#Resilient and #Successful

She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.

Elizabeth Edwards


At the beginning of 2018, I wrote about my #OneWord for the year. I chose #resilient as my word. I chose resilient because 2017 was a tough one for me personally, and I felt that my personal life was affecting my professional life. No, I did not lose my job or anything like that, but the things that happened outside of the office didn’t distract me so much as they frustrated me because I did not feel that I had control of my life. Too much was going on, and I did not want to wallow in a pool of self pity nor did I not want to achieve the goals I had set for myself professionally. I was made of stronger stuff than that. I come from ‘good people’ as we like to say in Georgia. So I decided that I would take a look at what happened in 2017 and move beyond it in 2018.

Now that I am just hours away from beginning 2019, I can say that my #OneWord was a very good choice. I was resilient. Things happened. I dealt with them and moved on. Most of the time. I am not perfect, so I am not going to pretend that I handled all situations in the best possible manner. Not always, but I did eventually move on. I recovered from my gallbladder surgery. Having it out meant a change in my diet, but I feel much better than I have in years, and I don’t necessarily miss the things I can no longer eat. My family suffered the loss of my mother’s last sibling in October. My Aunt was only 57 when she succumbed breast cancer. Losing her was hard for many reasons. She was only seven years older than I am. She was my mother’s last sibling. She was my fellow softball coach, Girl Scout Troop Leader, and travel companion. When I first graduated from college, we spent a lot of time together. I didn’t have a job, and she was always up for going somewhere or doing something. I lived with her and her daughter briefly after I finished graduate school and began my teaching career. There are days that I still can’t believe she is gone.

The young man who came to live with me in 2017 for 235 days went home. When he left, I believed that I had seen the last of him. Thankfully, he is once again part of my life. His mother lets him call, come over, and continue to participate in Cub Scouts every week. I am still waiting for my forever child. The little one tells me that he will be around to play with my child and has already made plans to go to Disney World with us once the adoption is finalized. I never would have believed such a thing this time last year. However, I promised myself that I would let things happen according to God’s will, and this appears to be His will.

My work projects for 2018 are being carried over to 2019. The mobile STEAM bus I mentioned previously is still in progress. It should be on the road in the next month or so. I can’t wait to see our students in our district actively engaged in learning. The bus will be the culmination of a seventeen year dream to have something that honors the memory of my mother. She devoted herself to a life of service for the children in whatever community we happened to be in at the time. Unfortunately, she lost a battle with cancer in 2001. I want to continue her legacy, and this bus is just part of a bigger plan. My first solo book will be out sometime this year. I am blessed to be part of the EduMatch Publishing family. I say first because it is my intention to write many books. There is an English teacher still inside me who longs to get words on paper and books in the hands of students.

Looking ahead…

  1. Turning 50 this year is a big deal for me. I have a plan to see all 50 States before the end of the calendar year. There are only 8 left on my list. Not sure how to make it happen, but since I have a degree in planning, I’m sure I can figure it out.
  2. #BringingBubbaHome is still at the forefront of all I do. I want to be a mother and will continue with my plans to adopt a child from foster care. My village is praying for me, and my caseworker is taking great care to make sure the right child ends up in my home. I look forward to the day I can be a mom and everything that comes with it.
  3. My book. It’s being worked on, and I am excited to see the finished product. This will be a dream come true for many reasons. I have a story to tell, and I also want to start and/or continue a conversation about educating children of color. I have a voice, a story, and an obligation to share both with the world.
  4. ISTE 2019. The conference is returning to Philadelphia which is exciting to me for a few reasons. ISTE 2015 was the first BIG edtech conference in which I was a presenter. I got out of my comfort zone and connected with educators from around the world. This year’s conference will mean that I have begun my term as the ISTE Edtech Coaches Professional Learning Network President. At the conclusion of the conference, I will spend the next year working with a phenomenal group of edtech coaches on the leadership team as well as the thousands of educators from around the world. I have learned so much from these educators and can’t wait to continue the work that has been happening for many years.
  5. #FaginatorTech will continue to be who I am on a daily basis. I have a job that I love as an instructional technology coach. I get to work with the hardest working teachers who provide love, guidance, and so many opportunities for the students in our district. There are so many things that I want to learn more about, so of course, I am making my list of new tech tools to learn for the year. I have to stay on top of my game. I’m okay with that. I am a lifelong learner and do not plan on stopping the learning anytime soon.
  6. The Unknown. Other things may come up. Who knows. I am a Girl Scout and a Boy Scout. I know how to ‘Be Prepared’. Whatever comes my way in 2019, I will be #Intentional about it. I will love, speak, and live with intention.

Until next time…



“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou

241370_10150597038840570_1955179_oMy mother would have been 68 today.  I say would have because she lost her battle with metastatic vaginal melanoma thirteen years ago.  Before her diagnosis, she worked in our local school system as a kindergarten para-professional.  She did other things as well.  She founded a mentoring program at her elementary school, the Men and Women of Orrs.  It started out as a way to get positive male role models for some of the boys at the school and grew into a program that served both boys and girls and as a result, the students were able to spend quality one on one time with adults. My mother was able to get sponsors for the program, organize field trips, and was featured in an ad in People magazine. She was a Girl Scout leader, a Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader, a room mother, PTA officer, band parent, and an Army wife. I really can’t put into words all of what she did because she did so much.  She did everything that needed to be done, and she did it with passion.  She baked, sewed, worked outside of the home, and managed to move our family each time the Army said move. Unfortunately, the cancer diagnosis robbed her and us.  Once she was told her cancer was terminal (she was given six months to live), she gave up.  I’m not judging because I don’t know what I would do in that situation.  I suppose she really didn’t give up.  She was given six months to live.  She held the cancer off for eighteen months.

I speak of my mother today because it’s her birthday, and because I want to honor her memory.  I think she knew I wanted to be a teacher; however, she passed away three years before I started teaching.  I think she would be happy with the teacher I became. As I make more of a concerted effort to blog, I have been trying to get focused on my not-so-new anymore job.  I came across an idea last week that really struck a chord with me.  I have been making resolutions for a long time, and I have been not keeping resolutions for even longer. While looking at Twitter, I noticed the hashtag #OneWord.  I did some reading and realized that I didn’t need to make resolutions for this year.  Why set myself up for failure?  There are a lots of things I need to do.  I know it so why make a list.  I needed to find my #OneWord for the year, and let that word drive everything I do.  Because I have been thinking of my mom and all that she did, it came to me that my #OneWord is #passion. She did everything with passion, and it served her well.  I can do the same.

For 2015, I will let passion be my guide.  

As an instructional technology coach, I will approach my job with passion.  The teachers in my district deserve my very best. If I give them my best, they will be better equipped to share our district technology initiatives with our students.  We are here for the students.

As a daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, I will approach my life with passion.  I owe it to myself, my family, and friends. Life is short. There is a great big world outside of my home. Living a life with passion means I will love, laugh, and most important, LIVE. I will go, do, see, explore, and learn.

Happy Birthday, Mom.  You lived your life with passion.  For you, I will do the same.