Monday, May 4, 2015

What are you known for?

If I am walking down the halls of school as kids are coming into the "holding tank" before school starts, I say "Good morning!" to every student I pass in different ways- sometimes I sing it, sometimes I use a silly voice, sometimes I give a fist bump but regardless, I intentionally speak to every person I pass. This week a parent said, "my daughter loves the mornings when you pass her in the hallway, she always tells me about it." Folks, I'm probably the least likely "morning person" that you know- but I'm now known for my bubbly morning greetings.

Several years ago my husband opened a donut shop, Chattanooga's Julie Darling Donuts. He chose to use my name in the business name. On a fairly regular basis I get asked questions about the business and donuts because I'm the "icon" but folks, I've never made a donut in my life. I've signed autographs, had my photo taken with costumers, and to some I am known as the "local donut lady."

This week, I had the honor of being listed as writing one of the Top 50 Must Read I.T. Blogs for 2015. I'm number 48 on a list of amazing blogs- some of them are full time presenters and publishers. This acknowledgement of my blog seems to have immediately affected my "standings" in educational technology credibility. Did I change as an instructional technologist since I first started blogging several years ago? No, but I am now viewed as someone worthy to be listened to and followed due to EdTech Magazines recent article.

Some of the ways we are viewed in life we have no control over- they happen due to our choices and the views of others towards us. Sometimes we do, say, or accept things that affect the ways others see us as well. 

As I've thought on this, I've realized the roller coaster of life for myself- the positive and negative ways I've been  viewed in my lifetime are longlasting and far reaching. As an educator, I relate to administration, children, parents, and co-workers everyday and they view me based on biases, experiences, and words that have been formed in their minds regarding me. As somewhat of a people pleaser, that sometimes petrifies me.

Everyday I try to be a positive, helpful, encouraging, loving, innovating, educator in the lives of others. At the end of the day I sometimes fail in any one or all of those areas but I strive to be better the next day. But I'm in it to be a game-changer. I can go through the motions and just see what happens or I can be intentional about the type of changes I want to see in education and how I can be a part of those changes in a positive way. I'm not a fan of status quo- I am not a fan of complacency. I desire to be better and do better. Sadly, if you aren't moving forward as an instructional technologist, you are not drifting in place- you are falling behind. I don't believe the educational technology field allows for stagnancy. My world is constantly changing with the advent of new apps, gigs, and educational philosophies that bring it all together. I choose to be remembered as a digital learning leader. How do you want to be viewed as an educator?