This is a long overdue yet much needed post. Attending ISTE in Denver this year has really opened my eyes to a lot of things. I have been inspired and have experienced things that would not have been possible without the Newbie Project.
I don’t even think I could adequately express in words the gratitude I feel towards everyone that made this experience possible. Turning my thoughts into words is something that I struggle with (which is another reason this post is long overdue). I’m always trying to make sure I don’t “cheapen” how I feel with overused phrases that sound generic.
First and foremost I would like to thank Beth Still the founder of the Newbie Project. She has been extremely patient with me throughout the entire year. At times, my questions would not stop (especially about flying since I have never flown before attending ISTE) to the times when she needed my input and I was slow to respond because my classroom workload was overwhelming and demanded much of my attention. Beth not only put an immense amount of her personal time into promoting and raising money for this project, but she put a lot of her energy into the planning process as well. Beth is very dedicated and passionate about improving education. The countless hours she put into the Newbie Project as well as reaching out and helping others in her PLN just amazes me. Beth has been a great mentor – pushing me beyond my comfort level and challenging me throughout the year. She has supported me in my feeble attempt at blogging to testing out new web tools and projects with my students. I would not have grown professionally as much as I have this year if it were not for her. Beth provided me with an opportunity that I will be forever grateful for. Thank you Beth.
To everyone in my PLN, as well as my friends and family that provided financial and moral support I thank you! My experience at ISTE was wonderfully chaotic and amazing. I would also like to apologize if I met you at ISTE and did not thank you in person. I think I was in a daze half the time and overwhelmed (with lots of new ideas) to the point where I was not always thinking clearly. In retrospect I wish I had taken Beth’s advice and planned out more of the sessions I wanted to attend which would have helped alleviate that problem (Yes, Beth I know – you told me so). I still can’t believe that a bunch of people I barely knew (at the time) made donations to send someone like me to ISTE – all I can say is WOW, I am one lucky guy! Not only lucky to be able to go to ISTE but also lucky to be a part of a network of educators that truly care about teaching, learning, and most importantly, the kids. I have learned so much from all of you!
In one sense I am sad the Newbie Project has come to an end for me and I wish I was still interacting with my PLN face to face in Denver but at the same time I see this as a new beginning. I have already began dreaming up new projects for my students next year and I hope to keep my PLN updated on how they turn out in hopes that I can give back at least a little of what I have received. This has been one awesome journey for me which would not have been possible without the help of Beth Still and my PLN – THANK YOU!