Ain't Nobody Got Time For That!
This is funny in some situations, like this one...
But in all seriousness, saying "I don't have time for that!" can be a rude thing to say to someone.
In the book Teach Like A Pirate, Dave Burgess talks about the phrase "You are lucky, you are creative!" He goes on to explain why that makes me so angry. It's actually a very funny part of the book, because I can totally relate!
🇮 🇩🇴🇳'🇹 🇭🇦🇻🇪 🇹🇮🇲🇪 🇫🇴🇷 🇹🇭🇦🇹! is the phrase that sets me off! The other day I was super excited about an idea I found on Twitter and couldn't wait to share with another educator (less "connected" than I am). I thought the response would be, "That's awesome!" or "Thanks for sharing!" or even, "I might need to try that." Something besides, "I don't have time for Twitter!"
It crushes me, makes me mad, and makes me sad all at the same time.
All I could think of is... 🇮 🇲🇦🇰🇪 🇹🇮🇲🇪 🇫🇴🇷 🇮🇹!
It's Easier Than You Think!
So... I'm taking Tony Vincent's Classy Graphics class. It is actually the course that was held this Winter, but I'm just now getting to it. 😏
That's the beauty of his Google Classroom courses... they stay open! The assignments are way passed the due date, but I can still turn them in, get feedback, and see what others have turned in. Of course, it would be much more engaging if I did it when everyone else did, but I'm still learning from everyone in the class (even if they don't know it). I could try to explain the tips and tricks to creating these templates, but it's best to take the course and learn from the man himself! You can find out more about his courses here.
Here's what I've created so far...
Google Classroom Header
Although Google Classroom header images don't show up as well as you would like them too (hopefully Google will change that soon), I suggest using bright colors with a light background so it will still show up once auto color happens. Some of the templates are colored already if you want to use them. If you want to change the colors, you may want to "ungroup" the shapes first by click the image, then "arrange", then "ungroup". Just be careful not to move them while they are ungrouped if you want to keep them aligned. When you are done, you can "select all", click "arrange", then "group" to move them around at one time. Once it looks the way you want, download the image as a PNG and save it. When you go to Google Classroom, you click "upload photo" and adjust it as necessary. The images below are what it would look like as a PNG and added to a Google Classroom.
As you can see, the image darkens quite a bit. My background is transparent here, so you could try making it white if you want it brighter. I like to use a "test class" for trying out new headers and the different features of Google Classroom. I also add my own children into the classes so I can log in as them to see what it looks like from the student side.
Twitter Cover Photo Template
I LOVE Twitter for connecting & sharing with other educators! Using a personalized header gives you a chance to show who you are quickly and the options are endless here! The best part about using Google Slides & Google Drawings to create headers is that you can add as much information as you want without worrying about formatting and spacing. I would suggest using this template to create as many as you want, then save each of them as a PNG. You may want to create a folder to keep the PNG files in one place so it's easy to access! Mine is simply called "Twitter Covers".
Wakelet Header, Background & Cover Templates
I use Wakelet A LOT, so I figured this would be a valuable use of time for me. The profile header and the cover images are probably the ones I personalize the most. The background is covered in the middle, so you only see the right and left side of the image, so the library images are usually fine to use. You don't even really need to use them, but I like having an added visual element to the back of my Wakelet Collections. Another thing to keep in mind is the different options for the cover image. You can choose between full cover, half cover, or hide cover. I usually choose half cover so it doesn't take up too much room at the top of my collections, but this example is a full cover. When you design your own, you may want the keep the top and bottom simple so it isn't cut off if you use the half cover option. If you don't use Wakelet (yet) and want to know more, check this collection out for resources to get you started.
This was my favorite section of the course! I won't give too many secrets away from Tony's course, but here are some of my favorite sites I used to find the perfect color choices.
Careful... you can spend a lot of time on this. 😍
In case you aren't local to Charleston, SC or just can't attend the Charleston Innovation Summit, here is my presentation from today. You will also find a Wakelet that includes my presentation as well as ideas from educators in the session. Feel free to add your ideas using this link as well!
