Yesterday, New Years Day, I was driving across Texas, heading home. I stopped to fill up and while doing so made one of my typical goofy "revelations" about life.
So what was the revelation to start my Dream Bigger blog post?
You can learn a lot about a family when you simply shut up and listen!
I know, it isn't very exciting, but it's true.
Filling up at the pump next to me was a man and woman from British Columbia, Canada. In the time it took to fill our tanks, here is what I learned about them. They have a daughter, a nurse is married to a doctor in the Air Force. The two met through and online medical site, later met face to face in Los Angeles, California, and were married a few years later. They have lived in LA, San Diego, New York, Columbus, and are now in Mississippi. The parents have traveled to each location during the winter months to spend time with the couple. San Diego was the favorite, New York was the most fun, although 7 people were staying in a 900 square foot apartment that rented for nearly $4000/month. On their travels, they went through a blizzard in Montana and each day of their journey the temps were below zero. When we got back on the road, my wife asked me about my new friends and how I had learned so much in such a short time.
So how does that random story lead to this blog post?
It is a fair question, that is simply answered by the idea of inspiration coming from random places, when you slow down long enough to listen and see the great things taking place around you. This is the center piece for each of my resolutions below.
The New Year is always filled with great optimism and excitement. We have grand ideas of how a new or fresh start is all we need to do the things we have always wanted to do. The new year is a lot like the start of school each year. So for me, I figured the best way to kick off this new year was to make a few public resolutions via my blog.
Resolution Number 1 - For years I have been wanting to be better about blogging. I often start off with great intentions that quickly fizzle out within weeks. So 2018 is going to be different. I am going to write at least 52 blog articles during the year, or I will be joining Dr Charlie Miller and Bradford Hosack to kick off 2019 like they did this year. Anyone that knows me, also knows that me and cold do not mix well. So this is one bet that I will NOT lose. I will write for me, and if it hits home for anyone else that is great.
Resolution Number 2 - Attend a #PositiveNoise - Charge Up! The incomparable Claudio Zavala has been using this hashtag for a while now and has organized the first ever Charge Up for Jan 20th. While I will be unable to attend this first one, I look forward to getting to the next one. The idea behind this is amazing, and anyone that knows me, also knows that I can get pretty cynical. I love my in person and online #PLN because they do so much for lifting me up and reminding me how great our profession is. To be able to attend a live event that is focused solely on lifting up educators is too good to miss. If you haven't signed up for the January 20th event consider doing so here.
Resolution Number 3 - Continue to step outside my comfort zone. I preach this a lot to the teachers I work with in regard to using technology so last summer at ISTE, I made it a point to really try to be make myself uncomfortable. I have tons of ideas and will talk your ear off if I am in the right situation, but throw me in a large setting where I don't know people well, and I want to crawl in a hole. So at ISTE, I set out to meet new people and to strike up conversations with strangers. I am so glad I did, as I met some amazing educators. I will be attending at least two large events this year by myself, so this is another great chance to really push myself again this year. Below are some examples of how this will be an ongoing effort.
Resolution Number 4 - Champion the causes of others. This is my last, but favorite resolution for 2018. I started the Edtechdaily Flipcast with this in mind last year, but like so many things that are personal passion projects, I let it die due to a desire to do it right. This will make a comeback and will serve as my online method for helping celebrate the things other educators are doing around the globe. While this is important, I also aim to work hard to listen to the my teachers and really learn what fuels their fire. And then it is my job to help connect them to ways to let that fire burn bright and make an impact on our students. The hope would be that this blog will help this idea, but it is much more than just talking about it. As Edtech leaders we need to work hard to be sure we are not only pushing what we feel is important. We have to tap into the concept of helping teachers become leaders and tapping into their expertise.
I look forward to revisiting this blog post from time to time during the year to see how it all turns out. In order for me to reach my goals with my 4 resolutions, I am going to have to continue to continue to listen to people better, encourage others, and push myself to grow in many ways. I have no reason to believe it will be anything short of an amazing year..... after all isn't that what makes the New Year so perfect!