Monday, December 31, 2012

My Year in Review - My Professional Top Three

After reading a top three blog post written by the inspiring Superintendent Chris Kennedy (West Vancouver) and the innovative and super supportive Director of Instruction Elisa Carlson (Surrey) , I figured as a grade one teacher in Surrey I should give it a try too. Obviously as a teacher my top threes will be different than theirs.

In no particular order ...

*Top Five Twitter Peeps I Met Face to Face in 2012

  1. The Saskatchewan Crew - Kathy Cassidy, Alec and George Couros, Dean Shareski, and Shelley Wright
  2. The #Kinderchat Crew - Michelle, Stacey, Marya, Amy, Heidi, Mardelle, Jon, and Matt in Las Vegas, and Joy in NYC
  3. The UnPlug'd12 Crew - 40 incredible people doing fantastic things for education in Canada, the USA, and Australia and my virtual twin Angie Harrison who attended the tweet up before we left to the Northern Edge.
  4. The Out of Town Visitors - BC Sarah Soltau-Heller, Manitoba Julie Evans  and Aussies - Jackie Nelson and Amanda Marrinan
  5. The Children's Poverty Advocate/Book Loving Extrodinare Carrie Gelson (and her lovely family) 
*Yah, I never said I had to follow their rules :-)

Top Four True Professional Honours in 2012

  1. Being asked to write for the International Reading Association four times including  here and here.
  2. Being asked to present for Classroom 2.0 Live  
  3. Being interviewed by EdReach and Kidblog
  4. Being featured on the Innovative Learning Designs blog.

Top Three Professional Wows of 2012
  1. Being asked to write a book.
  2. Watching one particular blog post spin out of control (or at least in my little world)
  3. Being chosen for my school district's  Making Thinking Visible inquiry project. 

Top Four Professional Development Opportunities of 2012 (outside of Twitter)  
  1. EdCamp Delta (January 2012)
  2. Learning with Alec Couros (April 2012)
  3. KinderEdCamp (July 2012)
  4. UnPlug'd 12 (Aug 2012)
Top Three Professional Changes I've Made in My Classroom
  1. Giving up control and allowing my students choice with their reading, writing, word work, and math. There is still far more to come in this area in 2013.
  2. Letting my students practice, show, and share their learning in ways that work best for them.
  3. Taking full advantage of my school's new open wireless internet, particularly by inviting the world into my classroom through Skype, Google Hangout, and Face Time.

Top Three Professional Disappointments of 2012
  1. Not being able to attend ISTE 2012 (but LOVE that I still got some goodies from the conference)
  2. Not meeting Aviva Dunsiger while I was in her home province. She had a date with the flu instead.
  3. Feeling undervalued and disrespected by my provincial government during teacher contract negotiations.  
Top Three Books Read in 2012 that Influenced My Thinking
  1. Drive by Daniel H. Pink
  2. Mind Set by Carol Dweck
  3. Start with Why by Simon Sinek
Top Three Books Read in 2012 that Influenced my Teaching
  1. Number Sense Routines by Jessica Shumway
  2. One to One by Lucy Calkins
  3. Opening Minds by Peter Johnston
Top Three Twitter Hashtags I Checked Faithfully in 2012
  1. #sd36learn
  2. #1stchat
  3. #kinderchat

Top Three Groups of People I Hope to Meet Face to Face in 2013
  1. The Entire #1stchat Gang - I am totally blown away by the knowledge that is shared with me from this wonderful group of educators. Chicago anyone? (And yes Kristin I want in to your class and school while I'm there).
  2. Mrs. Cassidy's Class - yes, last year I went to Vietnam and Korea and this year I am hoping to get to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
  3. Mrs. Wideen's Class - I've already met their principal I might as well meet them and their rockstar teacher too.
Random Top Threes of 2012
  1. Singing Bonaccord Elementary's version of Carly Rae Jepson's song Call Me Maybe in front of our entire student body populations (Don't worry I wasn't alone, there were about 10 of us).
  2. Presenting for a variety of schools and teachers, sharing my love of meaningful integration of technology.
  3. Working with my student teacher Chelsey Will - there are a lot of  students in Surrey that will be lucky enough to have Chelsey teach them.
I could go on and on but I'm pretty sure no one wants to read any more. Plus I lost my original far more witty version of this post in a blogger mishap.  What I do want to say is a big thank you for all the people that have been so supportive of me this past year.  I was definitely not lacking in love and support from my virtual friends (or my non virtual friends for that matter). I am also really glad to have gotten to know so many of the incredible educators in my school district.  If I started to list them all I'm worried I'd forget someone and I certainly don't want to do that. I'm hoping you know who you are.

Looking forward to more adventures in 2013.  As I found out very clearly in 2012 you just never know what's around the corner.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2013.  Happy New Year!



  1. What an amazing year, Karen! I'm sorry we didn't meet this year, but we will one of these days.

    All the best in 2013!

    1. That we will! Happy New Year to you too! I still have a few more hours before midnight.

  2. Karen,
    I thought I had a great year! Woah!!! I really look forward to 2013 now - tell me you've been a connected educator for a long time...?? After my first year, I really am looking forward to 2013, and will make it a point to write things down so I can reflect, too. Quick question - is that Gallit and Ryan and Anne in that last picture?? I'd love to meet them in person! (Gotta get that passport!)
    Happy new year! May 2013 bring you just as many smiles!
    Sincerely, Joy

    1. Thanks Joy. I joined Twitter in July 2011 and things kind of exploded from there. I did make a conscious effort to meet people face to face when it was possible too. I learned to better ask for what I needed and took risks doing things that were outside of my comfort zone. I still have a long way to go. As for the final picture you are absolutely correct. They are an inspiring group of educators that I was happy to hang with. :-)
      Looking forward to meeting you in 2013 too. Happy New Year to you as well Joy.

  3. Thanks Karen for including me. It's been awesome to see your leadership in your district and beyond emerge and looking forward to continuing to work with you in the upcoming year. Happy 2013. We'll talk soon.

    1. Thanks Dean. It's been quite a ride but I'm loving it every step of the way. I am also very lucky to have a district that supports my adventures and has been able to bring such incredible people to ME! Looking forward to working with you in 2013 too.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Sandi and to think I really have no idea what's in store for 2013.

  5. Karen - what a wonderful post - so great to have you in my network. You are an amazing example of how teachers can use their network to engage and improve their practice. Thanks for your leadership - all the best for 2013!

    1. Thanks tons for taking the time to leave me a comment. The past 18 months have been quite a ride for me and I am constantly amazed by the calibre of people I have met and learn with. Crazy really. Sometimes I have to remind myself that we are all just people, more similar than different despite the positions we hold. Thank you for being supportive of my adventures.