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Friday, January 3, 2014

Personal Learning Network (PLN) Blog Challenge

January 1. I was tagged in the land of Twitter. Unbeknownst to me, I have actually become part of a Personal Learning Network. I have been engaging in the Twittersphere for the past couple of months, but I didn't realize I was tag-worthy. So let me begin by thanking Lisa Kincer for the recognition. 

Now what exactly is this thing? From Lisa's post, 

The PLN Blogging Challenge:
  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger. 
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself. 
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

Ok, number 1 - check. That was easy. I can do this. 

2. Eleven random facts about MEEEEEEEE! Are you sure you can handle this?
  • I have ten pets. Shhhhh! I have one cat from a litter that I found abandoned in a box behind a Gold's Gym thirteen (?) years ago. I have a second cat who was given to me by a student. We then adopted a dog from a friend/breeder whose dog bred with the wrong breed. Then we adopted another dog from the animal shelter. Then my daughter found a solo kitten in our yard. Then she found a two-week old litter whose mother had been picked up my animal control, so naturally, I had to take them in and help them survive. Then my son found a stray dog during his Pizza Hut rounds. Needless to say, I'm a sucker. 
  • Although it doesn't usually show, I am actually quite the introvert. 
  • I am an agnostic. 
  • I changed my major in college from journalism to sociology to anthropology to psychology to human development to social work. My bachelor's is in social work. 
  • I have a master's degree in teaching. 
  • I flunked out of my first college and have been to four total. 
  • I became pregnant with my son, out of wedlock, when it was still taboo. A lot has changed in twenty years. 
  • I have never been married, nor do I ever want to be. I do not quite understand tolerating someone for that life. LIFE, people. That's a long time!
  • If my best friend had not died when we were twenty, she would be 41 tomorrow. To this day, I still call her my best friend, despite having outlived her by a lifetime now.
  • I absolutely despise housework. 
Okay, Lisa's eleven questions for me:

1.  What is one thing you tried this school year that you learned about from your PLN? 

This is still new to me, but I am trying to work #bookaday into my classroom. I have some ideas flittering through my mind. 

2.  If you weren’t in education, what would you do instead?

I would be a supermodel, of course. Duh! I think I would be working in the editing field. 

3.  Who was your favorite teacher growing up and how did she/he inspire you?

My senior English teacher, Mrs. Boss, believed in me more than any other teacher I had ever had. She told me that I was a true writer. Her words. Swear. 

4.  What is one example of ed-tech that you use daily in your work with students?

We learned about Nearpod in December, and it has become a classroom hit. 
5.  What characteristic do you value most in a team member or colleague?

Actual work ethic! I have incredible passion for what I do. I do not understand people in this field who just get by. It makes me insanely angry. 
6.  What is the best book you’ve read lately?

Lately? Eeee! Toughest question yet. Let's see... I don't read much adult lit., but The Husband's Secret was a great read. 
7.  If you could have dinner with three people, alive or no-longer living, who would you select, and why?  What/where would you eat?

Laura Ingalls Wilder - The Little House books are the first I remember ever reading. My mom says I was hooked on the show from the time I was an infant. 

Amelia Earheart - I did my fourth grade biography on her, and I have been fascinated ever since. A picture of her hangs on my classroom door. 

My dead best friend - Well, I miss her. So, yeah...

What would we eat? Tex-Mex! 

8.  Connections totally fascinate me, so name one member of your PLN and tell how you became connected with him/her.  {Just in the time it has taken me to type this blog post, seven individuals have popped up as my new Twitter followers - leaving me quite excited to check out who they are - but also curious as to how they found me.}

Oh, gosh. I have no idea. I have not been on here very long. It looks like one of the first people I started following was Jeff Anderson. One of our district curriculum specialists introduced me to his books, and I have been using them for years. 
9.   What is your favorite children’s or YA book of all time?

These questions are so difficult! I am going to be totally cliche and go with Harry Potter. I started reading the series to my son was he was five. 

10.  What educational conference is on your “do not miss” list for 2014?

Our district pays for us to do quite a bit. I go to AP and AVID conferences bi-annually. I got to go to the Texas Literacy Initiative conference last year and expect to be going again next summer. On January 13, Jeff Anderson is coming to our district. I get to spend three glorious hours learning directly from him. 

11. If you had to narrow down your words of wisdom for students or fellow-educators to just three words, what would they be?  Please identify the intended audience (educators or students) for your words as you share them.

For both educators and students, STUPID AIN'T CUTE!

Am I passing so far? This next one is the hardest, since I am just catching up with reading blogs. I have had a number of people start following me on Twitter lately, so I am going to choose them. Welcome to the hardest assignment of your life! Unless you have already done this. If you have, congratulations on surviving the challenge. 
  1. Jim Cordery 
  2. Christopher Peterson
  3. Jennifer Vivian
  4. Mary Lee
  5. Holly Fairbrother
  6. Denise (She only goes by one name. I think she is like Madonna.)
  7. Liz Garden
  8. Sasha Reinhardt
  9. Jennifer Isgitt
  10. Jessica Crawford
  11. Judi Holst

And now, the questions from me:

1. If your house caught on fire, what would you grab before running out of the house (aside from family/pets)?

2. What is the best thing a student has ever said to you?

3. What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

4. Barnes & Noble or Amazon?

5. Paper books or ebooks?

6. On a scale of 1(weak) -10 (hardcore), how intense is your addiction to Twitter?

7. How many hours of sleep do you average a night? Do you wake up thinking educational thoughts in the wee hours of the morn?

8. Who is your favorite Muppet? (I should not type questions while watching The Disney Channel.)

9. If you could only read one more book for all time, what would it be?

10. How many books do you own that you have not yet read?



  1. You are very tag-worthy! Love your answers - totally get the Harry Potter addiction and the "stupid ain't cute!" Laura Ingalls Wilder, Amelia and a dear friend sounds absolutely wonderful - I want to join your dinner plans…pleeeeeease?