|A good start to the summer with a|
live recording of The BeerEDU
Podcast! Thank you to Shoe Tree
Brewing Company in Carson City, NV
for being such gracious hosts!
While I had the greatest of intentions to get some things done, I must admit that I have fully taken advantage of the time to recuperate a little bit after what was perhaps the busiest school year that I have had in my 14-year career in education. I have enjoyed catching up on some shows on Hulu and Netflix, episodes of various podcasts, and been able to put almost 20 miles on my bike in the last two days alone. I even was able to record a podcast on location at Shoe Tree Brewing Company with my partner in crime, Ben Dickson, meeting with our guest, Rob Williams, to have some beers and have an amazing conversation about the great things happening in Rob's district in Southern & Central Nevada (watch for this to drop on Saturday, June 29, 2019, if you are reading this prior to then). The past few days has given me the opportunity to reflect on this past year and think about some things that I want to do in the upcoming school year, a little over two months away!
I mentioned that this past year was busy; that is certainly an understatement! I began the school year in a new school in a new city, working in a role that I had never done before while working on a degree program to become certified to work in my role as a special education teacher. As the sole breadwinner of the family while my wife is in school, I had to pick up some extra duties to make a little extra cash, so I worked a couple of hours a week as an after-school technology coach and taught two nights of adult education, teaching American government. I couldn't neglect my duties as Vice President of CUE-NV, so I carved out time to work with my board to put on several events throughout the school year. I attended and presented at several events, including the CapCUE Tech Fest, FallCUE, a couple of Google Summits, the Tulare County Tech Rodeo, and SpringCUE. And in between all of that, I submitted and earned my Google Certified Trainer endorsement, completed my Master's in Special Education, and have started working on a book (more on this momentarily), all while balancing my life at home with my wife and two kids and co-hosting two podcasts. While many will think that I am crazy, I thrive on a busy lifestyle and wouldn't have it any other way! But enough about how busy I've been, let's get to the reflection!
I would be lying if I told you I wasn't apprehensive going into the school year and teaching special education. While I wasn't nervous about working with students and meeting my new colleagues, I was nervous about the paperwork and other duties of the job. What I learned very quickly, however: I would rather write IEPs and check in with students than writing lesson plans, grade, and everything else that comes with general education! I feel that I got to connect with students on a more personal level, learning about their lives, their strengths, and their dreams, which was a lot harder to do as a general education teacher. Now don't get me wrong, special education is not all rainbows and unicorns, there were certainly frustrating days and students that were very hard to work with at times, and parents that were even harder to work with, but in the end, I am confident that I am making a difference in students' lives and look forward to improving as a special education teacher and continuing to inspire kids and their futures.
|One of my favorite views of Reno a few months back. I can't believe that|
something so beautiful is only a short drive or hike away!
|Every little bit helps, and Mary and I cannot be more grateful to you for your help!|
The last few days have also given me a chance to think about some things that I want to do this fall. While I will continue to co-teach World History with the same teacher this year, I am also going to be co-teaching Economics with him and another teacher. Economics was my favorite subject throughout college and I was really hoping to teach it when I got my first teaching job. However, it just wasn't in the cards and I have never had the opportunity to teach economics, until now! I will certainly need to brush up on the content to get up to speed, but I am already starting to think about some activities that will help make economics more interesting and applicable to students' real-life experiences, including a budget simulation using Google Sheets. But something that I really want to do with both classes is to create a "menu" of the different tools that we will use throughout the year. The menu will include the tool, a sample activity for students to complete, and examples of how we will use the tools throughout the year. To take it even further, I want to design the menu in a hyperdoc format and post it in Google Classroom as a material that students can refer back to if needed. Some of the tools that I intend to include, but not limited to, are Pear Deck, Quizizz, Quizlet, the GSuite tools, and Adobe Spark, just to name a few.
As the summer progresses, more reflection and recuperation is certainly on the docket, but so are a few other things. Ben and I will continue to record a few episodes of The BeerEDU Podcast, and we have some great guests lined up. We would love to have some more guests, so if you are interested, please visit bit.ly/beeredupodcast and fill out our guest form! My other podcast, Sons of Technology: The Podcast, is also going to continue to record and publish episodes, so be on the lookout for both of those. I also plan to write posts for this blog, perhaps not as frequently as I do during the school year, but I will write nonetheless. But I also plan to continue working on the book that I have started. Without going into extreme detail and giving away the entire premise of my book, it is essentially a memoir of the times I have taken risks in my life as a person and a professional and the impact that it has had on me as an educator. My goal is to inspire others to take risks in their lives and embrace the successes and failures that come with said risks. I hope to have a completed draft by the end of the summer and hope to have a publisher accept my proposal.
|Excited to start this one!|
Hopefully, your summer, if it has started, has been relaxing and has given you time to reflect and you have started to think about some things that you want to do in the next school year.
Until next time...