#DBCBookBlogs: Cannonball In

It has taken me over 6 months to pick back up with my #DBCBookBlogs. I have started this post, deleted it, and restarted more times than I am comfortable sharing. You see, the more I get to know these authors, the more invested I have become in the reading, reviewing, and sharing of their books. This one is particularly difficult because the author of the 82nd book in the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc line, Cannonball In, is THE Tara Martin.

cannonballin

You see, Tara is really the person who inspired me to continue #DBCBookBlogs after #DBC50Summer ended. Her book, Be REAL, was the 51st book published and when she shared that her book would be the next in the line, I knew I couldn’t stop reading and sharing; her book was going to be epic! It didn’t let me down, and neither did her picture book, Cannonball In!

Tara and I met for dinner & ice cream when she came to a town near me to deliver her epic #BookSnaps session. The passion and enthusiasm in her eyes as she shared her journey through writing the book and seeing Genesis Kohler’s beautiful illustrations was enough to bring tears to my own eyes. She was waiting to see “the big cannonball” illustration and her eagerness was precious. When I saw the illustration in the printed book, I knew that Genesis had portrayed that moment in the most perfect way!

There are so many teachable moments throughout the book and the overarching theme of cannonballing into things that seem scary is something we can all benefit from learning. Tara has shared so many incredible resources, lesson plans, activities, and even an interactive bulletin board on her website.

As I mentioned, I had started writing this blog multiple times. Once when I finished book 81, TeamMakers; again when I introduced Cannonball In to a group of students in our Between the Lines Club (a group of middle schoolers that meets each week as I read aloud a book/poem/graphic novel/etc); again when I shared the theme of the book with a group of students in my school who were starting Mustang Pride, a LGBTQ+ Club, at our school; and again when my school served as a host school for Annick Rauch & Nycol Didcote‘s Growth Mindset Read Aloud in January. There were other nights that I’d open this draft just to close out of the tab within minutes.

 

 

Tonight, I’m determined to just share the blog… to Cannonball In to sharing my thoughts again through blogging. Right now, there are so many things that feel scary – not just to me, but to the entire world. COVID-19 has turned simply going to get groceries into a scary experience right now. One of the scariest things for me hasn’t been the physical elements of this virus, but the mental & emotional exhaustion of having no control. I’ll just say it – I’m a control freak. I need to feel as though I’m in control. Not being able to see the students and teachers I serve, not being able to make decisions that impact remote learning for those folks I love & miss so much, not being 100% sure that we can keep my 90-year-old grandfather from coming into contact with the virus, not knowing how the virus would impact my 7 year old with Type 1 Diabetes, not knowing when (if) we’ll go back to school this year, not knowing if the 6 remaining rolls of toilet paper we’ve got will suffice before we find TP again (Stop hoarding the dang TP!!!!!)… all of the “not knowing” equates to having no control… I do. not. do. well. in these situations.

What typically happens when I feel no control is either one of two extremes… I either stress clean (when all the cans of food come out of the pantry & the pantry gets wiped down, the closets get cleaned out, the playroom gets reorganized, and the bookshelves get rearranged) or I curl up into a ball in bed refusing to get up. I’ve seen both of these extremes in the past 3 weeks. Listening to the reading of Cannonball In by Allyson Apsey on Facebook Live yesterday was the kick in the tail I needed to get up and get moving again, to truly face the uncertainties that COVID-19 brings. It reminded me, as an adult, that being willing to stand up and be confident (so what if you are just faking it at first) in front of the dabblers – and even if those dabblers are the voices inside our own minds – is so important to those who are watching when we don’t know they’ve been watching. I have a quote in the media center that says “Keep going; you never know who you’re inspiring.” Right now, I’ve got to cannonball into this with as much positivity & confidence as I can because my biggest audience is my family. My daughters are watching, and they will respond based on how I respond.

 

So thank you, Tara, my sweet friend, for reminding me that picture books aren’t just for kids. Picture books like Cannonball In inspire positive change in hearts and minds of people of all ages. My mom has always told me that what happens to me doesn’t define me, but the way I react to it does. This is no different.

COVID-19 isn’t going to keep us down; let’s choose to push past the doubts, fears, and uncertainties that this strand of the Coronavirus brings and make the best of a rotten situation. Together, we can Cannonball In!

#EduEyeExam Information

Good evening, friends! We interrupt this irregularly scheduled blog site to bring you some pretty awesome information! Well, at least I think it’s pretty awesome!

This blog fulfills the implementation of several books from #DBC50Summer!

In the very first #DBC50Summer book post (Teach Like a PIRATEย by Dave Burgess), my implementation was the quote, “It’s not supposed to be easy, it’s supposed to be worth it.” I had no idea how that would be played out, but I knew that I needed to remember that when obstacles made something difficult, it would be worth it on the other side.

In the post for Stories from Webb by Todd Nesloney, I shared that I knew I needed to write & share my own story.

When I finished The EduNinja Mindset by Jennifer Burdis, I knew I wanted to create my own mission statement.

Later on in #DBCBookBlogs, Run Like a PIRATE by Adam Welcome inspired me to start now and try big things!

Shortly after that blog post, I did a thing. I started and definitely decided to try big things! It wasn’t easy! I wrote more than a mission statement. I nailed down my educational philosophy, my vision; I wrote my story and talked to Shelley Burgess about having Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc publish it.

Here we are almost 9 months (to the day) after that conversation with Shelley. I received an email early this morning letting me know that edits were finished and the final files were being sent to DBC, Inc for publishing!!!

Screen Shot 2019-08-27 at 7.46.26 PM

If you’d like more information about the release of Educational Eye Exam: Creating Your Vision for Education, along with information about book signings and more, subscribe by completing this form.

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts! Please share using the hashtag #EduEyeExam on Twitter and Instagram!

What Happens After A Year of Twitter Chats?

What Happens after a year of twitter chats_

Spoiler alert: Growth! That’s what happens!

Well, that’s the short answer anyhow. As my #DBC50Summer implementation of Escaping the School Leader’s Dunk Tank, I chose to participate in at least three Twitter chats per month in order to keep connected during the school year. Normally I drop out of the “Twittersphere” when school is in session because I’m “too busy” to spend time connecting with others. In #SLDunkTank by Rick Jetter and Rebecca Coda, I saw that it’s more important than ever to gather allies when you’re in the trenches.

As an extra spin on this implementation, I chose to participate in three different Twitter chats each month! I ended up connecting with incredible educators throughout the world and discussing topics that I’d never considered. Throughout this implementation, I also satisfied the implementation of 140 Twitter Tips for Educators by Brad Currie, Billy Krakower, and Scott Rocco. For this implementation, I simply wanted to share the incredible happenings of the school I serve and share my blog posts.

These two incredible books inspired immeasurable growth in me, both professionally and personally! They inspired growth, not just because of their words, but because of the implementation and the amazing educators with which I am now connected. Each of these chats have built communities of support, encouragement, and a safe space for educators to challenge one another to be even better for students. I truly believe I’ve learned with and from some of the best of the best in education this year and I’m so grateful for that.

Here’s what the year looked like!

August

September

  • #122edchat – Created by Michael Abramczyk, this chat is fire every week! I still check the feed even if I’m not able to attend that week. The topic that night was When Passion and Heart Meet Purpose.
  • #waledchat – This chat is one that I try not to miss each week! Phil Strunk has created a terrific community which provides a safe space for educators to share their Wins And Losses in EDucation!
  • #OrEdChat – I was able to stay up late on the east coast and join Tisha Richmond on a stop on her virtual book tour sharing her manifesto Make Learning Magical. What a fun group in Oregon!

October

  • #IAedchat – Joining educators in Iowa, we discussed personal and authentic learning that night!
  • #teachpos – Another chat I try to jump into each week was created by Craig Shapiro. This chat focuses on teaching positively! (I’m not even going to lie, the hashtag drew me in at first, lol) This week we chatted about the season of fall.
  • #TellYourStory – I enjoyed this chat and was sad to see it end. Created by Todd Nesloney (author/co-author of multiple DBC, Inc books – Kids Deserve It, Stories from Webb, and Sparks in the Dark) Todd runs a podcast under the same name that you access here! The night I joined, we discussed How to Deal with Crappy Days! It was a timely topic for the month of October. (Am I right?)
  • #K12ArtChat – I just had to join Tisha on another of her virtual book tour stops and this chat is definitely worth mentioning! Loved this community!

November

  • #edchatRI – A chat out of Rhode Island, with Ray Steinmetz leading, is a weekly win! You can always be certain to get something great out of this group! This chat was led by Preservice Teachers and focused on Teacher Readiness and Training. (See, I told you it was good)
  • #AltEdChat – Alternate Education is a great chat and on the night I joined we chatted about Learning & Social-Emotional Well-Being for ALL kids. I love that this group constantly focuses on how to help ALL students!
  • #champforkids – Another chat that is on fire is Champ for Kids! Created by the author of the book Champ for Kids, Kelly Hoggard has created a community that stands in one another’s corner. I adore these folks! Our topic this night was Trauma-Informed/Trauma-Responsive Practices.

