Building Educators 2.0- June 17, 2019

This post is week 2 of 8 in the 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge for educators. This week's question is:

What has contributed to the educator you are today?

This week's post asks participants to ponder our professional past and reflect on what has contributed to being the educator we are today. As I reflect on my professional journey, many things have contributed to me as an educator.

My journey started out with me wanting me to be an elementary school French teacher while I attended the University of Maryland. My journey began in classrooms with closed doors, where teachers sent home paper newsletters and worksheets were Xeroxed and overhead projectors were in every classroom. As I look back, so much has changed since then. But so much has stayed the same.

1. Discovering Scholastic.com

When I think about my first pivot point, it was my first year of teaching. I was teaching fourth grade and I discovered Scholastic.com and their learning experiences. I remember watching the transformative power of the technology as my students started to publish for an authentic audience. Weeks later, we participated in a moderated discussion with Colin Powell. As a result of experiences like this, I decided to get my Masters in Educational Technology at Johns Hopkins University.

2. Getting My Masters in Educational Technology and more

Getting my Masters in Educational Technology opened new doors for me. It allowed me to learn more about using Microsoft products. It helped me develop my own website for my classes and more. It also coincided with the birth of my son, Jacob. Being a parent led me to want to communicate more with my families and technology opened doors for this communication.

3. Being a Technology Teacher

When I was pregnant with my daughter, Mollie, I decided to work part time as a technology teacher. This allowed me to spend more time with my children, but also share my love of technology with more students than just in my classroom. I loved how these tools provided my students with more accessibility and ways to access the content. I loved co-teaching with my teachers and a build a culture of technology integration at my school for the 3 years I had the privilege of this position.

3. Google Apps for Education and a 1:1 classroom

In 2012, I found out that we were going 1 to 1 in my 5th grade classroom. I was so excited- as my teammates and I went to training- I loved every minute of it. Google Apps for Education offered brand new opportunities for my students. I loved giving my students collaborative learning experiences and exploring new apps. It was then I discovered Google Classroom and the power of these new tools.

4. Becoming @MrsTannenb on Twitter

Joining Twitter has probably had the most profound impact on me as an educator. It opened up doors- provided me access to a #PLN, other educators to learn from and collaborate with. It has given me the courage to take new risks- starting a blog, becoming a School Based Technology Specialist, sharing my voice beyond the walls of my school, my classroom. It exposed me to podcasts that I learn from every day. It allows me to have collaboratively conversations through Twitter Chats, connect during EdCamps. Even this blogging challenge would not have been possible without Twitter.

In fact, as I review my summer professional learning goals, they all come from Twitter. In the words of @JakeMillerTech, @EduTwitter has provided me countless "adjacent possible" moments and allowing me to grow and learn in ways I never thought possible back in 1997 when I graduated college.

My journey continues with doing my dream job, being a tech specialist- who is fortunate enough to go to #ISTE19 in a week and connect with fellow educators from around the world. My journey continues with using technology to transform student learning, participating in Twitter chats, blogging, tweeting, collaborating and so much more. As I look back, so much has changed since I started as an educator. But so much has stayed the same- I still wake up every day giving it my all for my students.

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