Saturday, June 7, 2014

Passing on the Liebster Award Honor


I just received word that a treasured member of my PLN nominated me (and four other bloggers) for a Liebster Award. This blogger (and teacher/father/author/runner) who nominated me, Greg Armamentos, shared that bloggers give the award to each other to "recognize and promote blogs that inspire and enrich us." I am honored my this nomination as validation of the importance of my voice.

Here are the Liebster Award rules:
A. List 11 Facts about yourself.
B. Answer the 11 questions put forward by whoever nominated you.
C. Ask 11 new questions to 5+ bloggers. They must have less than 200 followers on Bloglovin’ (or their preferred blog site). You cannot re-nominate the blog that nominated you.
D. Go to their blogs and inform them that they have been nominated!

11 Facts about me:
  1. I have been married to my wonderful husband 18 years ago tomorrow (June 8th). Happy anniversary, honey!
  2. I have a 16-year old son who creates fabulous art, just started driving and got his first job at the neighborhood gas station today. My daughter will soon be 13, and is a beautiful dancer.
  3. My first three years of teaching were in the Ysleta District in El Paso, Texas. I loved the weather, the children (1st and 2nd grade), and the beautiful mountains (and sunsets).
  4. My favorite book of all time is still The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, and my favorite movie is Sixteen Candles. I had the biggest crush on Jake!
  5. I am a huge Minnesota Twins fan, and have a life-size poster of Joe Mauer in my classroom (as well as a Joe Mauer doll and Joe Mauer on a stick). He's kind of our class mascot.
  6. I love all kinds of music. Despite the fact that I can't sing in tune, remember the lyrics to almost every song I've ever heard more than a few times (even songs from my favorite decade-the 80s).
  7. If it isn't obvious by my profile picture, I respect and admire teacher/author Kelly Gallagher. He inspires me to be a better teacher of Reading and Writing (English), and is one of the reasons I plan to get my Secondary English license and teach High School English in the near future.
  8. I love to talk! No, seriously, I could talk all day. Once, while driving down to my parents' house in Arkansas, the call dropped and I continued to talk for about 10 miles before I realized there was nobody on the line. My husband usually falls asleep to the sweet sounds of my voice.
  9. I am a reality TV junkie (mainly music shows like The Voice and American Idol). There's something about watching young men and women follow their dreams that gets me every time. I call it my "fluff TV" and watch it to decompress after stressful days. Sometimes it's refreshing not to follow a deep, complicated plot.
  10. I am living in the wrong state. I despise the cold weather of MN (and anywhere north). When I graduated from college, I immediately moved to Texas, claiming it would be a cold day you-know-where before I would ever live in MN again. Who would have known that my now-husband would follow me down there, propose, and drag me back up here to live by our families. (We met in college.) Eighteen years later, I'm still here...
  11. My long-term goal is to move to some quaint little town in a warm state and teach at a local college. The idea of shaping and inspiring a young energetic crop of teachers motivates me. For now, I will continue to hone my craft and gather the wealth of experience needed to feel confident passing it on to others.
The 11 questions asked of me by Greg:
1. Tell us how you were drawn into teaching.
There's nothing else I wanted to do. I know it's cliché, but it's the truth. My older sister and I played school with our younger brother. Funny-she's an administrator now.
2. Tell us about one of the teachers who impacted you as a child.
My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Geistfeld, was also my Future Problem Solving coach. She was such a smart lady who loved challenging her students. Now, 30+ years later, I am a 5th grade teacher and a Future Problem Solving coach, taking my team to the International Competition in Ames, Iowa next week. It's like I have become Mrs. Geistfeld.
3. If you could only read 5 books to your class, which would you choose?

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
Top Ten Ways to Ruin the First Day of School by Ken Derby
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
4. Your greatest accomplishment is…
Being happily married and raising two wonderful children! No matter what else I do in my life, nothing gives me greater pleasure.
5. Most interesting teacher appreciation gift you have received was…
This year, I received a jar filled with sand, water, and seashells. The card accompanying the gift stated, "You're the best teacher in the ocean! But since I can't give you the whole ocean, I'll give you as much as I can." Where others might just see sediment, I see the sentiment!
6. You have been asked to share to at a national teachers conference. You’re discussing…
I'd be discussing real-world writing and deeper reading, as well as the importance of teaching speaking and listening skills. Of course, my co-presenters would be Kelly Gallagher and Erik Palmer (and I'd be wearing an eye patch and bandana).
7. New construction has begun in your town. You hope they are building a new…
Nothing...they are already building a huge housing development around our beautiful library. I miss the wilderness that used to surround this building when my kids and I would bike up the path every week in the summer to check out new books.
8. One biography you’d love to recommend is…
The Ben Carson Story
9. When you were a student, teachers most likely thought you ….
They would have thought I was a model student (because I was). I loved school, homework and reading.
10. Three songs on your iPod to share are…
(oldie but goodie) Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross
Classic by MKTO
Say Something by A Great Big World
11. The question I should have asked you is…
Which careers do you hope your children choose?

My Liebster Nominations:
I am nominating 5 of my blogger friends from the #10summerblogs challenge, which inspired me to start blogging. In the words of one of my daughter's favorite songs from High School Musical, "We're All in This Together."

Here are my 11 questions of these bloggers:
  1. How would you describe your teaching (or leadership) style?
  2. What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self?
  3. What is your favorite quote, and why is it meaningful to you?
  4. Describe one "do-over" you'd like to have.
  5. Who is your favorite sports team?
  6. Which author would you most like to meet, and what is one question you would ask him/her?
  7. Name a book that you could read again and again and discover something new?
  8. What is your guilty pleasure? Why?
  9. Which song do you like to crank up really loud and either sing or dance to it?
  10. What is one career accomplishment you still have?
  11. Name one activity/hobby you do today that you have been doing since you were a child (and you can't say reading). What motivates you to continue?


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