Monday, January 6, 2014

Sunshine Award

On Saturday, I was nominated by @CathyMere for the Sunshine Award.  While this isn't an award per se, it is an opportunity for those in my PLN to learn more about me as a person.  I was certainly flattered by the nomination, though admittedly, I haven't done much blogging.  In fact, my very first blog happened at the end of the summer.  While I have created a blog for my parents and write it monthly rather than a newsletter and a weekly blog for my staff, I haven't maintained my personal blog.  And truly, I'm not certain why.  I read others' blogs all the time.  These are often the sources for my reflections and I regularly share others' blog posts with my staff.  So, I am taking this opportunity to accept this "award" to dust off my blog.

Here's the description of the Award from Matt Renwick:

"The Sunshine award gives others an opportunity to learn more about me as a blogger and then, in turn, I will send sunshine the way of 11 other amazing bloggers for you to get to know!"

Here are the rules:

  • 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 some recognition and a little blogging love!
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you).
Here are my Random Facts:
  1. I love "Foo Foo" Coffee.  I have often thought about working at Starbucks in Barnes & Noble so I can be surrounded by my two of my loves:  books and foo foo coffee.
  2. I love to travel!  I took my first plane ride when I was 10 and if I had the money or opportunity, I would travel somewhere at least 2X per month.  
  3. My professional life has changed SIGNIFICANTLY due to Twitter and I am so grateful for being connected to other educators, particularly now that I am in administration.  Being a principal can be a very isolating experience, particularly when you are the only elementary principal in a district.  Twitter gives me the opportunity to learn from more experienced administrators as well as leadership gurus in other professions.  I believe I'm a better leader because I became connected.  So THANK YOU to all of you whom I've had the pleasure to follow!
  4. I am the first in my family to go to college and am grateful to my parents for instilling in me the importance of education.
  5. I use to play competitive sports: basketball & softball.  I played volleyball in middle school, but quit in high school.  
  6. I coached my son's 6th grade basketball team.  (Could be why he hasn't played basketball since). :)
  7. I am a movie junkie!  I love to go to movies or watch movies at home.  Sometimes I forget that I've seen a movie before and don't realize it until I'm halfway through it!  
  8. I love music and enjoy a variety of genres.  Dave Matthews Band is by far my favorite and it is mandatory on road trips.  I have had the pleasure of seeing DMB live several times and I don't know if there is a better live performing band!
  9. Summer is my favorite season- mostly because of the sunshine.
  10. I'm a picky eater and have not eaten eggs since I was 4 years old.  I'm not allergic, I just hate the smell and taste.  :)
  11. My favorite grade to teach was 3rd grade.  
My 11 Questions to Answer from @CathyMere:

1.  When you look out the window or door of your house, what do you see?
I see my backyard where there is currently blowing and drifting snow.  It is my favorite view in the morning because I get to see the sun come up.

2.  Ocean or mountains?
I love the ocean.  It is very calming to hear the ocean waves outside your window and there is nothing like a long walk on the beach any time of day.

3.  What is the best vacation you've ever taken?
I absolutely loved a trip to Hawaii that I took a few years ago.  However, my favorite trip was to Chicago with my niece and my son for 4th of July and the Taste of Chicago. I fell in love with Chicago on that trip and have been back several times!

4.  What is the best book you read in 2013?
Gone Girl was by far the best book I read in 2013.

5.  Who is your favorite book character and why?
I fall in love with characters all the time, but I would say my current favorite character is Jemima J in Jane Green's book by the same title.  

6.  What is the one thing you wish you could have someone else do for you?
Weed whack the yard- I have a hard enough time trying to start the dumb thing let alone trimming the whole yard every week March through October.  

7.  What inspires you?
I receive inspiration from a variety of places and people as well as things that I read- books, articles, blogs, etc.  

8.  What do you make time for?
I make time for my parents.  I call them almost every day and we typically still have Sunday dinner together, except now I do the cooking for them.  I am so blessed by my parents and all that they have done for me in my life.  I always want them to know how much they are loved and appreciated.

9.  If you could spend a month on any continent with your expenses paid, where would you go and why?
I would go to Europe.  I want to see the birthplace of my great-grandparents, castles, pubs in Ireland, and all the architectural landmarks of Italy.

10.  What are your favorite games to play?
I love the older board games we have:  Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Scategories, and Cranium.  I am also the reigning Clue champ in my family!  However, these days when we play games, we usually play Farkle!

11.  If you could make one change in the world, what would you want to change?
One change in the world I would make would be hunger.  

My list of 11 Bloggers (Well, I'm not certain all of the 11 people I am going to list actually blog.  However, if they are not, I hope this will be the inspiration they need to get started as I believe they have lots to add to the conversation)!

Dr. Lou Kramer   Lou is a dynamic leader who is doing great things within his district.  He is connecting with families and students in a way that few superintendents do and his work is inspiring.
Bobby Dodd  I had the opportunity to meet Bobby this summer and he has certainly inspired me to make changes in how I connect to families and share our school's story.  He is an invaluable resource for me!
Danielle Prohaska  Danielle is one who currently doesn't blog, but has been an amazing colleague and leader in my current district.  She has also been recently appointed as my superintendent for next year.  I hope she will take this invitation to begin blogging because she has a depth of knowledge about teaching and learning that is powerful.
Chad Miller  Chad is the reason I started a Twitter account, so I have him to thank for expanding my learning.
Mindy Reid  I have been following Mindy for quite some time and love seeing the things she is doing as a fellow elementary principal.
Jennifer Hogan  I am a new follower of Jennifer's and I love her passion for education.  I have subscribed to her blog and have read previous posts.  I'm actually surprised that it took me this long to connect with her, but am so very thankful that I have!
Matt Miller  Matt inspires me when it comes to "connectedness."  He does a wonderful job of promoting and celebrating his district but also sharing information with the rest of us in his PLN.  
Sean Wheeler  I connected with Sean through #ohedchat.  He has a wealth of experiences that he shares with his PLN.  He's also the lead blogger for @teachinghumans
Dr. Bobby Moore  I have had the pleasure to learn from Bobby over the past two years and have found him to be a positive influence on my role as a beginning principal.
Jane Maki  Jane was one of my early follows when I started my Twitter journey.  Her knowledge of best practices in Reading Workshop/ Daily 5 is amazing and I have enjoyed learning from her.
Jesse Kohls  Jesse is a great elementary principal to follow.  He shares not only about the great things he and his staff are doing within their building, but also connects to his community in amazing ways.  Jesse and I have been able to connect outside of Twitter (though not yet in person) to share ideas in more detail for our buildings.  I have appreciated learning from Jesse and plan to do so in the future! 

Here are my 11 questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. If you weren't in education, what field do you find most appealing and why?
  3. What was your favorite subject in school (lunch & recess do not count)?
  4. Who inspires you?
  5. What hobbies or special interests do you have?
  6. How do you "give back" to your community or to others?
  7. What are your favorite movies or television shows?
  8. As a child, what was your favorite pastime?
  9. What are your "resolutions" for the new year?
  10. What instrument can you play?
  11. Name 2-3 books or educators who have influenced you the most in your current role.

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