Blogging Challenge

@MrBrettClark 0 Comments

Ok, this blogging challenge/homework has been going around for a little while now and it got around to me thanks to my good friend, Shira Leibowitz. Here is her post!

Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
Share 11 random facts about yourself.
Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you believe deserve a little recognition and a little blogging love!
Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they’ve been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

11 Random Facts

1) I hate the outdoors. I will only spend lengthy periods of periods outside for 2 reasons, a sporting event (watching, not playing) and if my kids ask me very nicely.
2) I was a teenager when I got married.
3) I play the bass guitar.
4) I currently have 52 tabs open in Chrome. 
5) I used to want to teach high school language arts. Then I realized I wasn't very good at language arts and didn't have the patience or desire to grade 100s of essays/stories.
6) I had a college professor talk me into getting my middle school endorsement my senior year of college. It saved my career. I was made to teach middle school but it took somebody else pointing it out to me for me to see it.
7) My brother Kyle and I can carry on a conversation with nothing but movie quotes.
8) I almost left education 5 years ago.
9) I miss being in the classroom every week but I would miss what I do now the same if I ever went back to the classroom.
10) I desperately want to go skydiving one day.
11) The longest I have ever stayed in one position is the paper route I delivered for 6 years as a kid. I have not stayed in any of my professional positions for more than 3 years.
12) I have always wanted to speak at a school's Red Ribbon week. Preferably either at a school district I work or have worked in or at my alma mater because I think relationships are critical when having those discussions. Although, I'd love to speak anywhere students were willing to hear my story. 
13) I'm an open book and could do this all day. I've deleted several things from this list.   

My 11 questions from Shira
1. When you were young and people asked what you wanted to be when you grow up, what did you answer? A teacher. I never wanted to be anything else from the time I was in the 3rd grade. 
2. What is one piece of advice you have to offer a first year teacher? Teaching is about relationships. If you don't have a healthy relationships with your students and colleagues, this job will be very hard for you. 
3. What is one piece of advice you have to offer principals? You don't have to do this alone. You have teachers, students, parents, and a community that want to see your school success as much as you do. You set and cast the vision and let the team carry out the mission. Also, see the advice above for teachers. 
4. How do you like to spend time off from work? Anything that involves family and church. 
5. What is your most important professional priority in the coming month? Taking our 1:1 to the next level. We're a semester in and it's time to push our thinking a little harder. 
6. What inspires you? Kids inspire me. They are so passionate, creative, resilient, and hopeful. It also breaks my heart when I see those things ripped away from our kids by a cruel world. 
7. If you could learn anything new (time, effort, practicality, and difficulty aside) what would you want to learn? To draw comics. I'm terrible at art and would love to be able draw comics for my boys and to teach them to draw. 
8. What makes you laugh? My boys, Micah, Nathan, and Levi! If you follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook, they've probably made you laugh too. 
9.  What is a goal you have for yourself in the coming year? To start writing a book. I have lots of ideas for books but have yet to sit down and really start one. 
10. Who do you admire? My Bishop, J Todd Nichols. He's a very inspirational man. Also, Bill Ferriter. He's like a big brother to me and pushes me to be a better educator and leader. 
11. What are you currently celebrating? I am celebrating the birth of my savior, Jesus Christ. It's something I celebrate all year long. 

11 Bloggers + 1

Tim Wilhelmus
Jeff Tron
Brian Bennett
Michelle Green
Jason Bailey
Candice Dodson
Allie Holland
JD Ferries-Rowe
Marc Seigel (The only non-Hoosier on this list.)
My eThugs - JT Cox, Melissa Stewart, and Katie Hutchinson  (Time to start blogging!)
You - seriously, if you're reading this and want to join in, why would I stop you?

My 11 questions for you.

1) What is the most rewarding professional experience you've ever had?
2) If you were made the emperor of education, what would be the first 3 things you would change?
3) What was the last book you read for fun? for work?
4) Who is your favorite director? (If you say Brett Ratner or Michael Bay, I may unfollow you.)
5) If you could be on any TV show, what show would you want to be on?
6) Paperback, hardback, or eBooks?
7) Who's your favorite celebrity to follow on twitter?
8) How close or far away are you right now from where you thought you would be at this point in your life when you were a kid?
9) What's the most embarrassing hair style you've ever had? Bonus points if you include a pic!
10) I always loved how baseball players have a song they walk up to when they bat. What song would you pick?
11) What's your favorite browser and how many tabs do you have open? (I'm really looking for affirmation that I'm not the only one with an addiction to tabs.)

Have fun!


One Semester into our Chromebook Initiative

@MrBrettClark 1 Comments

A year ago today I was preparing for Christmas, wrapping up my 7.5 year career in Evansville, saying my goodbyes to friends, colleagues, and former students, trying to sell my house on Craigslist without a realtor, and preparing for my new job as Director of Technology in a new school district. 

A year later I am preparing for Christmas, reflecting on one year of employment at Greater Clark County Schools, I've settled into our new home, made new friends, stayed connected with the old friends and former students, and finished up our first semester 1:1 with Chromebooks in grades 3-12.

In no certain order, here are some things I've been thinking about after a year as a Director of Technology, and a semester into our Chromebook initiative. 
  • People will do amazing things when you give them the time and the space to reach for greatness.
  • Focusing on the positive takes work. Focusing on the negative is easier and more natural. 
  • If you can't write down on paper what you are doing and why you are doing it, then you don't know what you're doing.
  • Nothing is ever as bad as it seems. 
  • Yes, you can hand out 6,000+ Chromebooks in 3 days. 
  • Yes, you can roll out close to 9,000 Chromebooks total! 
  • I can make it through a week on less than 30 hours of sleep for the entire week. #teamnosleep
  • If teachers and students don't see the connection between chromebooks and curriculum, they don't use them at all or only for minimal task like test taking. 
  • If what I just wrote above occurs, that's my fault. 
  • There is nothing more valuable than a teacher who will empower his or her students to change the world. 
  • Nothing is more fun than watching a teacher light up when they come across something that will help them be a better teacher. 
  • Nothing is more difficult than watching people struggle and fail. Even though you know the struggles and failures are only temporary.  
  • I never get tired of stories that start with, "This kid never says anything but..."
  • I love hiring people and then watching them succeed!
  • You probably thought this blog post would be more about what actually happened and not these random thoughts written at 2:30 in the morning. 
  • There is much work ahead.
  • I love my job! 
  • I should have blogged more this past year.