Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Serendipity! The EdTech Chat 'n Chew Podcast

I’m often amazed by how often the Universe provides serendipitous moments at just the right time.  Despite being a firm believer in the philosophy of “we’re always where we’re supposed to be”, I still get a kick out of the way perceived missed opportunities often turn into defining moments of growth.
One of the best examples in my career was about 3 years ago when I put in an application to move into the ranks of administration.  I went through the interview process, thought all went well, and then was disappointed to learn that the positions for which I applied were filled with others.  It ended up being one of the best things that ever happened to me.  The following year I was asked to present at two state level conferences, started teaching the graduate courses that have become such a source of growth and learning for me, and was chosen as a state finalist for the 2011-12 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (winners still haven't been announced).  Most importantly, those things allowed me to discover that teaching is my true passion, that I belong in classrooms rather than boardrooms, and that I can make the impact I want to make without moving into administration.  I’m not saying I’ll never make that jump, but right now I can’t imagine being in a job where I love what I do more.

I mention this because another of those serendipitous moments seems to have happened this year.  After teaching 5th grade for 16 years, my position was eliminated due to our enrollment.  We needed one less 5th grade teacher, and I was the least senior.   I stressed a lot last year because I loved teaching 5th grade.  My district administrators were great, though, and created a position they felt would best utilize my skill set.
Since September I’ve been working as a Curriculum Support Coach.  I get to work with teachers and students to do really amazing things.  Some of my time is focused on integrating technology.  Sometimes I get to work in math classes.  Some teachers bring me in to help them develop project, problem, and inquiry based lessons.  All of it seems to be pushing the boundaries of what we have always done in schools.
There have been bumps.  I miss having my own classes and students.  I miss the relationships that were developed over the course of the year, and the ability to implement a great idea that comes to me on the spur of the moment.  I miss the tangents and moments of spontaneous learning that occurred in my classroom.  To be honest, even though my days were spent doing amazing things this year, I wasn’t sure I liked this new job until recently.
What changed is the Facebook message I received from Dyane Smokorowski, last year’s Kansas State Teacher of the Year, about a month ago asking me to join her, Andrea Keller, and Karen Wright-Balbier (two outstanding instructional technology specialists) in putting together the Kidwish Project.  It has been such a success, and we enjoyed working together so much that the four of us decided to launch the EdTech Chat ‘n Chew Podcast to share the amazing things that each of us are doing in our schools and districts.
Those of you who read this blog know how much I believe in professional networking, personalized professional development, and sharing successes and failures with others to allow them to learn from your experiences.  This podcast will be a vehicle for teachers to do all of that.
Our mission is to record weekly episodes of about 15 minutes – perfect for teachers to be able to listen/watch during their preps or lunch breaks.  We’ll be sharing some of the amazing things we are seeing and doing in the classrooms in which we are working and ideas for empowering students in the 21st Century.
Collaborating with these three amazing women has made me feel that I’m where I’m supposed to be.  I really believe that this podcast and the community of listeners and collaborators that we hope to build are going to make a huge difference in this time when those who are trying to create student-centered, technology-rich, innovative classrooms are swimming upstream. 
Below, I am embedding our first podcast episode along with links to the podcast’s website, YouTube channel and Facebook page.  Subscribing to our YouTube channel will allow you to make sure you don’t miss an episode.  Show notes from each show with links to the resources we discuss will be posted on the website.

EdTech Chat 'n Chew Podcast Website:
Facebook Page:
YouTube Channel:


  1. I am so happy for you, this is just what you needed... a launch! You are a Rock Star!

    1. Thanks, Jan! I'm feeling pretty lucky right now to be working with these three incredible teachers.

  2. The field of the teacher good but you have to manage everything according to the students. This type of the life becomes so boring and dull. In this article, you describe one of your problem about upgrading the position and it is so pitiful. I am glad to visit this custom essay writing uk where is really easy to make your work excellent.