Tuesday, January 5, 2016

#AlmostFamous - Guest Blog by Tina Faust

Tina Faust (@tntechgal) is a passionate educator, motivator and technology implementer all wrapped up in a lively, vivacious personality! Currently, Tina is an Instructional Technology Specialist for the Hawkins County School District in Tennessee. In this capacity, she provides professional development opportunities to assist educators with technology integration in classroom. She has presented at multiple regional and state conferences, and will be presenting at FETC. 

Words can't describe the happiness that Tina Faust has brought to my life since meeting her. She is not only an instructional technologist but an encouraging, exciting person. Most recently she climbed the ladder of respect for me when she led a 1 1/2 hour session at TETC and the internet wasn't cooperating. She continued to own the room like a pro! I'm fairly certain I would have been sucking my thumb in the corner of the room doing the ugly cry in fetal position.  While at TETC we had a really great impromptu discussion about her topic below with another wonderful instructional technologist, Chris Tenbarge. We all left the discussion feeling thankful for that brief hour of interaction and I asked Tina to be a guest blogger for me. The following post is a Tina Faust creation...Enjoy!

It was December and the TETC conference was around the corner...my excitement grew because two of my favorite EdTech tweeps (Twitter PLN) were the keynote speakers. My excitement quickly turned to glee when I arrived and met Adam Bellow and Kathy Schrock face to face. At this point, I was star struck and more excited than a child on Christmas morning! In the EdTech arena, both of these people are considered prominent and I felt privileged to meet two “famous” people. My star struck impression quickly faded and I became thoroughly impressed because neither of them gave the persona of being EdTech Rock Stars...they were REAL people. Not real in the physical sense but REAL because they were humble and never displayed a pretentious persona. Both of them took time to pose for selfies, took time to converse with everyone that approached them, took time to attend sessions that were being taught by educators just like me, took time to encourage conversation, and took time to make all of us feel #almost famous.

Have you ever wondered what famous really means? Every one of us could be #almostfamous to someone. Take teachers for example...I love seeing students spot a teacher in a grocery store because they run up to say hello and immediately flush when the teacher speaks. Many times, I’ve overheard excited kids return to parents saying I saw Mr./Mrs. (insert teacher’s name) and they said hello to me! You know a teacher is #almostfamous when they have the ability to impact a child simply by recognizing them and when they can make a child feel special by stopping to say hello. As I pondered exactly what it means to be famous, it occurred to me that famous is relevant based on the setting, the people that you are with, and the impact the person leaves on you.
When I ask my 11 year old what it meant to be famous. He replied, “mom, it depends on who you ask but it’s someone that the majority of people know.” So, who is the majority? As we discussed #almostfamous people, it appeared that famous depended on who you ask. So, why did I feel elated to meet two strangers at a conference? It was because they added value to my professional learning experience. If famous is based on added value, in education, all teachers are #almostfamous. Every teacher is prominent to every student they teach and/or influence. As teachers, we are famous to every student we come in contact with because we have the ability to make each one of them feel important. We can add positive value to every life we touch by having a positive impact on each student as we shape their future. We have the golden opportunity to add value to the future of our society as we encourage students to grow. As teachers, every generation is our legacy and we are prominent contributors to our society. If you need reassurance, ask a student...like my son, every one of his teachers are #almostfamous and like you, they are shaping the future.