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The Reality of Twitter Stardom in Education

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”- Eleanor Roosevelt The day that I received my invite to Discovery Ed’s Beyond the Textbook and saw the list of “names” invited, I was in shock. My initial thought was, “Why am I on this list?”  On that list were innovators, speakers, creators, “twitter stars” and ME. What on earth had I done to deserve to go?  I found myself questioning myself, my value and my contribution to the world. It was the single most bone headed thing that I have EVER done…and I have done a few bone headed …

My First Year Teaching: The Power of Caring and Connecting

When I first started my teaching career, it was an insane jump into the fire. I was hired to be a full time math remediation teacher for middle school. I took over a class that had done nothing but watch Disney movies exactly 3 weeks before their test. The first question that I was asked came from a young man that I would go on to teach again in High School. He said, “Why do you think that we’re gonna work in this room when we haven’t done it all year?” My response to him was…”We all have choices and …

2

No Room for Fear: A Lesson from Akeelah and the Bee

I just finished watching Akeelah and the Bee with my son for the 100th time. It is OUR movie. Our favorite line in the movie happens when Akeelah was asked to read a portion from the reading below written by the amazing Marianne Williamson. Excerpts from Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am …

4

Uncomfortable is Good

This post is an open letter to the teachers of the school that I will serve in the fall… Dear Teachers, This year,  you will embark on a journey that will be like nothing else that you have ever done. Our district has adopted the idea of integrating technology into our daily lives. They’ve even given you a choice between two devices, Mac and PC. The first challenge is that you may be using a device different from your peers. You will want to send information, share documents and possibly create. There will be times when you might forget how …

10

The Unbelievable Ease of Thank You

I struggle with accepting compliments. In 10 days, I have written 26 postings…stories. I have been blown away by the response that people have given. It’s mind boggling to me that my words have had any impact whatsoever on anyone else. To then receive actual comments…meaning that people are taking the time to sign up to respond to my words is unbelievable which is what inspired this post. Why is it unbelievable? Why do I still struggle with compliments from others? As reflective as I am, it’s odd to me that simple nice gestures are still uncomfortable. I struggle with …

31

How to Be Awesome like Beyonce

I woke up this morning with two deep thoughts. One was Amber Teamann‘s quote…(@8amber8) “Blowing out someone’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter.” The other was a quote from my mother, who does NOT have a web presence…   “Some people’s lights are meant to shine brighter. Imagine a world full of Beyonces.” Let’s take a moment and think about that…a world full of Beyonces. What does Beyonce have, other than more money than can be printed, goddess-like looks and the voice of an angel? CONFIDENCE & THE REALIZATION OF WHO SHE IS! Yes, I screamed that from the …

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Parallels of Digital Literacy and Illiteracy

Ever wonder where Rafranz comes from? Meet my grandfather, Frank Coleman. This picture is the only one that exist with our grandfather and any of us. I’m selfishly fortunate that the picture is with me. My grandfather, like many back then, was illiterate. He could not read nor write. He could not even recognize his own name. He lived in a world where written communication was foreign. Without my mother by his side, he was virtually non-communicative in public forums where the written word was required. Today, I saw a posting asking for input for Alec Couros’ (@courosa) upcoming keynote …

2

I Am NOT A Writer but I Blog

I should start by saying that writing is not my “thing”. It is why I have continuously put off my doctoral program and also why I have struggled with blogging in the past. I thought that I needed something “profound” or “innovative” to say. I am so happy that I now understand that I did not, as blogging has helped me to understand who I am in a much deeper way. I’ve had many conversations in the last few weeks about blogging, even face to face with the “champion of school blogging” himself, George Couros. With one question, my stance …

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Why I Will NEVER Flip This Algebraic Journey

I’m not in the classroom anymore, but I will always be a math teacher. I’m still planning to do adjunct teaching in the fall for our local junior college. Thus, I’m STILL a math teacher…ALWAYS. I’m working on editing a video for mathagogy.com, which is a new site dedicated to highlighting teaching strategies from around the globe in 2 minutes or less…although very few are meeting the 2 minute rule! My video is about how I use stories to help students think about linear equations and their world. I begin by talking about my “job” as a painter, web designer, lawn mower, …

Inspire Learning: Passion Beyond 20 Percent

When my friend, Carrie Ross, spoke at the ISTE opening ignite session about passion, it really did strike a nerve with me. I’ve always “moved” from a place of passion. I also believe that we have to ask kids what they are passionate about and use that to help inspire learning. I’ve seen elementary and middle school teachers post about their 20% time and genius hours often. Heck I even attended a session. I always left wondering how and when this could be duplicated in high school math. It could not…not in its current form. Then, I had to take …