To quote the CeCe Penniston classic from 1992, “finally it happened to me/right in front of my face/and I just couldn’t hide it.” My two proposals were accepted at a conference. It wasn’t just any old conference, because I have presented at conferences before, but an International one…in Hawaii. Yes, Hawaii.
CeCe found the real man of her dreams in 1992, and I found out about this conference in the Fall of 2015 and submitted a couple of proposals. They were accepted. I was elated. Unfortunately, I had to pull out of presenting because apparently it takes money to send someone from Atlanta to Honolulu.
The Fall of 2016 rolled around and I applied again. This time I planned ahead and used my savings from my side job (we can talk about that bit at another point in time), and travelling to Hawaii went from being a dream and became a reality.
Being a rabid fan of the recent “Hawaii Five-0” reboot, I was ECSTATIC that I would be able to travel someplace new and augment my memory banks with more Professional Learning awesomeness. (No lie, I totally made sure to stop by all of the landmarks shown in the show beforehand, especially the famed King Kamehameha Statue which is in front of Five-0 “Headquarters”, which is really the Justice Building.)
So today, I begin this adventure of “Professional Learning in Paradise” here at the Hawaii International Conference on Education in super sunny Honolulu. I can’t wait to learn, present what I know, and expand my professional learning network which will, in-turn, help me help my CCSD colleagues more.
From the moment I left the halls of East Cobb Middle School last May, each day has brought a new adventure. If you followed me through my #56DayVacay on Instagram and Twitter, you saw that I had the opportunity to travel for most of my 8-week break. It was a truly magical experience to top off an amazing year with dynamic students, their parents/grandparents/guardians, and amazing educators. Last year and leading into this summer, was a collection of some of my favorite moments in education.
This year, a new adventure has begun. I was honored to accept the position of Digital Transformation Coach with the Cobb County School District. I am the only one, and am so grateful for this opportunity. When asked what I now do as “Digital Transformation Coach” I put it quite simply: “I am like Disney World for educators. I help teachers make their dream lessons come true.” As Digital Transformation Coach, I have been afforded with the opportunity to pursue another love of mine: helping educators tap into their “inner kid” to create amazing lessons and learning spaces that encourage students to have a veritable addiction to learning for learning’s sake. I also help teachers meaningfully apply the use of technology in their instruction to take student learning deeper. An iPad can be a replacement for pen and paper or a window into the world beyond Cobb County. Which one would make learning more meaningful? This is the question teachers and I seek to answer with every interaction.
I had SO much fun in the seven years I spent in the classroom as a day-to-day teacher of 7th or 8th graders. People would often scoff or reel back in surprise when I told them that I genuinely LOVED working with middle schoolers. I mean, why not? It was the best of both worlds. I could create a safe space where my students and I could be mature and thoughtful, but silly at any moment. I honestly wish more adults tapped into their inner middle schooler. Leaving the classroom was not a decision I took lightly, but I knew it was time to help others bring more excitement and engagement to their classrooms by sharing my love of creative lesson planning and educational technology integration.
A new role now means a new look for MsWillipedia.com. As you may have noticed, this site has already undergone a redesign. Most notably, from now on, this site will no longer be “Ms. Willipedia’s ELA World” but will don a new name: “Ms. Willipedia’s Education World.” It has also changed locations here on the web as part of its ongoing redesign to fit what I will be able to offer beyond classroom activities and adventures. Hopefully, you will join me in this new endeavor!
Here’s to new beginnings and limitless opportunities for us all!
-Nadia a.k.a. Ms. Williams a.k.a. Ms. Willipedia
This Monday, the students were introduced to our second unit. With Expository Writing as the focus, I took the time to present the students with a “showcase” of examples of Expository Writing in the real world. These examples include, but are not limited to:
- Travel information
- News articles
- Owner’s Manuals/Instruction Manuals
- Informational Text
- Reports (such as):
- Police reports
- Experiment/Lab reports
- Research Reports, etc.
After our showcase, the students completed a timed writing on any of the topics below: