Sunday, November 22, 2015

You Always Remember Your First......

My First GAFE Summit Presentation.
Today was my first time presenting at an EdTechTeam Google Apps for Education (GAFE) Summit in Temecula, California. Although it was amazing to share my knowledge of how to "Clean up Your Dirty Drive" and I discover some new teacher tech trick along the way, my biggest take away from a GAFE Summit came from the last 10 minutes of the conference from two amazing presenters - Jennifer Scott (@Jentechnology) and Kate Petty(@techclassroom ).

Saying good-bye to the other presenters seemed bitter sweet because it was amazing to connect with people that were passionate and like minded. However when I asked Jennifer what I should do between summits (while going through withdrawal)- she said the magical words - "Blog."

Now I haven't written an official blog post since December 20, 2011 when I was in Jeff Heil's(@jheil65) Technology class while getting my Master's at the University of San Diego.  Back then, blogging was easy because it had a purpose - a grade! It was for a class and the whole class was required to read my posts. I was affirmed online (and in class) that what I was doing was great. After the class ended and I started my first year teaching I never felt like I had anything to say. I would always think, "I'm a first year teacher, who would care about my ups and down?" or "What is so special about what I have to say? - someone else has probably done it before." I would even go as far as saying "Who cares about my ideas?" Even 24 hours ago these same doubts were running through my head although my heart wanted to Blog it all.
Kate Petty's Keynote 
It wasn't until Kate Petty's (short but sweet) keynote about "What They Don't Tell You" that I decided to take the plunge and just put myself back on the Blog Scene. Kate Petty said "You need to surround yourself with people that understand and appreciate you. You need to find your 'tribe.'" My mind blew. I was always doubting myself because I was thinking people wouldn't care or people wouldn't understand. Never have I though that the people that would actually look for my posts are people that WANTED to hear what I have to say.

This was powerful. It gave me affirmation to think of the world as my teaching circle. But it was what she said later that sent me STRAIGHT to my hotel and open my laptop. She mentioned how as "educators we see the values of student portfolios - so why don't teacher have one too?" Now I reflect on my lessons, my teaching and any professional development I attend. But it eventually gets lost in my drive under the hundreds of other things that happen during the school year. But when I got to my hotel I opened my computer and looked at that college Blog ( As I scrolled through I relived every moment of the course. I remembered every assignment, every detail, and every lesson I was supposed to have learned. Even almost 5 years later that experience was still fresh. Kate Petty was right. Jennifer Scott was right. Jeff Heil was right. Blog - Share - Be part of a community bigger than yourself! Now these people were right, but they never said it was going to be easy. (but then again what is easy in the world of teaching?)

So this is my pledge. To Blog about the ups and downs of my classroom and to give techy tutorials along the way. It will be messy, it will be time consuming, but it will be MINE! I call it Mrs. K's Way because thought it all, it is how I decided to do things. And by sharing my journey, maybe....just maybe...someone else will then make it their own.

You always remember your first. 
Your first love.
Your first day of school as a teacher.
Your first #GAFEsummit presentation. 
But more importantly, now I'll always remember, 
My first blog post as Mrs. Kondrick.