February 1, 2011

#30 Goals Challenge Day 1- "Be a Beam"

If I thought today was going to be a "lazy" snow day, I was way wrong. Leave it to @Shellterrell  to once again come up with something to challenge me as an educator and get we all worked up.

Shelly challenges all of us to take the #30days Challenge. (did you know that more than 4600 educators participated last year?) She suggest 30 "short-term goals we reflect on and see how they help us aim towards long-term goals." Once again, Shelly's practical yet thoughtful approach is what "got me". She posted Goal #1 today: "Be a Beam". The idea is that by helping someone who struggles (student or teacher today, it will have a long term positive effect. 

Never mind that I was going to re-read "Pride & Prejudice" for the millionth time (yes it is my guilty pleasure); never mind that my Christmas tree is still up (it might just have to become a holiday tree with valentine decoration and all), and definitely never mind the laundry; once again, the woman had me thinking...


“You cannot force commitment, what you can do…You nudge a little here, inspire a little there, and provide a role model.  Your primary influence is the environment you create.”
by Peter Senge, suggested by John Evans (@joevans

That seemed simple enough... helping someone... lord knows some of my colleagues could use some help (let's be honest, one of the hardest thing to do for us teachers is to collaborate with some people whom we would never have anything to do with outside of school. we call it "teaching philosophy" and we all know that we look down to some of them because of these philosophical differences; even if we are grown up enough not to say it out loud anymore) ... but I am snowed in... and probably wont be back at school until Friday (wishful thinking), so how was I going to do that? After re-reading that quote I realized, I could participate. I had been gathering all these links and tweets for several weeks now, in my hopes of convincing more people at my school to participate in the discussion via #twitter and #edchat. "A little nudge?" I could do that... I could start sharing these resources via personal emails with my colleagues, without the "smart aleck"/sarcastic comments that tend to be my trademark. People respond better to the "personal notes" rather than the mass email; even if by "mass" I mean their department only. So I "composed" and "attached" and "clicked" and "forwarded". I was nudging alright.

 But it's me we are talking about... not exactly the queen of self control... Yep, If I open a bag of chips I finish it (I can do that with Ben & Jerry's ice cream too). So what started as a little nudge turned out to be a wide campaign. Pretty soon it wasn't just the "struggling ones" I was emailing... The feeling of sharing, and looking for something special that would personally touch a particular person kinda felt like the hunt for the perfect Christmas present (Oh good my tree is still up.. I am ready..LOL).. And I liked it... It felt good...It put a smile on my face when I found the perfect links, and shared them. But not as big of a grin as when response emails started pouring in. So they were interested... They were needing the time to explore these resources I had mentioned to them (Thank you Mr. snow day)... and some of them were actually pretty excited... maybe not as disaffected as I thought them to be after all.

So you see Ms. Shelly... It's already working short term too... My frame of mind has already altered... from a somewhat judgmental/sarcastic outlook this morning; I am now pretty happy with the end result of Day 1. I am "beaming" alright. almost glowing (LOL)

#30Goals Challenge: "Be a Beam" Mission Status?
Accomplished... No... Let me change that mission status to "in progress", because it is only going to have a long lasting impact if we keep it up. And Long term is what we are really looking for after all .


  1. Thanks for the nudge to your twitter PLN too! It is so great to connect online. I agree that making connections in our own buildings can be one of the most challenging tasks EVER!

    Merci encore!

  2. Loved the idea of sharing resources through personal emails. It is a great way of starting those educators to become interested in the world of collaborative working through the net. Not pushing them to things they may not understand or not be interested in yet (twitter or blogging), but collaborative working anyway. If the mountain will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet must go to the mountain. ...

  3. What an amazing way to accomplish this goal! I'm nearly jumping out of my chair! Sending many emails on a snowy day is brilliant. Reminds me of a recent conference I attended and decided to use all the emails in the program and invite them to use Twitter and shared steps, links and resources. I apologized and told them I wouldn't email them again after this. You know what I received at least 10 thanking me and saw more on Twitter! Some wrote back to say thank you because they kept hearing about Twitter but just didn't know what to do. Sometimes, it is taking the time and being brave enough to do it.

  4. This was a really wonderful and inspiring post! I empathize with the niggling frustration with other colleagues for not "getting with it" and joining the amazing digital world of education that is spreading at our feet. Your actions today probably just helped a number of people take the, admittedly sometimes scary, leap into web 2.0! Bravo :) I will follow suit and share some of my favorite links today.