Monday, March 23, 2015

MACUL Hangover: Conference Day 2

(For the definition of MACUL Hangover please see Day 1 post )

Opening keynote George Couros started the conference off right. He made us laugh, he made us cry (well I cried, dang baby videos), and he left us inspired to get out and make a change.

Making a changed seemed to be the theme of my day, I listening to George talk about teachers making innovative change, to Sylvia Martinez literally “making” and thinking about...

I listened to Jeff Gerlach and Dave Goodrich discuss and show us how to change the way you use technology to actively engage students. Ending the day with Mike Perez and I hopefully inspiring others to make sure that good instruction is at the forefront of every lesson infused with technology.

That evening I dragged my non-teaching husband to the first ShiftMich Idea Slam event. As we stood in this room full of eager educators and listened to Brad Wilson and his team explain the inspiration and collaboration behind the ShiftMich idea you could simply feel the excitement. Even though my pitch was not selected (this year) the ShiftMich team was still willing to give myself and the others a shout out to help make connections to others that may be able to help us get our ideas off the ground. Five amazing pitches were given, it was hard to vote for only one! The winners, Kell Cusmano (and Team) and Ben Rimes received $1,000 to get their ideas off the ground. Congrats to you all!

After the pitch, some photo’s were taken, more connections were made, and my husband turned to me and said “That was awesome. Such and inspirational event”. Many nights my husband hears my frustrations of being an educator and has shared the anxiety this time of year when cuts need to be made. He has also seen my tears of anger and frustration when teachers are let go, funding is cut, pays checks are frozen, and bonds don’t pass. He has sat around many kitchen tables and listened to my teacher friends and I discuss the same problems, always feeling a bit left out of the conversations.

That simple statement meant a lot to me. It confirmed that all my crazy thinking, ideas, motivation, and passion is not being wasted. It confirmed that everyone that attended ShiftMich that evening is on the right track to making an innovative change in Michigan.

"What better place than here, what better time than now" -Brad Wilson

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