Friday, April 29, 2016

Thank you BEA


Dear BEA,

Thank you so much for the recognition of Billings Education Association Teacher of the Year for 2016. I feel humbled, honored and surprised! My role as a technology integration specialist allows me to see the great work of our profession in action, so I know first hand the many amazing teachers that are deserving of this honor.

I’m not sure why a letter of nomination was written or even who wrote it but I hope the reason is because the writer knows I value teachers, this amazing profession, and the significant role our union plays in our progress. I am in awe by the art our teachers showcase in their classrooms and I hope the nomination was because I have made whoever the teacher is feel as important as they are. Many have heard my little GEEK ditty (with no singing), but the message that’s important in that rant is that kids are our greatest asset and therefore teachers are our second greatest asset. This second asset would crumble if we did not have the foundation and continued support of our union.

Sometimes folks ask how or why I do things outside my job description and my response is “it’s my turn”. There have been so many amazing union members, teachers and others who have gone above and beyond to ensure our profession stays strong, I can’t let that momentum drop. So, I do a little here and there to take my turn, just as so many do. If we all continue to work together and creatively tackle the challenges I have hope that our profession will grow stronger.

So, once again thank you so much for this huge honor. I have always felt indebted to the union for what they do for me but now even more so. Thank you from the bottom of a teacher’s heart (which is super deep).


Thursday, April 28, 2016

The one I'm not using

Tonight I get to talk for a few minutes. The topic is my choice so I've written many options. Here is one that I won't be using tonight but I still wanted to give a shout out to my Googley Cedars. Thank you for all you do for me.

“From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow,” is something I think of when looking back on my journey in this profession. Which is one I never intended to have. When Libby High School asked me to teach with a provisional certificate I said NO WAY, in HE double hockey sticks! As a daughter of educators I knew the realities of how education is time consuming, emotionally draining, challenging and not lucrative. But, through coercion from my former teachers (who I often refer to as mighty cedars), I ended up in the classroom. And there I found my calling. Teachers, I learned, are like Cedar Trees…they adapt, economize the resources they have, they grow stronger if they work together, they smell good, they offer shade on a hot day, damn…they are beautiful and they helped me find my purpose. Having teachers as neighbors has surrounded me in a culture of love, learning and laughter. And as Google would say “Culture eats Strategy for breakfast”. Once surrounded by great teaching neighbors I began to understand why my parents were and are proud educators that wake up every day Googley eyed. You may be thinking, oh great, here comes her Google talk but I believe you to are Googley.
You don’t think you’re Googley? Well you are and here is proof: According to Google: Googley people are creative, passionate about their work, and ethical. They communicate openly; can thrive in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment; and are willing to "roll up their sleeves" and get things done. They can be serious without wearing a suit and tie. Googley people can be worldwide experts and still encourage curiosity and questions without being condescending. HELLO...this is the definition of a teacher. So although you might prefer Firefox, Microsoft or Safari you too are Googley.
There are a few Googley Cedars that deserve a whoop, whoop!
The two Libby Loggers who made me the person I am today are also the most creative, passionate, hard working people that happen to be teachers I have ever met. I’ve never encountered or even read about anyone as smart or as giving as my mom and there isn’t a soul that works as hard as my dad I was lucky to be raised be a real Glinda the Good Witch and her side-kick Super Man.
Another education power couple that shaped me is my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Dale Rumph. Both retirees of BPS they have always been there as a cedar to lean on and a reminder that we are here for the kids. If we can do something that makes our kids’ lives better we must.
Creativity, passionate, invoking curiosity, serious and silly and musical is a great description of my closest neighbors at work. Ann Brucker and Traci Piltz. These two Googley Good educators are my cheerleaders, confidants and inspiration. They are my trio of cedars because in the forest a Cedar tree grows best if clumped with at least three growth minded friends. You two are the #2!
Lastly there is a tall, wise, redheaded Cedar that has helped me find a few new paths in education. Those paths are through policy, advocacy and having pride in this most important profession which has led me to be more involved in the work that matters. He says he liked life better before Google but he is super Googley ethical, brilliant, hard working, can question without being condescending and exemplifies the Google Pillar of “Don’t be Evil”. That awesome Googley Cedar is BEA president Mr. Scott McCulloch.

Thank you to all the Googley Cedars that have helped me on my journey and please judge your work by the optimism you have left behind. Hopefully you can tell I am ready to help cultivate a new generation of wise Googley Good Cedars, thanks to your gift to me. I will, just like you, help make my teaching neighbors the best they can be.

As the Lorax would say…“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” ― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Favorite Google stuff for ios

I often get asked how to use Google on an ios device. Here are the apps I use often on my iPhone and iPad. What do you love about Google Apps for ios? PDF Fav ios Apps