CUE 2019

First time presenting at Spring CUE! 

First time attending Spring CUE. 

Lots of firsts for me at this conference. 

I started this entry while attending a CUE Rockstar session hosted by Jon Corippo, the CUE Godfather. I attended his session to learn more about presenting, and I was not disappointed. It helped me understand what I could do differently, and what I could do better. 

To be honest, I was terrified to present at Spring CUE. While I received a lot of compliments for my one-hour session on TOSA, I felt like I had not given the attendees what they wanted. Self-doubt can be crippling. I suppose the upside is that I know I can do better, and that teaching and learning are fluid. 

I have met many of the attendees at Spring CUE in a digital space (Twitter & Instagram), but never IRL. So, the pressure to perform was even greater. I did present at Fall CUE 2018 for the very first time. That was a huge step for me, as the thought of presenting to a (big) room full of teachers tends to make me anxious. 

To be honest, I never thought I would present at a CUE event. Trust that I want to give back. It was my CUE cohorts, and my friends at CapCUE who challenged me to move outside my comfort zone. Thank you, friends. #loveyou #meanit  

Some quick notes about lessons learned:  

  • Presenting to ~82 people in a big room can be terrifying. 
  • Kids skill level outreaches our delivery.   
  • Provide the solution, not suggestions. 
  • am·bi·vert /ˈambəˌvərt/ - a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features 

*selfie from the Friday 10am session: Know Your Condiments! Level up your TOSA dishes.

blogging challenge

Looking back on the January blogging challenge, I’ve realized that it’s not only about reflection, but it’s also largely about construction. Constructing a narrative. Constructing a solution.  

At least, it’s about identifying a problem or concern. And, that’s the first step to creating a desired outcome. Sure, I missed a few posts last month. I regret that. 

Reviewing my January entries, I noticed that many of my posts had a slightly negative tone. However, blogging (most of January) did remind me that the best way to complain is to make something. 

free agent

It’s that time of year again! Time for the proposed budget. The one that dictates which positions need to filled and which positions need to be eliminated. And, as a consequence, it’s that time for site administrators to start tweaking the master schedule. 

I understand that budgets are a fluid thing. I also understand that my TOSA position was never a long-term job. For three years it was funded in full. Now, in year four, I am operating as a teacher 34% and as a TOSA for 66% of my contract. 

My hope is that next year will bring the same opportunities. However, the politics of jockeying for coveted sites and/or preps is exhausting. I almost feel like a free agent. Sure, I try to do my best teaching every day. I collaborate. I network. 

picture: @jmspool / twitter 


Best not to start a diary on the most exciting day of your life to date. Once normalcy returns and that high dissipates, you’re apt to start slipping.
—Field Notes 56-week planner (inside cover) 

I started the 30-day blogging challenge at the beginning of January. Maybe it was a 28-day blogging challenge? The one sponsored by EduBlogs, I think. At least that’s the hashtag I recall seeing on Twitter. 

January 1st was not the most exciting day of my life. However, I’ve always kept an analog journal. Call it a diary, if you prefer but I do love my analog journals. I’m consistent with them, and I fill several in a calendar year. 

The blogging challenge was new to me. And, I’m glad I accepted the challenge. It has given me some insight about my digital habits. I never did install the tracker in the new iOS, but I did start to realize how much time I’ve spent curating and perusing. 

That is precious time that could be spent reflecting, writing, or creating. It’s also made me think that I need to delete a few social apps, not only because they’re a time-suck but also because of privacy issues. Looking at you, facebook. 

Spending the three-day weekend with friends and family, I tried my best to go on a digital diet. Meaning, no social media and no posts. No likes. No follows. No crap. It wasn’t the most exciting days of my life, but it sure was enjoyable. So, my new motto is: 

Less curating, more creating.