Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Presentation Week

I've been teaching for nine years in New Jersey and I am blessed.  Even though teachers are much maligned as being selfish, lazy and basically unfit to teach our children, I do not see it.  I don't say this lightly as I have experience the business management side of life also.  There are bad seeds in all professions but those bad seeds do not define the profession.  Unfortunately for teachers, we are paid by the taxpayer; the taxpayer who believes they know how to teach better than the classroom teacher - you know - we all went to school so we are experts.
Atlantic City Convention Center

In New Jersey we as teachers are given an amazing opportunity the first week of November.  The NJEA teacher convention.  It's not a great opportunity because we aren't teaching, it is a great opportunity to hone our craft of teaching, without taking the time out of the class.
Nine years ago, 2 months into my first teaching position, I entered a professional development workshop on teaching Financial Literacy.  My life changed.  In that one, 1 1/2 hour workshop I learned more than a book could have taught me.  The ideas I took away that I could easily implement into my classroom were priceless.  The cost of the workshop - FREE!  Learning from your peers was something that ignited a spark.

So this year I am wearing a different hat; I am a presenter.  I have the honor of presenting 3 different times at the convention.

Presenting for the New Jersey Cooperative Education Association I will offer "To Market, To Market", an overview of teaching the entrepreneurial skill sets of creativity through Project Based Learning.  This will give the participants some hands-on experiences that can be integrated into teaching creativity - a 21st Century Life Skill that is cited a necessary for success in the future.    Enjoy playing the Market Game developed for the PBS show "To Market, To Market to buy a Fat Pig"  Game designed by Jared Weinstock of Drexel University (my alma mater! go Dragons!)

 In High Tech Hall, with informal drop in sessions I will be sharing two different Web 2.0 tools that can be used by many educators.
Mindomo.com - a mindmap tool that includes presentation and collaboration elements.  This tool keeps evolving, with so many ways to put it to use in the classroom and life in general - check it out - there is a free version with limited features.

ChooseMyPlate.gov is another tool that I will present.  This government site offers a glimpse into the Dietary Guidelines recommended by the USDA.  There are many wonderful tools that can be incorporated into many different classrooms, at all different levels.

So, I am not taking a vacation.  I am working hard at making sure the presentations are useful to the teachers who attend.  I've come a long way since I walked into the convention 9 years ago and am truly blessed to have this opportunity.  I know that teachers throughout the country would love the opportunity.