1 Thing Teachers Must Demonstrate

This year in our pilot programs at the middle school I am employed at, I have experienced more joy in teaching and in learning than I ever have experienced. Students  given choice has, so far, been invigorating and challenging at the same time. Teachers are very stressed and uncomfortable, but knowing that this will bring along many rewards, such as teaching responsibility, self-reliance, and grit. Not being the end-all, be-all to technological knowledge has been a difficult transition, but has said more about me and my ego than it has anyone else. Taking the ego out of my career has been the challenging part. And i am growing. But, as I stare at a bulletin board called “The Power of ‘Yet'”, I know that although this year is definitely not going to be easy. It IS going to be worth it.

Joy breeds enthusiasm! Or does enthusiasm bring joy? It is very much a chicken and the egg situation and one cannot exist without the other. New educators must create joy in their classroom by demonstrating enthusiasm! I will never forget the years where I got dirty in science class and I really think that those days prepared me to be a good teacher. Even though now I teach adults, I certainly miss the adolescent learner.

This quote posted on the Clif Mims’ blog by guest writer Ann Monroe says something near and dear to my heart:

A teacher can demonstrate enthusiasm by…

sharing the JOY of learning.
having a PASSION for science, math, language, etc.
making learning FUN.
showing an APPRECIATION for art, music, literature.
sharing their EXCITEMENT for learning.
demonstrating a CURIOSITY for the world around them.
having an EAGERNESS to learn and grow.
providing HOPE.
creating a STIMULATING learning environment.

Deeply moved by this post, my question to you all (few) readers is this: is it possible to motivate a student learner without enthusiasm? In reflecting on my years of education, these ways that teachers can create lifelong learners can  create an environment that can affect change. Joy is the key.


I extend my sincerest apologies to me few readers in this digital space. I have been adjusting to my new position as Personalized Learning coach… aka running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Don't rush things



Nice, France

Why is there so much hate in the world? last night, I heard about the terror attack in Nice, France and it has completely broken my heart. This is the third attack in France in 18 months. From the armed gunman attacking Charlie Hebdo, to the Bataclan Theatre, and now a man in a simple lorry truck; these attacks must stop. CnXKBeJVUAA5qre.jpg

This person drove for over a mile, mowing people down as they were dispersing from Bastille Day fireworks. Could you imagine someone simply driving through a crowd on the Fourth of July/. Bastille Day is France’s Independence Day! There people were just celebrating their country! It just all makes me so sick. The total bodycount is up to 84 people. What is this world coming to? Maybe I don’t even need my passport. It seems as though terrorists will stop at nothing to kill those with differing beliefs.


New Hampshire

This summer has, simply put, been just wonderful. Full of travel, as usual! Doug and I went to New Hampshire for a visit with his family for 6 days, followed by a short trip to Nantucket, Massachusetts with Lizey and Steve for the first few weeks of July. We got back on Monday. I have been down for the count recovering from all the travel and catching a stomach virus.

New Hampshire was amazing, as usual. I love the area. The weather was gorgeous. Not one day of rain or dreary weather. Trina hosted a fabulous cookout and it was wonderful to meet two of Adam’s sisters and some of the extended family that I haven’t met yet.

So. Many. Lobster rolls. We ate really well there and I am going to have to begin carb-counting again. The struggle is real. We went to the beach, and out on the boat to watch fireworks, and out to Fenway to watch a Boston Red Sox game, and really got to spend time with family. Always wonderful and much needed. Here are some photos and a map from our gorgeous trip up north.

Click on each plotted point to see what each point is on the map!


Walking on the breakwater.

The water was about 62 degrees, but so refreshing!
Out on Uncle Dick’s boat for fireworks on the 3rd!
We toured the Albacore, one of the US Navy’s first experimental submarines. It was really cool to be inside.
Hanging out in Portsmouth for lunch.

Finally got a chance to walk around Hampton Beach with Doug. He took me to the Sea Ketch, where he used to work as a bartender and bouncer.
The view from our third floor table.


The sand sculpture competitions got defaced one night. Someone literally punched the faces off of the pieces.


Another Type of Coaching

In about a month from now, I officially get a chance to continue my career in the direction of educational consultation. I will be working within the same school district and at one of the schools I was placed at this past school year. This school is a rural middle school in Central Virginia. I am excited and extremely humbled that after such a rocky first year, the amazing teachers in the building and rockstar of a principal want to work with me again this year. Aw shucks.

I will begin a new position within my school district as a Personalized Learning Coach formally at the end of July.

I will be doing many different things within this new role, not many of them are truly different than what I have been endeavoring toward throughout last year as an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher (ITRT), and some I am still learning. Well, I am definitely still learning all the time.  I will be aiding instructional facilitators (teachers)  in the planning & implementation of 2 mass customized learning environment pilot programs. I am no longer responsible for the technology that aids instruction, but am working to become even more a part of the instruction itself, which is very exciting! The ability to begin this transition throughout June in aiding facilitators to develop curriculum for the upcoming school year has been a true blessing. The vision to transition education out of the industrial model of “sit and get” knowledge needs to change and I am proud to be a part of that change. It is going to be another year of growing and changing to fit the needs of my school and my district.


Many More Travels to Come!

I have traveling on the brain!

I got my passport book on Wednesday! This is a huge step for Team ShulLoudon here in little ol’ Lynchburg, Virginia. I can hardly wait to receive my ID card and all my documentation back. Now, THIS TIME, if I lose my driver’s license, I have this wonderful form on identification. Knocking on wood here…

Some places that I would really like to frequent are

Gilli Lankanfushi Island, Maldives

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 8.37.42 PM

Syndney, Australia

Syndey, Australia.png

Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy

Clinque Terre, Italy

Clinque Terre, Italy

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora

Paris, France


Provence, France

Provence, France

Monaco, Nice, and Cannes, France

Monaco, France


I’ve got to satisfy this case of wanderlust somehow. For now, pictures will suffice. sigh.




Nags Head Island: Our Trip to OBX

We made a trip to the Outer Banks, North Carolina last week for our 2016 summer vacation.

I know, I am behind on my posts!

We stayed for 6 nights at the Hilton Garden Inn at Kitty Hawk right next to the pier. We had absolutely beautiful weather and really had a chance to enjoy our time together. We basically ate and went to the beach every day. It was glorious.


The view from our room!
Looking for some grub. I am pretty sure this afternoon we ended up at the Rundown Cafe.



Be sure to check out Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Those dunes are amazing! We checked out a sunset here on Tuesday. 
Hurry up, we’ve got to get there before the sun sets!
For everyone who knows Doug, you know a picture with this chops needs no caption (pun entirely intended). Just going to leave this here…
Whitecaps and the Kitty Hawk Pier. We saw a sea turtle off the pier on Sunday afternoon.
Our last dinner was at I got your Crabs Oyster and Shellfish Bar & Market. We ate our weight in raw oysters. I’ll take mine with lots of horseradish and lemon!


We would really like to rent a house on the beach next summer and invite our parents to meet and combine our vacation with some meeting time with Katrina, Stan & Tim & Jules. We are hoping to make this happen and finally get our families together to meet before we get married. This is important to the both of us. Here are some of our favorite restaurants that we had the fortune of visiting while we were staying: