Thursday, July 7, 2016

I am a Bully

Hi, my name is Erin and I am a bully. Why the heck can I teach other peoples kids all day long and with the patience of Job, but when it comes to my own children's learning, I reduce myself to tactics that were used against me when I was a child? Those tactics made me angry, mad, sad, defeated, not smart enough. In the act of bullying that is not what I remember. When I am working through the math problems or reading activities and am met with questioning eyes and frustrated glances...all I can see is that some days she reads with ease and some days she is stubborn as hell and for got the sound the B makes. Some days her mental math capabilities are beyond the 1st grade expectations and other days I ask what comes after 46 and tears fill her eyes. My 4th grader can do this to me too...typically I bring both of them to tears once a month though on different days. All the while I am standing over them shouting that she remembered this yesterday.

I did this today. I typically keep my cool, but today was one of those days I had a short fuse and was not willing to compromise. Not until my husband called me out. He is really good at making me see the larger picture. He was pretty sure she was being stubborn too but knew my approach was not going to fix or solve anything. Ouch. I took a breath and went back to the table with a changed approach and we made it through the lesson.

So my question is, does anyone else get this way? How do you combat that double standard? My kids are my students as well, so I know they have never seen me freak out on other students. Why I am I so hard on them? Are you harder on your own kids than your students?

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

For those of you that haven't seen the iconic movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, I will give you the short version. Guy meets guy on a plane...connection flight is cancelled so the two travel across country together running into bad luck all along the way.

While Anne and I knew each other (kinda) before adventuring on this modern day adventure, the same kind of bad luck kept creeping its head around every corner. We tried to document much of the chaos and fun on the Facebook page -

We arrived in Denver around 10:30 PM to the AirBNB we reserved weeks earlier. Upon arrival the host was heavily intoxicated and the details from the description on the website did NOT match the house. Long story short, we politely shook hands and told him we would just get a hotel for the night. Little did we know that Denver was sold out. Folks, I mean for real. After calling the list of hotels we Googled the the next two hours and arguing with AirBNB, the closest hotel we were able to find was 65 miles away and not for that was for the next night. We decided that it was inevitable, we were sleeping in the car. I brought the Yukon XL so it shouldn't have been a problem right? No, we brought our bikes which were taking up the whole back of the vehicle. After waking up three short hours later we showered in the room of some friends (Vanessa and Tonya) and headed into the convention for our 9AM session. Through the Twittersphere and #isteRAK, we were kindly hosted by Lisa Johnson (@techchef4u). She had an extra bed in her hotel room for the second night and took in the Okie homeless strays. We told our story to ISTE housing and they really worked some magic and found us a room for the last two nights.

The second day we were there, I dropped my phone while putting it into my pocket. To protect my fingers from getting glass shards pushed through my skin, I bought a screen protector. This was great but only lasted for that day. I had to book it into the Cell phone repair place to get a new screen put on my phone at the price of $150. :-( Phone back to normal we continued live streaming our way through the conference.

While these nuisances continued to pop up, we decided it would NOT get in the way of our fun. We attended evening parties hosted by Edutopia, Gaggle, Canvas, Firefly Computers, and more. We met and were able to have conversations with some of our Twitter Heros. I became part of an Edcamp Global planning group back in November last year and was finally able to meet many of them...though the meetings we scattered through the week.
Laura Gilchrist, Noah Gisel, Nick Provanzano

 Jamie Donally, Debra Atchison
Jennifer Williams, Tara Linney

We also met up with and took pics with several of our OklaEd Tweeps from across the state. 


Anne and I really got to hang out and get to know each other as well. I think our playful attitudes really played well off of each other and she was completely willing to live stream and act right along with me. It was a great time. 


It was a long drive back home where my A/C went out on the car. An hour and $110 later we were back on the road. Great conversations and idea sharing the whole way really made the trip home seem short. I spent the night with Anne in Clinton, OK before heading on to OKC to meet up with the #fiercewomenofOklaED. I half considered going home and skipping the dinner, but I decided I would regret it if I saw pics on Twitter that looked fun, so I stayed. And I am glad I did. Those ladies were a hoot. We talked and laughed and really bonded outside or the Twittersphere. It was funny to me that as each of the women entered the restaurant they looked around lost because not many of us had met in person before. We left fast friends. What started out in jest, turned into a hashtag that bonded a truly fierce group of women. Look out men of OklaEd. ;-)

Claudia, Kim, Sarah, Amanda, Aspasia, Sarah, Jennifer, Christie, Rhonda, Michelle and myself. Many were missing and missed from the dinner and the shot. Brett Dickerson showed up at the end because he was intrigued and wanted to record the event for his blog. When dinner was over I made the tired drive back to Sapulpa and crashed. 

Like in the movie, we had bad luck thrown at us over and over. Having decided to keep a positive attitude throughout the week makes the look back and reflection rose colored. It was a great week and I was pleased to write it down and share with you .