Coming off of FallCUE 2018, and CapCUE TechFest Roseville a few weeks prior, my thoughts have been all over the a good way. 

One concept that I keep revisiting is gamefication. I missed tonight’s #tosachat on the topic, but I’ve managed to scroll through most of the thread. 

Maybe it’s confirmation bias, or maybe it’s coincidence. Either way, I’ve seen a few articles in my RSS news feed (remember those?) about Dungeons & Dragons regaining popularity in schools. That makes my heart I peruse my first edition, 3-book set I’ve owned for almost 40 years. 


It’s been 6 weeks that I’ve been back in the classroom. While I’m only teaching 34% (two class periods, and pushing into classrooms and admin offices the remaining 66% of the time), I’ve realized a few things: 

  1. Middle schoolers possess a unique mindset 
  2. Managing expectations can either be simple or all-consuming 
  3. It’s difficult to teach creativity 
Sure, I knew this prior to returning to the classroom. However, the big “a-ha” moment is the creativity piece. Middle schoolers are almost afraid to create, or take risks. At least, by the time they’ve reached 7th/8th grade, they’ve become conditioned to play the school game. 

They want to complete the task and get the A. They want to know what steps are necessary to finish the assignment. They want to be “done” and move on to the next assignment. 

So, this is my new focus: instilling a a sense of creative spirit. And, I’m thinking the 20% time is a good place to start. 

back to the classroom

As I hustle to complete my household chores and projects on this last weekend of summer break, I’ve been reflecting quite a bit. That’s what teachers do, right? 

Tuesday is district-wide PD, followed by staff meetings. Wednesday is teacher work day. And, students return on Thursday. Monday is still open, but I’ll be having conversations with some of the site admins. Those conversations will be centered on what I can do to support teachers remotely. 

This year, I have been involuntarily transferred to a middle school to pick up three classes, with the rest of the reserved for tech TOSA work. So, here’s the questions I’m pondering: 

  • How does a TOSA support teachers at other sites while teaching periods 2, 3, & 7 at a middle school? 
  • Should I take that yearbook stipend and tackle that project? 
  • What’s the deadline for Spring semester enrollment into an EdD program? 

fall CUE

S T O K E D 

When it came to submitting proposals, I’ve sat on the fence for the last three years. 

Oddly enough, I can’t explain why it took so long for me to commit. Ideas and strategies were plentiful. Fear was a non-issue. Travel funds were sufficient. 

Pretty sure it was two events that provided the momentum: 

  • the EdCamp Sacramento at Westlake Charter 
  • the 2018 LEAD3 Symposium in San Francisco 

And, more importantly, it was the people at these events—my CapCUE peeps and amazing people from ACSA at TICAL. Thank you, friends. #bettertogether