Since I just got finished presenting at SCMidlands Summit in Columbia, South Carolina, I've got two books on my mind. I think I referenced these books at least 5 times in 2 days with other EDU coaches and teachers. Lead Like A Pirate (Beth Houf & Shelley Burgess) and Be REAL (Tara Martin)! Both of these are a must for educational leaders!
Lead Like A PIRATE taught me ...
How to take the Teach like a PIRATE model and implement it as a leader in our schools.
"Navigating the C's of Change" in each section of the PIRATE acronym are super helpful in remember what to do and not to do!
Calling all EDU Coaches! Let's Get Organized with Google!
Tech Integration to Reach All Learners with UDL & GSuiteEDU
Click the images above for my session resources. I appreciate you joining today! Please leave feedback on the Summit website and feel free to share with others that may benefit from these resources. I look forward to connecting with you! @specialtechie.
PIRATES Inspire me!
I was not an avid reader growing up. I would start a book and have a hard time getting into it. I wouldn't connect with the characters or the way the book was written. To be honest, I would usually read what was required of me and wouldn't explore much beyond that.
Once I became an adult, I started reading self-help books in my spare time more than fiction. I guess I felt like "self-improvement" was a better use of my time. Then I found myself reading books on education and I would fly through them! I would take notes, try new things, and share ideas with other educators as soon I was done. This is when I realized that I have to be INSPIRED when I read in order to stick with it! In May 2015, I purchased the book Teach Like A Pirate. This was the book that ignited a fire in my soul and started my addiction to all things PIRATE! This is just the beginning...
Teach Like A Pirate taught me...
Updated Post! Summer 2019 Edition!
What Does It Mean to Be a Google Certified Educator?
Even though you don't need a certificate to use Google tools, it's nice to be recognized for your expertise. Becoming a Google certified educator gives you that "proof" that you know your stuff when it comes to GSuite tools in education! Why would I recommend taking the time to do this?
My Top 3 Reasons for Becoming A Google Certified Educator?
There are lots of reasons to become a Google certified educator. I personally am a "life-long learning geek" when it comes to implementing new tech tools with teachers and students. A bonus, is the certificate and badge you get upon completion of each level of certification. I'm not sure why a badge is so exciting, but I love them (especially as a part of my email signature)!
That being said, here are my main reasons for encouraging others to become certified.
⓵ Learn the most up-to-date information about GSuite tools for educators.
⓶ Professional development at your own pace in your own place.
⓷ Find a network of like minded educators to connect with, and learn from across the globe.
What Types of Certifications Are Available?
I'm Convinced! Where Do I Start?
This is where Kasey Bell from Shake Up Learning, comes in! She has the most amazing courses created to help educators prepare for each level of certification. I truly believe, she's the reason why I made it as a Certified Trainer the first time I applied. The courses just opened and enrollment is open until June 4,2019 (Do it now...it only opens twice a year)! Watch below for more information, then click on the Wakelet collection below when you are ready to register!
Be REAL, Educate from the Heart by: Tara Martin
When Tara Martin's book came out, I had to get it immediately. I have so many other books on my required reading stack, but I had to make time for this one. I'm so glad I did! Anything that has "Educate from the Heart" in the title is right up my alley!
Part 1: Relatable
- No matter what your role in education (or life)... Be transparent, Be humble, Be you!
- Use the "Little Yellow Notebook" for coaching.
- Books to read: Multipliers, Humble Inquiry, Mentoring Matters, and Start with Why!
- REAL Talk Treasures!
- REAL + Innovator's Compass
- Write a blog post on My Multipliers. *DONE!
- Favorite Quote: "Each of us has a tremendous and unique gift to offer the world and when we allow anything to stand in our way of sharing our gifts - our real selves - we cheat the universe."
Part 2: Expose a Little Vulnerability
- Know your goals and crush them!
- Remember - Humility is being REAL, sharing obstacles you've overcome, and being grateful.
