It may not look like this picture was edited much, and it really wasn't. But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to use the flag feature on such an appropriate picture! This was when my husband, Luke, was playing for the German National team during the World Baseball Classic Qualifier in 2012. I really like this pho.to website. It's new to me, and it's super easy to use, with a ton of options. I'm impressed that it knew exactly where my cheeks were to put the flags, and that I didn't have to alter it at all.
In June I participated in a "fun run" at the hospital my dad works at, Santiam Memorial Hospital. It's a yearly event, and my mom, siblings and I have done them off and on for the past 20 years or so. My dad, however, is not a runner by any stretch of the imagination and has never run in one until this year. I'm not entirely sure what prompted him to join, but it was a nice moment for us to share, even though we didn't run together.
This is a picture of my dad and me. Dad even won his age group!
In September, I signed up to do another run at the local Oktoberfest celebration. I mentioned it to my mom about 45 minutes before it started, and she decided she wanted to do it too. She, too, won her age group. It was really fun to see my mom accept her award, even though in the long run the pin and ribbon don't mean anything.
This is a picture of my mom and me after the Oktoberfest run.
In a week I am doing another run with my cousin. I sign up for these runs mostly for two reasons. 1) Committing to a run motivates me to stay in running shape. 2) Socially, it's very enjoyable and a fun way to spend time with other people. I am also hoping that the procrastinator that lives in me will someday realize that not training for a run is a terrible idea, and I should stop doing it. Someday.
Initially, I felt a bit uncomfortable creating a Facebook page for something other than personal use. And because I'm not part of a business, it felt strange to think about connecting with my students via Facebook, when before I have been so vehemently opposed to befriending them on social media. I still have things to learn about the differences between a fan page and a personal page, but I feel better knowing that I can post things as CHS Yoga/Pilates instead of as myself. I would actually prefer not being able to look at the pages of students who like or comment on my page. Then, the more I thought about it, the more I am starting to like the idea. My first post was a boring one, perhaps, reminding students that they have a sun salutation test coming up. But this page could be an easy way to keep in touch with students after the 50 minutes per day that I see them. I can post things (maybe even attach documents?) to the page and tell students to check it if they're absent. I'm curious how many of my students have Facebook, so when I tell them about my new page next week, I'll take an informal poll. But my guess would be about 85% of the students have a Facebook page, and since many of them try to check Facebook during class on their phone anyway, I can at least redirect them to something semi-productive. https://www.facebook.com/CHSyoga.pilates
Scoop.it is the latest social media site that I am now part of, thanks to my Technology in Kinesiology class that I'm taking. http://www.scoop.it/t/yoga-pilates I chose to use Scoop.it because it seemed easy to use and wasn't focused quite as much on sharing my website with other people. However, as I'm using it, the website seems very similar to Pinterest, which I already use. Maybe the more I use it, the more I'll see the differences, but so far it feels like I'm just pinning things to a board on Pinterest. Either way, I'm learning more about what's "out there" on the internet.
Like all students who grew up during the transition of large, heavy encyclopedias that couldn't be checked out of the library to encyclopedias online that could be accessed from any computer with dial-up internet, the age of the internet had a great impact on my learning experience. There's something nostalgic, even, about the concept of going to the library to do research out of books instead of using a computer. But I think that learning from the internet, including blogs, is so much more natural and carefree than intentional encyclopedia learning.
Even though I'm not currently teaching Spanish, I still follow two bloggers: Kristy Placido, who I mentioned in a previous post, and http://zachary-jones.com/zambombazo/. Zambombazo is a website that I've told my students time and again is my favorite website. The authentic approach to learning Spanish is unique and I love how it utilizes current events in the free, downloadable assignments.
A blog that I recently started following for my yoga/Pilates classes is http://www.blogilates.com. I really like the workouts that Cassey does, and I use many of them and adapt them to my own classes. In addition to using the workouts that she does, the website is also a good springboard for thinking of my own ideas. I check Blogilates at least 3 or 4 times a week.
