Last year, at this time, my husband and I received the news that our best friend from our college days had been diagnosed with two brain tumors. He passed away about six months ago. He was 47 and left behind two small children, ages 10 and 6. He had his whole life ahead of him, and it was cut short by cancer. His death has impacted the way I think about my own life. I’m a teacher, been one for the past 20 years, wanted to be one since I was five and will probably continue to be till the day I die. After our best friend died, I made a promise to myself that from now on I need to live my life the way I want, forget what others think, and if it means putting myself out there to do things I want to do that scare the bejeezus out of me, then that’s what I will do. Life is waaaay too short.
As a teacher, I have always encouraged my students to jump out of their comfort zones, challenge their thinking, fight to reach their potential…I think once in awhile we all need to be reminded to: “Sing like no one’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it’s heaven on earth.” For me, heaven on earth is the adrenaline rush I get from learning. For me, MOOCs are a godsend! I’ve made this video to introduce myself to the learning nomads, fra-ingers (the word I coined to describe the friends-strangers I’ve met on this learning journey) in this new MOOC I’ve joined #etmooc. I haven’t interacted with any of them yet like I have with my chums at #EDC MOOC (we even had a Google Hangout already and class hasn’t even started), but I’m bound to make new connections in #etmooc as well. Learning in a MOOC is about taking these risks to make connections with the “like” and “unlike” minded in the interest of being a life long learner and a professionally networked learner. I apologize ahead of time for my singing, but it’s what I wanted to do today… I hope to learn with all of you at #etmooc.
This is ME:
As a member of ETMOOC, I want to join this collective to be a social change agent in education to directly and indirectly impact learning conditions for students who aren’t being challenged to think and be life long learners. The knowledge, excellence, talent, and camaraderie among educational stakeholders that exists in the virtual world does not always exist or reach every one of our students in the real world. As one teacher fighting for ed reform through tweeting, blogging, pinning, curating, sharing till the wee hours of the night with anyone who will listen, not every ed stakeholder, sometimes including parents, wants to cash in on the virtual gold mine of information available. If people have used social media to topple tyrannical governments, how can we as educators use social media to demand learning and teaching conditions improve for all students and teachers, to change the mindset about the importance of education and its relationship with technology? It’s only our democracy at stake, right? We can be superstars inside and beyond the four walls of our classrooms, but if the leadership who run our schools refuse to see our light, nothing will ever change to improve education for our students. I’m interested in learning how I can effect change in education by joining a community of life long teachers and learners who have the best interest of children at heart.