- Favorite Quote: "We must share our experiences of overcoming challenges, because doing so helps others gain strength and encouragement."
Part 3: Approachable
- 10 Approachability Principles
- Drive-By's twice a week! Go slow to go fast, but stay consistent.
- Favorite quote: "Approachablity is an invisible trait that people can sense."
Part 4: Learning Through Life
- Blogging! "Professional Time Capsule" with voice and transparency.
- Twitter! #BookSnaps #Gratitudesnaps #REALyousnaps #PottyPD
- Know your Why and ask these questions:
- How will this action help me achieve my why?
- What positive impact will I have on the people I serve?
- Favorite quote: "I view life as a great, big learning opportunity!"
In the meantime, I'll be "learning though life" this summer with many professional development books by the pool. I'll also be using Twitter to share my #booksnaps as I learn. I hope you'll join me!
Here's my latest guest blog post for Kasey Bell, Shake Up Learning!
As an Instructional or Technology Coach, we have a lot to do on a daily basis. It’s not more or less than a classroom teacher, it’s just different.
The trouble with a coaching schedule is flexibility. I know… that doesn’t sound like a problem, but it can be. This is where productivity and organization are key!
If you don’t plan out your days, weeks, even school year, it can get away from you and then you’re often disappointed with the number of goals you complete.
*Note: I am fairly new to coaching, so I am not claiming to be an expert by any means!
This post also includes tips from coaches that are a part of the Shake Up Learning Facebook group. Make sure to join us today!
Read the full post on Shake Up Learning and
check out her new Podcast while you are there!
Be REAL - Education from the Heart
The older I get the more I agree with the idea of just being REAL, so I HAD to get Tara Martin's Book!
As I read this book... I cried, laughed, got awesome ideas, and was completely inspired and assured that being REAL was the only way to be, the only way to change the world around you for the better.
Do I have a false sense of power because of it? No way... but there are some things I can change, and that's where I want to spend my time an energy. Life is short, make it the best life you can! Or as Tara would say, "Cannonball In"!
Learning Through Life
This post is more for about my Multiplier that Tara inspired me to write about. I have more than one, but Mr. Sardone is the first one to SPARK something in me that I wouldn't recognize for MANY years. He ignited the fire in my heart to be an educator! Thank you Tara for reminding me to keep them in my heart, remember my why, and aim to be a "Multiplier" myself! (referenced book: Multipliers)
Mr. Sardone, My Inspiration!
Even though this video won't mean as much to you, watch it knowing the impact you can have on your students. You never know which ones you'll reach or what they will do once they have moved on. I think Tara gets that point across in her book as well!
"When I thank you, as I have over the years, what does my expression of Gratitude do to you?"
Joseph Sardone (88):
"So many of you have come back into my life - never forgetting me. I am so elated by your generosity, the love that you show me, and it's genuine. Because you don't have to. And yet, you still come back. And at the same time - this elation, I'm humbled by it. *Where I start bawling.
I don't know whether I deserve it or not, but I guess my reaction to it says it all.
I never take it for granted. Never. I never take people for granted. I never took my parents for granted. That's where it all started for me. If I extended myself to you, you received a bit of my mom, my dad, and my beautiful brother. So, I don't know what else I can say."
Later in the conversation he says,
"I thank you so much (for telling me). Just saying thank you seems so inadequate, but you are in my heart. That is all I can give you."
"You are in my heart, that is all I can give you."
He's my inspiration and I'm so happy that I had the chance to tell him so!
Who is your Multiplier? Do they know?
I hope you will reach out to them if it's still possible.
Come back after you read Tara's books to read my reflection post.
This is just the beginning of the inspiration she's given me!
I'm an Instructional Coach at Daniel Island School in Berkeley County South Carolina.
I have experience teaching K-8 special ed. and General Ed. as well as instructional & technology coaching. Since I enjoy technology more than some, I started this blog for educators who love it too. Thanks for visiting!
My One Word