Thoughts, links & ideas from the 2008 National Teacher of the Year

Each time I've taken off in a plane since May (which is a lot), I've been writing in my journal, then adding these journal entries on this blog.

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(Note: the blue posted dates are actually the dates I wrote the journal entries, not when I posted them online.)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Missed connection

San Diego, CA


I’m not sure I like big crowds.  Spoke to a crowd of about a thousand this morning at the National PTA conference, and although the sheer numbers don’t make me nervous at all (I teach middle schoolers, nothing makes me nervous anymore,) the lack of personal connection is hard for me to deal with.  (Although the Oregon delegation did hold up huge letters spelling O-R-E-G-O-N when I came on stage, which was nice.)


But I need some interaction with my students when I’m teaching, and not all of these venues are very conducive to that.  I’m basically speaking about the importance of a 21st century classroom, collaboration, creativity, and the decentralization of knowledge, and what am I doing?  Standing up in front, lecturing, and showing PowerPoint slides.  Granted, they’re dang good slides (average # of words per slide is well under 10, by the way) and my talks are peppered with humor, but it’s still a very traditional way of presenting information.  I think I need to spice it up and do something a bit different.  I mean, that’s what I’m known for, right?  But people aren’t usually comfortable with anything too different, and that plays into it.  We’ll see what I come up with…


Meanwhile, for your viewing enjoyment: 

Not as tight on the editing as my NYC video (see below), but a taste of my new life.  As you can tell, I'm easily entertained.


  1. That was a fun video! I was panicking when you climbed over the balcony... Good show
    We hope to see you speak when you are in the Fargo area. You will have to add a few - uffda's and geewhiz's to your speech so we ND people can relate. :o}

  2. Ya, I'll let you know the details as it gets closer, Beth. Fur neat! It would be great if yous guys could come and hear me, den.


Feel free to question, disagree, challenge, or make suggestions! I'm a big boy. I can take it.