Saturday, December 21, 2013

#SunshineBlog Post

I am so pleased to have "Sunshine Blog" nominations from both Amy Bowker (@ClassCollect on twitter, blogging at http://classroomcollective.tumblr.com/) and Megan Valois (@MsValois on twitter, blogging at http://assessmentforlearning.weebly.com/).

I had the opportunity to meet both of these amazing teachers at the Ottawa EdCamp - a PD event like no other. If you haven't been to an Ed Camp, I highly recommend it. I learned of the event through my twitter PLN, and decided to make the drive over to Ontario to check it out. I met some amazing people, and got some great ideas.

I have continued to learn from both Amy and Megan, and I am involved in #cdnedchat as a moderator, so Megan and I talk weekly about all things education. They are #eduSuperStars!

Here's how the Sunshine Blog awards work:


  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
  5. 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.)

11 Random Facts about Me:

  1. I have a dog named Butters, after the character from South Park. He's good-natured, sweet, and not all that bright. I love him like crazy.
  2. I've only ever met one person who has bigger hands than me. I have big mitts. Srsly.
  3. I absolutely hated public speaking until late into my high school career. It was my music program that taught me the confidence to get in front of a group of people and just be who I am.
  4. I'm actually a trained wilderness guide. I know how exactly what they guys in "Deliverance" did wrong, and I've even met some locals while paddling a river in Georgia (although they were incredibly nice and hospitable).
  5. I wear my sleeves rolled-up most of the time, because it's really hard to find shirts that fit me. No one with arms this long usually has a torso this narrow.
  6. I drive a sensible sedan, but in an ideal world, I'd have a classic muscle car and a pickup truck with huge tires. That won't ever happen, but a guy can dream...
  7. I spent last summer working in landscaping. I was digging holes all day, and I really enjoyed it.
  8. I still have moments of terror when I'm about to speak to a group, whether its colleagues, students, or strangers. I'm just pretty good at faking confidence.
  9. I had, at one point, 10 piercings. I've since taken them all out, but I may get some done again. I'm not sure.
  10. I have a really hard time remembering names of adults. Students' names seem to stick more readily, but I'm terrible with names.
  11. I love snowboarding, and don't get onto the mountain nearly as often as I'd like. I taught it for several years, and I love getting out into the woods in winter.

11 Answers to 11 Questions

What’s your favorite thing about blogging or tweeting? 
I get to meet the most insipring people! I've connected with some very intelligent educatprs who are changing the world, and perhaps the most incredible thing is when I meet them in real life, they know who I am!

Favorite hobby?
I do hobby electronics in my spare time. I have soldering iron scars to prove it.

Favorite movie of all time? 
Hmmm. I don't watch many movies, but if I had to pick one, it would probably be "The Big Lebowski." The dude abides.

Favorite place you have traveled?
I lived in Whistler the summer after high school. Gorgeous country.

Favorite Twitter chat? 
Okay, I'm biased here because I moderate #cdnedchat, but I love it. Every Monday at 8 EST I get the opportunity to connect with some amazing people.

Favorite educational website - person or product? 
That's a tough one. I really like Richard Byrne's Free Tech 4 Teachers blog. He's responsible for keeping me up to date on a lot of great things. As for my favourite educational person, that would have to be Tanya Avrith (@edtechschools on twitter) - she's an amazing whirlwind of energy, enthusiasm, positivity, and support. I can't image how differently things would've worked out for me had I not been lucky enough to meet her!

If you had a superpower, what would it be? 
There are so many to choose from! I think maybe the ability to read minds, so I'd know how people think and how to present information in a way that makes sense to them.

Favorite book you’ve read in 2013? 
I re-read the hitchhikers Guide to the galaxy over the summer. Fantastic books.

Why teaching?
Everyone has a story about that teacher who really made a difference. They said something or did something that meant a lot to you, or changed your life. I want to be that teacher.

Proudest moment? 
I substituted in a grade 11 math class for a week during March of my first year teaching. There was one student who wasn't really into it, and I asked her what was going on. She told me that she was going to drop math. I told her that just because it didn't work for her at this time, in this place, with these people, that she didn't need to give up on math. She could always come back to it. At the end of the year, I was back at the school, and she stopped me in the hall and told me that she was going to try to do the math exam, even though she'd dropped math! (Actually, I ran into her recently, and she remembered that I subbed in her class! It took me a while to connect the dots, but the next time I see her, I'll tell her that she's responsible for one of my proudest moments in teaching).

Funniest thing you ever said in front of a group of students/educators? 
I say off-the-cuff random stuff pretty regularly in class. I don't take myself too seriously, but I'm not sure what the funniest thing I've ever said would be. I have clenched my hands into fists of rage and yelled "MaAaAaAaATH!" at the ceiling, though. Does that count?

11 Nominees:

  1. Tanya Avrith - @edtechschools, http://www.tanyaavrith.com
  2. Andrew Hannah - @MrHannahCanada, http://mynaps.wordpress.com/
  3. Chris Webb - @Crippit, mymathadventures.wordpress.com
  4. Maggie Vonck - @MaggieVonck, http://maggievonck.blogspot.ca/
  5. Ken Shelton - @k_shelton, http://kensheltonphoto.com/
  6. Jason Markey - @JasonMMarkey, http://www.jmarkeyap.blogspot.ca/
  7. Michelle Armstrong - @myarm
  8. Alice Keeler - @AliceKeeler, http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/
  9. Holly Clark - @HollyEdTechDiva, http://www.hollyclark.org/
  10. Mark Wagner - @MarkWagner, http://edtechlife.com/
  11. Jennie Magiera - @MsMagiera, http://www.teachinglikeits2999.com/

11 Questions for my Nominees:

  1. What made you start blogging or tweeting?
  2. Who is the most impressive person you've met this year?
  3. What was the moment you knew that you wanted to teach?
  4. What was your best moment in a classroom?
  5. What was your worst moment in a classroom?
  6. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
  7. Where is your dream field trip?
  8. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuk wood?
  9. What's the hardest thing about being a teacher?
  10. How did a teacher make a difference for you when you were a student?
  11. What's the worst book you've ever read all the way through?