Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Power of Twitter

One advantage of working in an independent school is having the flexibility to create your own calendar. In doing so, Flint Hill has incorporated delayed openings once a month for students.

During this time, teachers and staff come together for professional development. This years focus has been on assessment, more specifically the Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning. Every faculty member participated in two, day long training sessions and have continued to implement and reflect upon what we learned during those two days. We have done so by, getting together with our department, division, or by participating in unconference style sessions to discuss various topics on assessment.

A couple of months ago during one of the unconference sessions our group was talking about the power of Twitter and our PLNs...the importance of teachers and students sharing their work/learning/reflecting with a global audience. We talked through various scenarios and ideas and finally came up with the idea to have an altered chat for our school community. I say altered because, instead of doing a standard hour long chat where we have a question and answer session, our Husky Chat lasts the entire day. Teachers/staff can vote on a topic of the day and one person moderates and archives. Our Husky Chats have been a fun way to communicate and collaborate with other staff members who I normally would not get a chance to chat with on a regular basis because of their location on the Upper campus. I look forward to our upcoming chats and hope to see more Huskies participating in the Husky Chat.

This leads me to a personal Twitter success story that I like to share...I think this shows the power of social media and the kindness of strangers...


Roughly 50 days ago I had been tweeting about my upcoming trip to Antarctica and the Drake Passage. I was commenting on whether we would be experiencing "The Drake Shake" or "The Drake Lake" when crossing the Drake Passage. Soon after I received this tweet...


My response to him was..."ummm about 100%!" So Victor had seen my tweet about The Drake Passage and my upcoming trip and tweeted me to see if there was any chance we were on the same ship.  One little example of just how small the world really can be...

For those of you who follow my blog, know that I experienced problems with flights, my bag, etc.  All the while, a perfect stranger, by all accounts was offering to help me in any way he could....well, it only gets better...




Instead of explaining it all...I think I will let my Facebook post speak for itself...






I think this is a great example of the power of social media and the good that can come from it. We experienced an epic journey to the bottom of the world. Indescribable beauty both in nature and in human spirit...


Monday, April 29, 2013

Emerging From the Dark

Photo Credit: photophilde
It's been a little over a month since I last blogged...not that I don't have anything to write about, it's just that upon returning from Antarctica I have been in a weird state of mind.


Today I am choosing to emerge from the dark...


Monday, March 18, 2013

Positive Thoughts and Deep Breathes

Part of traveling is the journey, right? As I am sitting in the Atlanta airport, I keep telling myself this over and over and over again...

I should be in Buenos Aires right now. Exploring the Recoleta and Palermo neighborhoods. Strolling through the cemetery and gardens. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Everything seemed to be going well yesterday. I had the pre-travel jitters and a whole lot of excitement as I was in route to Antarctica. This dream of mine, was actually coming true! That was until the a gate agent made an announcement that our crew was not at the airport. The plane was there, just no crew. The crew was coming from another city...10 minute delays turned into 20 minute delays, then turned into 30 minute delays...you get the picture.

Finally, a representative came to inform us about the situation. She made it clear that she was NOT a "representative" from United, just a face to keep us calm. As the time passed, my anxiety began to set in.

Wondering what I should do, I asked this "non-United representative" what were my choices, knowing I had an international connecting flight in Newark that I may not make. She suggested that I get in the United customer service line. Off, I went...

Listening to an agent tell you she "understands" is not something that I wanted to hear...I wanted to hear that things where going to be OK and I was going to be on my way to Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, that did not happen. After a few tears and deep breathes, I spoke with a manager who assisted with my reroute to Atalanta. Worrying about my gear that I need for the trip, I inquired about my bag since it was checked all the way to my final destination. No worries, "we will change the tags and it will travel with you to Atlanta." So I thought...Being slightly paranoid, I thought I would check in with customer service at my new gate and was told, "Yes, I see that your bag has been redirected to travel with you to Atalanta." I could finally breath a sigh of relief.

Until....

I arrived in Atlanta to find that my bag DID NOT travel with me, but rather it went to Newark. NO ONE ever made the change...

One step forward, two steps back....deep breathes, a few more tears, and lots of positive thoughts, I made my way to the United baggage claim office. I was given a hotel voucher, a referral number and reassurance that my bags were going to be redirected to Atlanta.

 At this point, it's 12:30 AM, not too much I can do...off to the Westin to try and get some sleep. Thank God for Westin heavenly bed...it was just what I needed after a very emotional and trying day.

Today, I woke up ready to take on this adventure. I knew I had to remain positive and hope for the best. I thought I would head back to the airport this morning and be my own advocate. Upon arriving at the United baggage claim office again, I was informed that NO ONE EVER made the change in the computer to have my bag redirected to Atlanta. More deep breathes to be had....

Sensing my frustration and worry about my belongings, Dave Lampert from United reassured me to stay positive..."there are three flights coming in from Newark and I will will do every thing I can to get it here before you leave."

So...now I am playing the waiting game all over again. Fingers crossed, that all of this will be a good story to tell as part of the adventure of getting to Antarctica.

Over the course of the last two days, I have realized just how lucky I am to have some amazing people in my life. From my calm, rationale husband reminding me that "Antarctica is not an easy place to get to and that everything will be OK," to many friends reminding me that this is all part of the journey....




It's times like this, when you are being challenged, that you learn a lot about yourself. I know that staying calm is always the better route to take...Have a back up plan in mind incase things don't play out like you had in mind...when planning a trip, allow for some cushion before you actually have to be somewhere...be kind to those who are trying to help you, it isn't their fault you are in the situation you are in...

One of the three flights to Atlanta has taken off. Time to go see if my bag made the flight...

Positive thoughts and deep breathes...it's all part of the journey, right?



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

51/365

51/365 by mmreesescott
51/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Love being in Wilmington, NC to share our iPad journey with some great teachers from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mexico, and Canada.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

48/365

48/365 by mmreesescott
48/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Our business manager teaching about school/teacher/staff wants and needs with our third grade students for their economics unit. She also shared how she uses Numbers to manage the school budget.