Made just for me.

I am a week and a day (officially… of course I was back and forth and into this and that all summer) into my new position as technology teacher for the elementary grades at my school, and I’m finding more and more that it is clearly my place in the universe.

I am incredibly lucky to take two of my deepest passions – technology and education – and blend them into a learning experience that is so essential, so needed in our schools today.  As I’ve told colleagues and even some of my older students, use of computer technology and the Internet has moved so fast in the last 15 or so years that it’s nearly impossible to understand the consequences of it.  It was my generation that developed the Internet as we know it, all the promise and pitfalls, the miracles and bullying, the beautiful and horrifying edges of all of it.  We ran headfirst into the technology without thinking what we were creating; the Internet was – is – my generation’s atomic bomb.

I have been charging my oldest students with using what we’ve created for good, demanding that they learn how to use it well, with grace, for proactive means.  Even the littlest I am pointing in the direction of positivity and understanding: first and foremost, listen.

It’s a transformation for me, too.  In my new position, much of the staff has come to rely on my technology literacy for their everyday uses; even the administration has given me responsibilities that I’m suited for and challenged by.  That’s given me the opportunity to take charge, use my areas of competence, to help others, smooth paths, and open doors.  I feel proud of what I do for students and colleagues alike.

My principal sent me an email last week after seeking my advice on a particularly pesky problem, saying that my new position seemed made just for me.  I can’t help but agree.

The war is on!

So, have you all been watching Craft Wars?  I thought it sounded a little silly at first, but it’s AMAZING.

Image from TLC

Three crafters compete each week for $10,000 by making one small project in an hour that will eliminate one contestant, and one MASSIVE project as the final test, to be done in 5 hours.  They’ve done patios, playhouses, and even pet palaces!

I’ll be honest… this is the first reality show I’ve ever seen that I actually want to pursue being on.  I love the idea of the challenges, and I think my unconventional cosplay skills would give me a real edge on the floor.  And yeah, ten grand isn’t a bad deal either!

Check it out Tuesday evenings, or at TLC’s website!

A beautiful view

Though the first part of my weekend was dedicated to taking two additional PLACE certification tests, after I completed that chore I drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park to spend some quality time camping out with friends and fiancé.  We had some amazing neighbors: about four elk who regularly wandered through our camp like they owned it (which I guess they do, after all).  I have rarely been so close to wild creatures, and rarely do I get to enjoy a beautiful morning view like this one.

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All personal photos taken with my Android using the RetroCam application.

Friday Fi.. more like three!

Even though this is not Twitter (although you can check mine out @charmedseed, of course!), I wanted to share a few of the blogs I’ve been following lately!

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Metal and Mud: Holy brilliant ideas, Batman!  I ran into this blog while participating in Thing-A-Day this year, and this artist is constantly working and creating.  Not only that, but she has a collection of amazing jewelry and art at Etsy, too!  The perpetual calendar project in the photo is simply AMAZING!

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Craftastrophe: Is exactly what it sounds like.  Occasionally NSFW, silly and even occasionally appalled at some of the nuttier craft ideas out there, this blog is sure to bring a laugh or two to your day!  I pity the fool who doesn’t read this blog!

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crafting an education: Here’s where I’m a total tool and toot my own horn.  This is my more education-leaning blog, but with a crafting aftertaste.  I discuss some of my teaching and learning here, but I also identify fun teaching-related crafts, organization, and décor!  I love making this connection between my two passions.

Go for it, share your favorite (or your own!) blogs!

The FREE Sign-In Book!

Yesterday Nick and I made a trip to Best Buy for a new router (I think we’re developing wireless for our entire zip code), and while waiting for Nick to finalize his purchase, I spied a little offer tag hanging there…  FREE 8×8 PHOTO BOOK.  Well, hell yes, I’ll take one!

Source I am style-ishIt appears you need a qualifying purchase, usually related to cameras, but our router purchase seems to have qualified (you need Internet to get there?), so I had the cashier ring up the card and lo and behold, when I got home, I had a code for a FREE photobook from shutterfly!

This was a great deal because I’d already been planning to purchase a shutterfly photobook as our custom sign-in book at the reception.  It’s a great deal at up to 20 pages, and with our (only slightly less than professional!) engagement photos completely under our control, reproducing them in this format is a great option for us!  What a great find!

Where have you found great unexpected deals that saved you nuptial funds?

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Help me create a wonderful place to learn!

Well, I’m just two weeks out from finishing student teaching and hopefully ending my job search!  Education is a tough business right now with very limited financial support, and I need all the help I can get to create a great learning environment in my future classroom.  And I would appreciate any help I can get!

source thesmarterwallet.comAn easy way to support my new classroom and students is to make purchases from my Amazon Teaching Wishlist.  I have a lot of badly needed items sorted by priority order, as well as some items that would really make my classroom unique and a wonderful place to be!  I’m striving to create a place where students feel welcome, safe, and happy, and anything you can give will help me to create that and support their success.

I need some basic things like pencils, markers, and storage, but also some additional items like attention-getters, books, and cleaning supplies.  All of these things will help me to create a supportive environment for my future students – who are of course our future leaders!

Make an investment that’s sure to have a great return – invest in education!  Thank you for all your support!

I did it.

I bought a tablet.  I have become one of the tech-ridiculous.

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Well, maybe not.  I have never had and will never have an iPhone.  I didn’t have a laptop until last year.  I bought my first desktop in 2003 and used it up until I got the laptop!  So maybe not ridiculous.  But it’s definitely a big part of my everyday existence.

I mainly purchased it to take to teaching interviews and to use as a tool in my classroom next year, but as I thought more about it, I realized it could become a really useful tool while crafting!  Need a quick costume reference photo while shopping for fabric?  Carry this little guy along!  Need a look at some colors or paint chips?  Bam, right there.  Take a note while you’re shopping, and email it to friends?  Piece of cake.  Need to sketch but your only pen is out of ink?  This one never runs out of ink!  Oooohhh, how about a blog post?  The possibilities are endless!

What’s your favorite crafty-tech?

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