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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

47/365

47/365 by mmreesescott
47/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Communication...this type of communication I rarely use anymore. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing? I wonder what forms of communication our students will be using 20 years from now...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

46/365

46/365 by mmreesescott
46/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Learning is fun...students using the Book Creator app to create a book about FHS. The book is in English and Spanish and will be shared with a partner school in the Guatemalan Highlands.

Monday, February 25, 2013

45/365

45/365 by mmreesescott
45/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
First graders using the iStopMotion app to create dinosaur videos.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

45/365

45/365 by mmreesescott
45/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Spring is on its way...my morning drive to school is starting to be brighter!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

41/365

41/365 by mmreesescott
41/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Checking out the Chaos Machine at NOVA Labs. Shouldn't learning always be this fun!

40/365

40/365 by mmreesescott
40/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Thankful @tieandjeans introduced me to NOVA Labs!

39/365

39/365 by mmreesescott
39/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Something in Threes...trying to making school different through play, passion , and purpose.

38/365

38/365 by mmreesescott
38/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Memory...this brought great childhood memories. Loved reading A Snowy Day. Living in SoCal I would always dream of having snow!

Friday, February 8, 2013

36/365

36/365 by mmreesescott
36/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Hands On....iPads in Science. Taking pictures and using the Scribble Press app to work on map skills and directions in the science room. Students placed images in connection with which direction of the room they were located.

35/365

35/365 by mmreesescott
35/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
A Kids Workspace...using iPads to creat bar graphs.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What Do You Want to Do...

Photo Via paul-simpson.org
On three different occasions today I have been asked "what do you want to do?" After a good cry, some soul searching, and feedback from my husband and three amazing women...I think I can honestly answer that question now.

I want to...

  • Surround myself with people who will push my thinking and challenge me to be a better  human being.
  • Be an inspiration to all the people I work with...students, parents, teachers, and staff.
  • Be a part of the decision making process.
  • Empower students and provide them with a platform to share their dreams and passions.
  • Make school fun, yet challenging and have it be the best part of a student's day.
  • Provide opportunities for our students to experience the world outside of the Northern Virginia bubble.
  • Help our students to become empathetic global citizens.
  • Make a difference locally and globally.
  • Provide students with an environment where inquiry, collaboration, presentation, and reflective learning are the norm.
  • Work with innovators.
  • Help create innovators.
  • Surround myself with smart, positive people.
  • Make school different.
  • Create an environment where students can create, learn, and lead.
  • Share my love of learning.
  • Take risks.
  • Provide opportunities for students to be creative problem solvers.
  • Continue to dream big.
  • Help students find their passions.
  • Encourage teachers to find their passions.
  • Build relationships/trust with the people that I interact with on a daily basis.
  • Encourage others to make their mark.
  • Provide authentic learning opportunities for our students.
  • Create environments that are conducive to learning.
  • Make my mark.
  • Learn everyday.
  • Look at the world differently...to have the courage to stand up and do something that isn't "safe."
I guess it is now up to me to make this all happen. It's hard to say what the future holds, but at least I have a better understanding of what I really want to do...

Monday, February 4, 2013

34/365

34/365 by mmreesescott
34/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
What's in your teacher bag for the weekend...MBA, iPad, glasses, plan book, and ToDo notebook.

33/365

33/365 by mmreesescott
33/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Snack Attack...Clementines are a favorite winter snack.

32/365

32/365 by mmreesescott
32/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Writing...student description of what a friend is.

31/365

31/365 by mmreesescott
31/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Creativity...Students using creative problem solving when working on their Rube Goldberg challenges.

30/365

30/365 by mmreesescott
30/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
School lunch....Mediterranean salad today.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

29/365

29/365 by mmreesescott
29/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Classroom in motion...working in STEM clusters with Little Bits. Making a blender machine.

Monday, January 28, 2013

28/365

28/365 by mmreesescott
28/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Our Classroom Door...this is a collaborative space, so not necessarily a "classroom." As you can see I have a black and white polka dot theme going on this year!

27/365

27/365 by mmreesescott
27/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
A Black and White Image...Franklin Institute Rotunda

Saturday, January 26, 2013

25/365

25/365 by mmreesescott
25/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Franklin Institute for EduCon Friday night panel.

24/365

24/365 by mmreesescott
24/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
#edugood dinner...in Philly for EduCon. Amazing steak tacos for dinner.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

23/365

23/365 by mmreesescott
23/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Kids Art...Kinder student drew this for me. LOVE kid art!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

22/365

22/365 by mmreesescott
22/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Something in school colors...warm sweatshirt for a cold day.

21/365

21/365 by mmreesescott
21/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Learning...the real kind...teaching myself how to knit via YouTube videos.

20/365

20/365 by mmreesescott
20/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Pets or Best Friends...Non-traditional pets here. This was L.T. an American Toad, sadly she died a few months ago. She had a great personality and would sit on the coffee table and watch tv with us.

20/365

20/365 by mmreesescott
20/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Pets or Best Friends...Non-traditional pets here. This was L.T. an American Toad, sadly she died a few months ago. She had a great personality and would sit on the coffee table and watch tv with us.

19/365

19/365 by mmreesescott
19/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Most comfortable spot in the house...big, comfy chair with warm blanket and pillow.

18/365

18/365 by mmreesescott
18/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Collaboration....working through some information literacy lessons.

17/365

17/365 by mmreesescott
17/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Mascot...Home of the Huskies

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

16/365

16/365 by mmreesescott
16/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Weather...cold and rainy. We are hoping for a snow day on Friday! Teachers like a snow day every once in awhile too!

15/365

15/365 by mmreesescott
15/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Window Outside My Classroom...not such a great view, but I will take a window any day!

Monday, January 14, 2013

14/365

14/365 by mmreesescott
14/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Technology In Action...Students working in groups on a math project.

Friday, January 11, 2013

11/365

11/365 by mmreesescott
11/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
A favorite quote in my own handwriting...I am who I am because of all the people I have met on the journey of life...

10/365

10/365 by mmreesescott
10/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
My Classroom...looks a little crazy. Lots of Rube Goldberg challenges happening in here!

9/365

9/365 by mmreesescott
9/365, a photo by mmreesescott on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Hallway....3rd grade hallway.