Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Balance is Key

This is a repost from my new blog,


It's hard to believe it's almost November -- the first few months of school have flown by, and at times, I feel like I've hit a stride in my new position as a technology integration specialist.  At the same time, there are definitely days when I feel I am still just beginning to figure out my new role. 

As I transition and adapt to my new job, I am learning and realizing more about myself than I had realized I would - for example, I have always been an idea person.  I love to brainstorm and collaborate on new ideas and I love to be a part of putting the ideas into practice.  The flip side of this is that I'm not fond of missing out on opportunities to collaborate, and I don't like to say no.  It only took a week straight of not having time to eat lunch for me to realize I need to carve out time to eat each day...or it might not happen (lunch and prep are great times to meet and collaborate with classroom teachers!).  Did I mention I'm an extrovert?!

So, I'm striving to find balance.

A balance between time to collaborate and time to work, create, and complete tasks on my own.  A balance between saying yes and saying no -- or, maybe, I can't at that time. 

Balance between learning and reflecting;
           gathering new ideas and implementing;
                                          big ideas and the details.

The hardest area for me to find balance has been in setting limits with work after hours to honor the time I want to dedicate to my home life  (I love to cook, but haven't been able to during the week for a while....and there's been a mounting pile of laundry staring me down for the past several days...).  I am striving to find balance.

How do you find balance?  How to you maintain it?  Is there an app for that? 

Thanks for sharing your ideas and comments below!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Failing in Public

This post has been re-posted from my new blog - visit it directly at

Tonight during a livesession conversation on "Using Connectivism" as a part of #ooe13, another participant, +Greg McVerry @jgmac1106, talked about publishing blog posts and then editing and revising them continuously after publishing.  He mentioned that blogging sometimes acts as his life's rough draft, which I think holds a lot of truth for many bloggers out there. As he was sharing this, I reflected on my own blogging practices and realized that, more often than not, I take too long to filter through, edit, and revise my ideas before publishing them. The end result is often that I reach my historical "one blog post per month" limit.

I am determined to change this practice. I'm shifting my blogging mindset so that my blog writing  better reflects my thinking as it evolves.  This means getting comfortable with the idea of "failing in public" and "failing out loud".  I'm not always going to be on the right track or know the right answer, but I'll definitely be doing a lot of thinking along the way.  Our #ooe13 chat spent quite a bit of time discussing the value of taking risks through blogging and Tweeting to share and question our thinking, and to co-construct an understanding of a topic with our PLNs.  Far too often, failure is seen as a negative thing instead of a chance to create meaning through developing understanding.  


Failing has been on my mind a lot lately... I recently pinned a poster on Pinterest that said FAIL: first attempt at learning. I'm going to put it up in my office to help remind myself of the value of failure (I'll bet it might lead to some good conversations, too).  As a teacher at a STEM school, we teach our students that failure is a very necessary part of the engineering and design process.  Why shy away from failure as teachers?  Or from sharing our experiences with failure?  After all, the reflection that happens after failure often leads to great learning!

I am excited to embrace failure in public by using my blog as a sounding board instead of a final product. I'd love to hear your take on the idea of failing in public-- feel free to post a comment below!