Sooooo, according to many, this is the premise that I'll maintain. Sorry Karl and Victoria, but I'm going to have to blend your questions together.
2. Share 11 random facts about myself.
3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for me.
4. List 11 bloggers that I believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love! (These people can't include the blogger who nominated me.)
5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers I nominate.
Let's DO THIS.
1. A huge shout out to Karl Lindgren Streicher. He blogs over HERE, but you'd never know it unless you knew the people around him. Seriously. It isn't that he doesn't want to share. He IS sharing. In fact, he's sharing pretty much everything he does. The reason that many people don't know about the work Karl does is because he's so busy helping and learning with others. A humble guy is an understatement. I never would've thought I'd be saying this, but a history teacher in Northern California is part of the reason that I still teach today. The second person to nominate this rinky-dink blog of mine is none other than Victoria Olson, a go-getter from our northern neighbours who just so happens to have the same birthday as me. We met on Twitter, but CUE Rockstar USS Hornet is where the connection really happened. Victoria is ambitious and has high expectations for herself, creating a byproduct of incredible content and amazing collaboration in the process. She rocks the blogosphere over HERE.
2. This is tough one, but OK:
- I have a dog, but I'm not a fan of pets
- I love chocolate, but don't like chocolate ice cream
- I am a son of a gold miner. It's one of the coolest stories to tell people
- In 2006, I blew out my shoulder, ending my baseball career. Although it was devastating, this may have been one of the best things that happened to me. I was just good enough to get drafted, but not good enough to make a career of it. The chance to say "I played pro baseball" wasn't worth the stress of Rookie or "A" ball, so my arm giving out has been more of a blessing than I originally thought
- I never wanted to be a teacher. Seriously, who would want to get up and do the same thing 5 times a day for 180 days and 30 years? I wanted to be an engineer, an architect, a financial planner, or a blood splatter specialist. It's a good thing my perception was WAY wrong about what a teacher actually does
- Ever since my best friend passed away, I've wanted a tattoo. It is drawn out and finished, but I'm too afraid to put ink on my body. Honestly, I'm afraid my mom will be disappointed
- Because of my dad's career, I have lived in Arizona, northern Nevada and southern Nevada.
- I'm married to the most incredible person I could've asked for. Meet her and it's easy to see why.
- My two children prove to me that I'd much rather teach 5 classes of 40 than 1 class of 10 half-people. I love my boys to death, but I don't know how an adult can deal with so many of those runts.
- I own a 2006 Mustang that everyone thinks cost quite a bit to buy. Little do they know, I bought it because it was one of the cheapest new cars available at the time (and I liked the color. and because it was a Mustang)
- I am my own worst enemy, my worst critic, and biggest doubter.
3. Answering a mashup of questions:
What is your favourite day of the year and what do you spend it doing?
Tough right now because it's fresh, but Christmas. I loved watching my kids come out to see what Santa had brought and ripping through paper. More importantly, I love the way that Christmas inherently forces us to focus inward at our family and friends, appreciating what we have around us.
What is your proudest moment as an educator?
Such a tough question because there are many. My first year teaching, there was this thug who failed all three trimesters of 8th grade math. He went to the alternative school and I thought he was gone for the taking. He was gang material already as a 13 year-old. His home life sucked, his mentality sucked, he already knew the slang, could tag (and did), and was on the wrong track. Four years later, I went to my first group's graduation. He walked across the stage and accepted his diploma. On my way out, I saw him and shook his hand. He looked at me and told me that I was the reason he finished school. To this day, it brings me joy just to think about that.
What teacher had the biggest impact on your life? How did they impact you? Does this teacher know the impact they had on you?
Mrs. Paxton, my 8th grade science teacher and 11th grade Physics teacher. She made learning meaningful. She was tough, but caring. Loving, but would be quick to keep me in line. She was our class advisor. I loved her like a mom, and still do. Unfortunately, she has been out of teaching for a few years because of the stress that teaching has had on her. I've called/emailed a few times, but have never heard back. I can only hope that she has received my messages to let her know that she is the reason I teach.
