Thursday, October 20, 2011


First and foremost, please allow me to apologize for the delay in getting this post up. I have been super busy and lame excuse after lame excuse.

Quick update, during the summer, I agreed to return to Cinnaminson High (taught there from 02-04). Thus far so good; I could not be happier. Leaving my hard school was difficult, I became the teacher I am today thanks to great colleagues like @andremystrena. When I made the decision to do it, I was rather cavalier about tenure. Now I do finding myself watching my step and my mouth more and more. That and some of the new ideas I implemented could be great future blog topics.

Today – I encourage you to just ask.

It is that simple – just ask.

I am teaching two courses that are new to me and I was scared! During the opening of school, I just asked my new colleagues (many of hem were old colleagues!) for help. You would be amazed by the support and ideas that I received from them.

I was assigned to teach psych this year. I had exactly 0.0% experience with it. Thus far, we have done 8 or 10 of the best lessons of my career. I am a genius? No, I am a stealer. People from #psychat on twitter have given me great ideas and great support. They are keeping me afloat during this maiden voyage through Psychology. Today, my students are making Brain Models – an idea I received because I asked. Yesterday, we learned about Phineas Gage and watched a clip thanks to #psychat peeps! My other sdavior in psych has been a former colleague – Eddy D – he has been a lifesaver. He sends me ideas because I asked!
The second week of school, I wanted to use Six Word Memoirs (please vote here). One email and two hours later, @andreamystrena had shared some great resources. My kids loved it and some of my colleagues stole the idea. Again, @andreamystrena told me and I told my people – just ask!

As we finished up the Six Word Memoir activity, I needed a polling site so I just asked. Fluid Surveys offered me a great deal and treated me incredibly well. They offered me a great level of support and options – just because I asked. As our voting is coming to an end Fluid Surveys is now working on getting us swag for my kids just because I asked.

It gets better. I am a huge soccer fan and I am a middle class teacher. I have never been to an MLS game but can not afford a ticket and the tickets are hard to get so I sent a tweet out to 5 MLS powerbrokers. Long story short, my buddy and I are going to the Red Bull and Philly Union match thanks to @MLS_Insider. All because I asked!

There is one caveat – if we all start asking each other foe help, we must be willing to answer. I hope you are willing to share with and steal from other educators. Please know if there is anything I can do to help you – JUST ASK!


Kilgallon said...

1. Thanks for the #psychat shout out! 2. Thanks for reminding me of the power of ask. believe. receive.

Excellent reflection!
Have fun at the game!

Ms. Mystrena said...

I've told you before that working side by side with you for that one year changed who I am as an educator. Because of you, I learned how to take risks. Taking those risks allowed me to see what I was capable of and gain more confidence. It was that new confidence that caused me to start "asking" for things and advocating more for myself.

Ms. Schaffer said...

This is how I felt this year teaching 8th grade history for the first time. I was afraid because I wasn't as fluent in 20th century history as I was in 16-19th centuries (what I had been teaching the previous 7 years). I reached out to my colleagues at work and my PLN on twitter and other social media sites and with their help, support and resources I had a FANTASTIC year!