Reflections from #rscon3 #ntbootcamp #140edu #lifeingeneral

This summer has been like no other summer. Usually summers are filled with cleaning computers, fixing long standing issues, and deploying projects. This summer however was jam packed with learning. As some of you may know I recently took a job as the director of technology for Huron City Schools (May 19th 2011) right out of the gate I was able to experience Iste and all of its awesomeness and great people. Part of the experience is reflecting on what you have learned and what you are going to do from here on out in your life and in your classroom. During #rscon3 Lisa Nielson (@InnovativeEdu) shared a video from Daniel Pink titled “Drive”. (You can watch it here ) in the video they talk about being defined by your “sentence”. How would people describe you? Is that what you want to be? What is your sentence? and also Was I better today than I was yesterday? These 2 questions have had me pondering for the last few days. What is my sentance? What am I striving to be?

Ever since I knew what the internet was and what blogging was I wanted to reach out and be recognized for the work that I have done. I have had a blog (smalltowngeeks.net) for a long time with barely any traction. I remember the first time someone commented I was psyched for days. Getting into Twitter was similar I wanted to have the most followers ever. I wanted to be at the top. Than comes Klout where you can actually see what you are “worth”. Is this the sentence I want to be? Someone who just cares about numbers and being the best? No. I want to be known as someone that is always available to help. Someone who reaches out to others and mentors. Someone who took the time. With this new outlook I feel that I will be worried more about the people that I help and less about the analytics.

Being the youngest technology director in Ohio, I get asked a lot “How did you get here?” Lets go through a little bit of background of me. I was raised by amazing parents first of all. My parents have supported me at everything I do. I still remember them being at everyone of my magic shows (yes rabbit out of the hat magic shows) and helping me blow up balloons for balloon animals. I cannot express how much they have done for me. No matter what they have supported me in everything I do and they have always been there for me. My first “real” job was construction. This job helped me learn what it is like to work hard and have pride in what I do. It also helped me learn that I did not want to be in construction for the rest of my life 🙂

After I left construction I went into retail. I worked at Walmart in the lawn and garden where I met my amazing girl friend (@aclark126) who also supports me so much and puts up with my odd antics and my late night tweet chats. Walmart taught me what a customer is, and why they are important. Customer service is key in education. We must serve our teachers and our students. Without them we would be out of business.

After leaving Walmart, I started working for Best Buy where I learned what its like to be a part of a team in the Geeksquad. Being a part of something and being connected with people all over the world is an amazing thing. Knowing that if you had an issue you could reach out to others and they are more than willing to help. (What I now know as a PLN)

After leaving Geeksquad I took a job at Firelands Local Schools as a technician. This is where I found my passion. I started working at Firelands thinking I was going to be fixing computers and working on networking equipment. Although that was my job I quickly found that it was not my passion. I loved being a part of the classroom and the curriculum. I loved showing teachers how to integrate technology into the classroom and facilitate learning in ways they never thought possible. At this time I was also introduced to Twitter. Thats when I found my passion for integration is shared my thousands of other educators. I also found that within minutes I could be asking someone in California how they were doing a certain thing and I was connecting teachers to other people who had similar questions as well as successes.This is also where I learned “If you find a job you love, you will never work a day in your life”

#ntbootcamp was such a great experience. I have followed #ntchat for a while now. I can’t speak highly enough for Lisa Dabbs (@teachingwthsoul) and Joan Young (@flourishingkids) for the work they do in this area. The chat is not a large chat but it is a very powerful chat. This year Lisa organized a bootcamp that showcased not only technology tools but actual integration ideas into the classroom. The bootcamp finished up last night with a webinar with and a great review of the passed weeks and even included some give aways from @edutopia. You can kind more information about the #ntbootcamp at the wiki “http://edutopia-ntbootcamp.wikispaces.com/ ” or if you want to partake in #ntchat you can find more information here “http://newteacherchat.wikispaces.com/”

#140edu was a great experience, I will say the live stream was very good quality and it did not cut out and I was able to tune in both days and learn a lot. Adam Bellow (@adambellow) hit another presentation out of the park. He is such a great educator and all around great guy. I was also able to see Marc Ecko (@marcecko) talk about his ideas on reform and Pedagogy vs Androgogy (Pdf here). Special thanks to Chris Lehmann (@chrislehmann) and Jeff Pulver (@jeffpulver) for organizing this great event.

Back to the point of this post. What is my sentence?

I think my sentence is “He is someone who is always willing to help, mentor, and guide. He is the technical “friend” that helps me when I have technical questions but he is conscious of the classroom environment and helps me to integrate. “

 

If you have connected with me what would you say my sentence is? good or bad?

TJ Houston

TJ Houston the Vice President of Managed services at Epiphany Management Group. TJ leads professional development in all areas of technology and loves developing ways to make teachers, students, and staff's lives easier with the use of technology. TJ also loves photography and his portfolio can be found at http://www.tjshots.com. All of the views on this site are his own.

  • Lisa

    What a great reflection! Thank you so much for caring enough about my passion to mentor and support new teachers, that you mentioned it here…on your blog. I loved reading about your journey and look forward to watching your career take off! I love that you have come to discover that it’s the journey of mentoring, being a servant leader and collaborating that connects us to our passions. Bravo TJ!

    • Thank you so much for stopping by. It means so much to me that you did. I have learned so much from you. I look forward to collaborating you in the future! Please let me know if you need anything from me!

      Thanks
      TJ