Kinderblog Challenge #1:
Kinderchat: Write the post that has been in your head (or your drafts folder) for a while now. You know the one. The one you write while you drive to work, or while you are in the shower. What is the question, or issue, or opinion, or emotions, you have been chewing on for a while now?
Sometimes I swear Amy is inside my head. How does she know I compose blog post after blog post in my head driving to work? How does she know sometimes I wish there was a mind reading machine I could just plug in and it would zap the thoughts right to the written word? How many times have I been grateful that DOESN’T exist?! 🙂
Turns out there’s several posts I have been thinking on. Lets start with the first. It starts with:
Where am I?
Well, I feel like I’ve spent the last year (believe it or not!) consciously unplugging. I did this for several reasons:
Health: My eyeballs, brain started searing! After three-nine years of examining what felt like every corner of the interwebz, I felt like it was time to unplug, explore other things and not be so tethered to the computer. I hope I’ve learned how to still stay “plugged in” without feeling like I’m literally “plugged in”. After some long days of being connected, there were times when I literally felt like I had actual plugs in me- really, I had some sci-fi images of myself being “plugged in” going through my head!! 🙂
Home: I moved to this really cute, sweet little town. It’s a shire, really. And my new house is a wonky hobbit house inside a little secret garden. It’s a bit of a mess (as any hobbit house should be from what I’ve read) but I’m loving being here. The town is filled with friendly hobbits and quirky folks and there’s a story around every corner. I love it.
Happiness: I really, deeply and thoroughly thought about what Kinderchat is doing, where it’s going and what purpose we are serving. Aside from our Goals, part of that answer is “I have no idea and that’s the whole idea!” 🙂 Truly, YOU decide where it’s going. So, after FOUR YEARS! 🙂 Here are my thoughts:
- It’s still fun. Really fun. Maybe even more fun. Turning FOUR hasn’t made us stuffy or puffed up. We are still celebrating, still laughing, learning and still having a BALL! The Pub Crawl through Canada, England and France, the Fall Festival Scavenger Hunt, The Dead Person’s Dinner Party and the 10 Course Awards Banquet STILL have me smiling.
- I am convinced we are THE BEST CHAT ON THE INTERNET. I BELIEVE THAT 100%. As some of you may or may not know, we started AS A REACTION to other chats. We are not a “grade level chat” vs a KINDER chat, a nicer chat. (Did you know all of the grade level chats started after we started bc they mistakenly thought we were about a grade level?) I know we will never live the grade level stereotype down, but our idea is FUNDAMENTALLY different than many of the other chats. And oh yes, to be sure there are several secret sauces folks. 🙂
- The Kinderchat Rainbow Moderator System (TM): It works great. When you start digging deeper, it’s simply a cooperative learning system. But actually networked learning is a whole gigantic and exciting field I’ve seriously enjoyed digging into more this year. Mostly, I love seeing teachers of young children lead and shape global conversations around their practice. Really, it’s a remarkable thing and each person brings their unique voice and perspective to the conversation each week.
- Regarding networked learning, some folks I’ve learned from this year: The team over at Connected Educators Month, Jamie Cloud at the Cloud Institute and I’m still thinking about Howard Rheingold and here’s a great paper I keep coming back to.
Relationships: I am proud to have a genuine friendship and working relationship with folks on Kinderchat. Just when you think “teaching is stupid!” (yes, I’ve thought that before! :)) Along comes someone with something brilliant to make you laugh. Like mud. I remember one time this year I was dragging after school and I was up to moderate Europe time chat. I was. dead. tired. It’s right after school for me on Mondays so it’s not easy! But then who comes along but some French teachers talking about worms and I thought, ‘I love these people.”
And can you believe it’s been TWO YEARS since starting the Europe time chat? I had NO IDEA it would be:
a) this hard
b) this fun
c) this much of a learning curve and
d) this much friendship. Really, North American Kinderchat-ters, I can’t tell you how lonely it was at first- here we all had this jovial, happy, chatty group and then to go out into the wide world and find others- well- it was hard- until I found Nicola or she found me. And she has opened the doors to all of these amazing educators in England. I’m hoping we can get more from other countries, but I’m so proud that we have built a successful chat in TWO TIME ZONES.
And one more regarding Amy aka Miss Night– she makes making this whole thing f-u-n. Everytime.
Cheers dear readers, I’m just getting back up in the ol’ blogging saddle. Thanks for sticking around.