Do You Know What Today Is?

Birthday CakeIt is huffenglish.com’s 8th birthday! To make it even more special, I’m celebrating by writing this post in the Blogger’s Cafe at ISTE!

Of course, a cursory glance at my content for the last year or so reveals very little actual blogging.

Why is that? Well, I moved 1,000 miles away and started a new job. I now work at Worcester Academy, and this summer I begin my second year as their Technology Integration Specialist. I can’t think of a more wonderful place to work. They value my professional development enough to send me to the premier educational technology conference in the world, and I work with some truly amazing educators.

I have been really dissatisfied with the quiet on this blog. Even though I made some major changes in my professional and personal life over the last year, and I gave myself permission to let the blog go for a while, I have always maintained that people make time for things they consider important. People used to ask me how I had time to blog, tweet, etc. You know, all the social media. I said I made time to do it because it was important to me. And it is still important to me, but clearly not as important as some other things going on. I am announcing today that blogging has once again moved to my front burner, and if it’s not on the very front burner, at least it’s on the stove again. It’s been relegated to the recesses of the freezer as I tried to acclimate to my new home and job, but because blogging is important to me, I’ll be making time for it again.

Why is blogging important to me? It allows me to reflect on what I’m thinking and learning. Sure, I can do that offline in any one of a variety of note-taking apps I use or even with a pen and notebook, but the kind of thinking and reflection I do here on this blog transformed me as a teacher. Eight years ago, when I started this blog, I was an English teacher, and I had no idea technology integration specialists even existed, much less did I dream of ever being one. I assumed I would spend the rest of my career as an English teacher in Georgia. I am still teaching one English class, by the way, but who could have imagined I would be helping teachers integrate technology in Massachusetts? I didn’t even like technology when I started teaching, and I certainly didn’t think I was any good with it. Now I teach others how to use it in their lessons. Is that crazy?

You really never know what trajectory your career is going to take, and it is smart to make connections with really smart educators online and off, to participate in chats with other teachers when you can, and to tap all those great resources online and in your community. You just never know where your life will take you, and even if you plan it, opportunities will arise that you never foresaw, and doors will close where you expected them to be open.

I am the happiest I have ever been in my life right now, and a lot of that happiness has to do with my professional satisfaction. But only a few years ago, I felt like I was at a professional nadir, and my dissatisfaction at work made it hard to enjoy everything else. It is really true that if you find something you love to do, you really don’t ever work again.

Here is hoping you can find what makes you happy, too.

Happy birthday, huffenglish.com. To many more years of blogging! (And I mean real blogging.) Cheers!

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7 thoughts on “Do You Know What Today Is?

  1. Congratulations on your blog's anniversary and your successful year in your new position! I'm glad to hear that you're feeling a resurgence of blogging initiative. I hope it will inspire me to write…on my teaching website that wasn't even accessible for months until just the other day. :(

    • I think we have to give ourselves permission to dip out. Sure, I fret about the fact that I sat idle too long and lost an audience, but if it wasn't valuable to me, I wouldn't pick it back up again. Just keep plugging away and doing what you can.

  2. Some thoughts:

    1. Happy blog birthday–two days late.

    2. I wanted to attend ISTE and was even invited to a technology blogging discussion, which you probably we're invited to also. At least I got to follow your fun on fb! Maybe next year.

    3. I've been having this very job discussion w/ my husband, who is on the cusp of retiring. Do I stay here another six years and then move? Would it be better to move when my geezer love retires so we are in a more appealing local, etc. You know some of my silent thoughts.

    4. Glad you have your blogging mojo back!

    • Hmm. Didn't get an invite to that discussion, but it's fine. I still came away from the conference with some blogging ideas. By the way, ISTE is in my former home city of Atlanta next year, and we are already talking about going.

  3. It is so great to hear your voice again! You are one of the first educator I followed when I entered the blogging world. I look forward to hearing more about for Ed tech career, as I hope to take a similar path. Keep writing :)

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