Friday, July 20, 2012

Of Mockingbirds and Tractors

I've been mowing pastures for the past couple of days. I'm so happy that we are no longer in drought, but I'm back to mowing. A lot.

Yesterday and today, I noticed a mockingbird hanging around my tractor.
Photograph of the Northern Mockingbird

I thought this was rather odd because it is widely known here in Texas that mockingbirds prefer Kuboda tractors:

and, of course, I have a John Deere tractor:

My curiosity got the best of me, so I started looking around the tractor for a nest. To my surprise, when I flipped the seat forward, this is what I saw:

The mother mockingbird was waiting patiently while I took this picture. I am hopeful that she will successfully hatch her brood.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Time to let the cat out of the bag!

Well, it's official! I will be changing jobs for the next school year and will be leaving the classroom for the first time in nine years! I will be moving to my district's Technology Department to become an Education Technology Specialist on August 13th.  I had fully intended to teach in PISD's GT Academy for at least one more year, but when I saw the Ed Tech Specialist position posted a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't resist submitting my application. After two interviews and discussions with current and previous supervisors, they still decided to hire me for this job! The official purpose of the position is "to integrate technology into the curriculum in a way that develops skills, increases understanding, and explores applications so that students and staff utilize instructional technology to increase performance."  I've included a list of major responsibilities and duties at the end of this post for those of you who want and/or need to know.

I can't begin to express how excited I am about this opportunity. It will be a big and difficult transition to move from the classroom, but I am thrilled at the prospect of being able to impact a much wider audience in my new role.  I'll be posting more information on the mechanics of my new assignment later. For now, I just wanted to share this good news with my family, friends, and PLN (even though my wife insists "those Facebook and Twitter people are not your friends.")

Major Responsibilities and Duties

  1. Coordinate planning sessions with individuals, teams, or departments providing guidance for effective use of technology applications as part of the instructional process.
  2. Assist with developing technology-based instructional strategies for teachers and students.
  3. Work cooperatively with principals and teachers to implement instructional technology.
  4. Model technology-based instructional strategies for teachers and students.
  5. Provide technology training for students, teachers, administrators, and support staff in the district on various platforms and applications.
  6. Assist teachers and administrators with software and hardware selection.
  7. Assist in the planning, development, and implementation of technology grant applications.
  8. Assist with planning and conducting periodic needs assessment/evaluations related to the technology requirements of the district.
  9. Share strategies for technology management to maximize effective use of computers and software.
  10. Assist with the implementation of the campus and district technology plans.
  11. Perform other duties as assigned.

Friday, July 13, 2012

What a difference a year makes!

Last year, I took this picture of our pond during the Texas drought:

I drive my truck off into our pond! on Twitpic

Almost a year later, here is a picture of the same spot:

Another pond view on Twitpic

What a difference a year makes!