What is the most important characteristic you look for in your friends?
Trust. I want someone who will trust me and I want to befriend someone I can trust. I share things freely and readily, so being friends with someone I can't trust just doesn't happen. I'll even let you stay at my house after meeting you once in real life and the rest of our conversation on Twitter. Yep, trust.
Why did you become an educator?
Because I needed a job. Seriously. I was 3 months from graduating, couldn't find a company that I wanted to work for, and went to a job fair. Raytheon and Lockheed Martin were going to be extremely competitive and I wasn't that good of a mathematician, so I interviewed for a teaching job as interview practice. They offered. I started teaching.
If you only got to take three inanimate objects to a desert island and had to survive there for a month, what would they be?
A knife to make it easier to cut, a fishing rod and reel to catch me some tasty fish, and an endless supply of matches because I'm awful at starting my own fires.
Who is your hero? Why?
My Dede (grandfather) came from Macedonia in the middle of World War II to start a new life in Canada and the United States. He came here legally, worked his hardest, and provided for his family. All of this with a 5th grade education. He is still living at 83 years old. This is the toughest and kindest man I've ever met in my life. He never made more than $10 per hour simply because he didn't possess a high school diploma. His story is one of the driving forces for me to understand my students better.
If you could make one change to the educational system in the US, what would it be?
I would make it mandatory for seniors to have a project to culminate their K-12 experience. Maybe a "how do you plan to positively impact your world?" type of thing. Maybe a portfolio. But something to show for 12 years of hard work instead of a piece of paper
What is your favourite game/sport to play? When did you discover it?
Baseball, when I was four years old. There's just something about the smell of a mitt, red dirt, a new wooden bat, and fresh-cut grass.
Who is one person from your PLN that you MUST meet at some point in your educational career?
I've met A LOT of folks that I interact with on Twitter, so this is tough if we're limiting it to here. I'd say @approx_normal for her witty humor, her intense knowledge set, and her ability to connect. Yeah, Hedge.
What is your go to beverage on Friday evening? Why?
Really depends on the evening. If it's leaded, it's Makers Mark on the rocks. Smooth with a nice bite to it. Or maybe a nice micro brew IPA.
4. List 11 bloggers I think deserve some love. Well (sorry, they're mostly math nerds. It's what we do).....
- Matt Vaudrey - Check out his stuff. You're welcome.
- Shauna Hedgepath (Hedge) - Some stats, a lot of insight.
- David Theriault - English teacher bound to change the world
- Andrew Stadel - Yet another thinker, it's worth your time
- Fawn Nguyen - Sassy yet classy and mathy all at once
- Justin Aion - Dude knows hot to reflect
- Michael Pershan - Thought-provoking and ready to discuss
- Jonathan Claydon - SBG, math, and a whole lot of good teaching
- Jessica Pack - I wish I could be in her classroom
- Chris Danielson - Ever talked math with your kids?
- Kate Nowak - See Fawn Nguyen
5. List 11 questions for the 11 that I've mentioned. OK:
-- Why do you teach?
-- If you didn't teach, what would you do for a living instead?
-- Money being no obstacle, where would you like to visit? Why?
-- Kids always ask who your favorite student is. Describe the characteristics of yours
-- What is your favorite board game and why?
-- What is the most frustrating component of education right now?
-- Would you rather buy a Mac or a PC?
-- What is your favorite book?
-- If you had to choose blogging with no way to share it (ex. via twitter) or tweeting with no way to elaborate (ex. via a blog), which would you choose?
-- Who is your hero? Why?
-- What is the most exciting part about your job?
For those mentioned above, please tag me in a tweet if you choose to carry this thing through. I'd love to read what you have to say (although I'll probably read it anyways, regardless of whether you tag me).
Thank you to Karl and Victoria, but also to everyone that has allowed me to enter into their network of education and collaboration. 2013 was a massive tornado of fun.