21st Century Teacher Skill: Embracing Change

Alternately titled, “Buck Up, Sissypants!”

As I spend some quiet time on this Snow Day catching up on some computer work, I take a moment to reflect on all the issues swirling around my district’s educators right now.  While the entirety of this list may be unique to just me, I’m sure many of them affect you, too.  Among them:

1.  Trying to pass a $.49 increase in the Education Fund tax rate to make up for delinquent payments from the State.

2.  Planning iPad implementation at another school next year, and trying to figure out how to excite/involve teachers.

3.  Finding time to educate myself on edtech tools and trends so that I can pass on the best to my teachers.

At the heart of it all bubbles up this resentment – why should I have to work so hard to cajole other teachers into keeping current?  How is it my responsibility to motivate them into wanting to do better for kids?  Why is providing exemplary customer service a mantra for everyone else except teachers?  I think that when we interview teacher candidates, one of the most important questions we can ask them is, “Describe a time in your life when you had to stretch out of your comfort zone.  What was the issue, what was your response, and what did you take away from your experience?”

I find myself remembering an episode from ‘The Big Bang Theory’ where Leonard’s mom tells him to “Buck Up, Sissypants!”*  and I want to start off a staff meeting with this quote.  And just sit there for a good 10 seconds of silence.

But then I think that maybe I’m the one who needs to quit being a sissy pants and to “Buck Up.”  Baby steps, Matt, baby steps.

*Season 5, Episode 2

#Eduwow From Today’s EdTech Conference


After two full days of talking, listening, and digesting, the biggest ah-ha moment for me was when this hit me like the proverbial dumptruck of bricks.  

ImageThe best part was that Sean Nash, our presenter, didn’t come out and say this.  After actively participating in his exercise and really thinking about what everyone in the session said, this phrase just popped into my head.  I’m not even really sure that others came to the same conclusion.  

I am sure, however, that this will change the way I manage and plan Professional Development in my district.  It will change how I view teachers and their skill sets, and it will affect how I view my own progress this year.

Attitude really is everything – even when it comes to being labeled as ‘Tech Savvy’.

Thanks to presenter Sean Nash (@nashworld) and his thoughtful presentation and effective use of the Fish Bowl technique!

#METC13 Presentation Slides

Here is the link and QR Code for my SlideRocket presentation, “Personalized Professional Development,” from today’s presentation at the Midwest Education Technology Conference in St. Charles, MO. Thanks to all those who attended!


QR code for edcamp site

Here’s the handout that’s on the METC website (has all the links on it) > PerProfDev_Weld