I think in general, learning from the internet is a positive thing because of the massive variety of topics, in addition to the speed in which information can be acquired. The blaring risk is that the source might not be reliable. I think it is getting a little better, but people still tend to believe what they read without making sure that the source is reliable. There are satirical websites, like The Onion, that occasionally have articles that get spread around with people who don't recognize that the article is meant to be a joke. Students need to be continually reminded to check their sources, but I do think that the internet is a quicker, easier way to do research than previous methods.
I listened to Marcus Buckingham's video about focusing on strengths, and I found it to be a great, new perspective! I guarantee that if I were given the same question about which subject needs more time out of As, Bs and an F, that I would have said that subject with the F. But from Marcus's perspective, that's not necessarily true. He thinks that more time should be spent on areas of strength instead of weakness. In a strange, probably condescending way, when I think of myself, I agree with that concept. But when I think of my students, my first reaction is to disagree, with the thought that they need to know how to do algebra. Even though I don't use it, they might, so just in case, they should learn it until they have at least a C.
I wonder how much of that thought is a result of being taught under the impression that it is very important to be well-rounded because you never know where life might take you. But then I think about specific students who may not even graduate high school because they can't pass their math test. What kind of disadvantage will they enter the world with even though they may have great welding or communication skills? What if they care about community service and helping others, but are told that if they don't pass their math and writing tests they won't graduate? How are we helping them succeed in life when we aren't building them up in areas that they are good at, and more importantly, care about?
I have had classes with students who really love the subject, and not only are they easier to teach, but the class has a completely different feel to it compared to students who are there because they have to be. There is value in doing things you don't like to do. But I think there needs to be more emphasis on encouraging students in areas of interest and success and helping them find their strengths.
Microblogging is a new word to me. When you break it down, it makes perfect sense. Micro = small, blogging = writing opinions, therefore, micro+blogging = short thoughts. Enter twitter. Twitter is a unique way of communication, primarily because users are limited to 140 characters, including spaces and punctuation. I have not been interested in joining the world of twitter, but I am taking a new Technology in Kinesiology class at Fresno Pacific University, and we are required to join twitter. So, like so many thousands of other people have already said, "Follow me on twitter! @kelsommer."
I have mixed feelings about social media, twitter included, being intertwined with education. The first thing I think of is students. I refuse to be friends with any students on Facebook until they have graduated, and I have similar feelings about twitter. I don't care to see things that my students post, and there are things that I post that I would prefer to be just for me and my x00 friends on Facebook. If I wanted information to be private, I wouldn't post it. I get that. But there is a line that I want to draw between my students and my non-school life, and it begins with a social media separation.
This website is my first firsthand experience with a personal web presence, although it's not the first time I've heard of one. In short, a personal web presence (PWP) is a digital way for people to get to know you. It's an easy way to network, create conversation, share interests and display achievements.
The first time I heard of a PWP was when I began teaching at Centennial High School. Students are required to take two classes called Tech Apps, and by their junior year, every student will have completed their own PWP. There are many things that they put on their PWPs. For example: resume, job shadow reflections, career plans, interests, activities involved in, pictures, etc. I think that the project is a great requirement, especially as colleges are beginning to ask for them during the enrollment process.
The PWP that I like the most is by a teacher named Kristy Placido. I stumbled across her page when I was looking for music resources for my Spanish classes. Here is her link: http://kplacido.com I love her PWP because I find her to be very inspirational yet realistic. She willingly admits when something doesn't go well, and will share her ideas (even actual assignments) free of charge! One thing I would change about her PWP is to make it a little easier to search by date. Currently, the only way to do so is by scrolling down, and sometimes that can take awhile. It's still worth looking at, though!
My name is Kelsey Sommer. I am a teacher at Centennial High School in Portland, Oregon. I am an Oregonian through and through, but lived on the East Coast for 9 years, Bolivia for 1.5 years, Spain for 6 months and Germany for 4 months. I really value travel and learning about other cultures. After living in Bolivia I decided I wanted to be a teacher, but I couldn't decide between teaching Spanish or Health and P.E. I believe that Health is the most important subject for high school students to take because there are SO many important topics pertinent to their lives, and if any aspect of a person's health (physical, social or mental) isn't stable, every aspect of their life is impacted. But I really loved Spanish and the lessons I learned and experiences I had living in another culture. So I majored in Spanish, Health and P.E. and have been lucky enough to teach all three subjects over the past six years.