December

  • #ShiftThis – I was fortunate to lead a chat in this community about Shifting Mindsets. The book, Shift This, is a must-read by Joy Kirr! This chat, unfortunately, doesn’t meet anymore. However, Joy’s got another book coming out soon called Word Shift! I can’t wait to see what she does there!
  • #fearlessedchat – What a cool name for a chat! I had to get into this one! How can we be fearless as educators? We talked about Winter Tech Treats!
  • #LastingLearning – In this community, we are committed to creating learning that sticks. Promoting a love of learning is so important. We chatted “Staying Safe When You Fall Down” on this night.

January

  • #bookcamppd – Created by Meredith Johnson, this group is constantly reading and learning from one another! It’s a continual book study online and they have a terrific line up each season! The book they were studying when I hopped in was The Wild Card by Hope and Wade King! Make book recommendations here!
  • #ecet2 – On the night I joined this community, we chatted about Character Education! If you want some educators who are on fire, check this chat out!
  • #oklaed – Ooooklahoma educators are awesome! Our discussion on Best Practices in Education was so powerful and I left with many great ideas!

February

  • #LeadUpChat – I had always wanted to get into this chat but never made it until it became intentional! I loved our chat about Relationships as the On-Ramp to Rigor. So much truth!
  • #rgveduchat – Randomly coming across this chat was a treat for me! We talked about Honoring Culture in the Classroom and it was so powerful to have these discussions with educators who are doing it right!
  • #AISLEdchat – My people! I was thrilled to find a chat devoted to school librarians! On the night I was able to join, I was treated to a tremendous conversation led by Kristina Holzweiss! Her book Hacking School Libraries is on my “to be read” stack!

March

  • #edchatPH – I went global and joined a chat in the Philippines! Whaaat? This was awesome! Honoring All Languages was the topic and we discussed how to honor the first language of all our students. Coming from a district with many students who have English as a second language, this was so wonderful to discuss!
  • #futureofschool – The topic on this night peeked my interest! As we chatted about Exploring the Impact of Tech on K-12 Education, it was clear that we all agree that students should be creating with technology, not just consuming!
  • #BuildHOPEedu – This community is awesome! Roman Nowak brings sunshine everywhere he goes and this group is no exception! We chatted Inspiring Action in our Classrooms on this night!

April

  • #masterychat – I try to join this chat regularly! The incredible Teach Better Team always puts on a great chat, and they have an after-show on Facebook Live each night as well! We talked about Creativity and Inspiration and I’ll tell you, this team is on fire! The BIG Teach Better Conference is coming in November and I’ll be presenting there! Hope to see you there!
  • #Read4Fun –ย  Yes, please! I’m always reading for fun, so I was excited to join this chat! We just shared various materials we like to read – everything from books to blogs to magazines! It was so much fun!
  • #worldgeochat – Unfortunately, this chat no longer exists. I caught the tail-end of a 5 year journey! Our conversation about Ending the Year Strong got me pumped up to finish as strong as we started!

May

  • #UnisonEDU – This fairly new chat, put together by Patrick Hausammann, promotes unity and inclusion! We chatted about Blended Learning and how to be inclusive in this space.
  • #LCInnovation – Katie Martin wrote a powerful book called Learner Centered Innovation. This chat was part of a book study led by Katie in May. I’d certainly look for her to lead more & check out the hashtag frequently!
  • #WB4K – What’s Best for Kids is a great chat! Student engagement was the topic on the night I joined; they had just experienced a #tlap keynote and were sharing amazing takeaways for keeping engagement high!

June

  • #VAESPchat – This group of principals joined together to chat about Ryan Sheehy‘s book Be The One for Kids!
  • #CelebratED – Celebrating education, educators, and educating keeps the enthusiasm for our profession turned up! I was able to sneak in on a chat about FIRE Up the BBQ! It was a great summer theme and got me excited to see students again!
  • #EngageChat – During this chat we discussed Collaboration and how being collaborative not only helps teachers, but also helps students.

July

So I’ve still got the remainder of this month to jump in a few chats, but there are a few that I have been in during other months that I didn’t highlight! So… check these out!

  • #tlapdownunder – Led by my favorite Australian PIRATE Karen Caswell, you don’t want to miss out on these chats! I love that she’s taken my favorite book and made an international tlap chat from it (with blessing from Dave, of course).
  • #BeTheOne – This is the fastest 15 minutes on Twitter and Ryan gives us two great reflection questions each week!
  • #KidsDeserveIt – YES, this chat based on the book Kids Deserve It is still going strong. Check it out each week as Adam Welcome and Todd Nesloney remind us of the most important part of our profession – the kids!

Check out these communities and see which chats fit into your nightly schedule! You can find chats in the morning, afternoon, and evening! It’s easy to say we’re “too busy” for joining twitter chats, but finding your allies so you can thrive as an educator is too important to miss out on!