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Learning, Leadership, and a Birthday

It's been a full year since my first blog post!

As I was trying to think of what I wanted to write for this birthday post, I wondered what I had really learned in this space over the past year. Sure, I've learned some "techy" things, such as how to start this blog, insert gadgets, and some minor HTML code. I even learned how to change the template for this blog (hope you like it!) And while I never thought I might say this - I enjoy that kind of learning. I've turned into a techno-geek wannabe.

Here are some other things I think I've learned:

  • I've learned that if you build it, they don't necessarily come. At least not right away.

  • I've learned to appreciate other bloggers. Those who write technical, how-to posts, and those who write posts that challenge my thinking.

  • I've learned that some educators are determined to ride out the rest of their educational career without learning about "that tech stuff." But on the flip side, I've met more teachers who really want to learn. They're the ones I think of when I write many of my blog posts.

  • I've learned that not many FCCLA or family and consumer sciences leaders talk about or use technology. Leadership by example? We're trying to do that with the Digital Stories for Change STAR Event and the Digital Media Camp. But more is needed.
  • I've learned about the power of social networks and that educators of all kinds are willing to help without asking for much in return. (I knew that before, but I think I had kind of lost my faith in that until I met so many great people through my learning network on Twitter.)

  • I've learned that digital citizenship and global collaboration aren't just catchy phrases. They're reality for us all. Who's ready?

  • I've learned the "so what?" test. Cool, that's a new tool - so what? What does it do for my learning, student learning, teaching style, etc. Can we use that tool for critical or creative thinking? Should we? A worksheet on a computer can be just as bad as a worksheet on paper. (That goes for lots of other things as well).

  • I've learned (actually just solidified my belief) that the family and consumer sciences field is needed more than ever. Are we ready for that? Are we taking the time to really look beyond our own classroom or office walls to make this happen? As my colleague Cheryl so aptly stated "are you obsolete?"
  • I've learned that learning and leading takes time. Being overwhelmed does not lead to exemplary thinking and practice. I'm still working on my to-do lists and time management - that's a work in progress.

And the one thing that is most important to me right now -

I'm not done learning - not by a long shot.

I don't know what I don't know.

I'm excited to see what I'll learn next.

I hope you'll join in the learning here by not only reading posts, but by commenting on them, too. Sure, it's a risk to put your thoughts out there for the world to see. But your comments will help make this a better blog.

During the past year, there were over 2600 visitors to this blog from 28 countries. That is really amazing to me. And with that, happy birthday to the Missouri FCCLA Blog!


  1. Congrats and I hope you have another full year. I just added ya to my RSS.

  2. Happy Birthday.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your delightful and meaningful reflections on the past year.

    Just today so many things reminded me how much the world is changing. MIT has all its courses on iTunesU, stockyard (and car) auctions are being replaced by video auctions of cars and cattle, Twitter is reducing the demands on and need for call centers, kids can now make movies and post them on YouTube with an iPhone in less than 3 minutes, Twitter is threatening the traditional journalists job (see Ellen Goodman's column for today:, print newspapers will not last another 5 years, books are moving to or the Kindle, and on and on and on. Good luck in your efforts to bring FCCLA into 21st centurey!

  3. Love your attitude toward technology in FACS. It's a refreshing approach. We at Realityworks are trying to provide easy-to-use technology that helps instructors teach valuable life lessons. Bravo to you!

  4. Thanks so much for the kind comments. I hope to learn even more and help others learn in the coming year!

  5. Happy Blog Birthday! I love the way you described your journey and the things you still want to learn. I've added your RSS feed. Thanks for blogging about what you do.