lofty goals. Do not be afraid to FAIL.
- My coursework allowed me to live the program. I became my own innovation plan. This website has become a resource for others to use. If I can help a single person, then I win, I feel accomplished.
- What you could do better?
- There is no 100% in life, yet we still set that expectation for our learners. How often do you measure yourself? Self-evaluation and reflection is key to becoming more successful, but never say you have done all you can.
- It is a good thing my district uses Google, for I need unlimited storage on my Drive to list the things I know I can do better. I have accomplished a lot, but I need to get it beyond a superficial face-lift. I hope to develop stronger relationships with my teachers so that my power of influence can be mutual and they see that we are one giant team doing it all for the kids.
- Where you are now?
- Are you finishing something big? Looking for a job promotion? Do you have a choice or voice in what you do daily?
- The COVA approach to learning that Lamar University instilled in me reinforced student-centered learning, project-based learning, and the ownership of work. I now know how to compromise and find the positive in situations. I push myself to get the the best out of everyone and everything we do as a district. My NOW is all about the learners’ FUTURE.
- What you plan to do next?
- If you are new to the DLL program, keep going! It will be worth it. If you are a friend or relative, thank you for following my journey along this way and I hope you continue to provide inspiration. If you are a leader, educator, or learner, what will you do? What will be your disruptive innovation?
- I found my answers in Texas, and I never stepped a foot into the state or a classroom. The decision to pursue this degree could quite possibly be the best thing that has happened to me as a professional. My foundation is finally complete and I look to build from here. Please consider making a change in your work environment. Make someone or something better by challenging yourself. Thank you!
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