Blog Post #100

Wow! This is Number 100!

I started this journey of writing about my classes and my own learning in a digital world two years ago. I think if I had known that there were going to be 100 posts to follow and then more beyond that, I might have been to intimidated to start, but like most challenges, it was mastered one single step, one blog post, at a time.  Each one has not been too much to do, and so I have stuck with it, thinking about my students and their lives and my teaching with it strengths and weaknesses. I am grateful to all of the people who have read what I have written and especially to those who have left comments.  It has been a wonderful conversation and has caused me to not only reflect on my practice but to push it to be the best that it can be.

I have found that writing this has linked me to a global network of educators, educators who are passionate and dedicated. Teachers do not have to blog to be dedicated, but I have found that the ones who are writing are also regularly pushing themselves to make what happens in their classrooms be the best that it can be.  Every day someone is taking a chance, trying a new strategy to improve the learning in their classroom better and to engage their students more. It isn’t the same person all of the time; it is a community of adventurers. Sort of like a flock of Canadian geese, each of us taking a turn at the front, breaking the wind and leading the way, then moving back to be one of the followers. We are all moving, all trying; sometimes it is groundbreaking and sometimes it is merely staying true to the vision and moving forward.Writing this blog reminds me that I am part of that community, that I am not alone in these endeavors. Reading other educators blogs does the same thing. I learn from them, and I share with them.

I have tried to share both my successes and moments of wonder as well as the challenges and moments of defeat, the problems for which I can’t find a solution or the days when the lessons just go all wrong. That is the life of a teacher. We never have full control over what happens in our classrooms. Students enter with all of their own energy and needs, plus the impact of the earlier parts of their day. They may have had success or been in a fight with a best friend. Whatever has happened to them comes in to meet the lesson that we have planned. It is our job to orchestrate it as well as we can, giving attention to each student as much as we can, and creating a learning environment for them all at the same time.

It is all a journey, one of wonder and laughter, one of discouragement and pain. I am grateful for the push to reflect on what I am doing that writing this blog has given me. It forces me to think about what I have done and what I am doing with a keener eye. It is definitely a milestone to have reached 100. I am looking forward to sharing the next 100 with you!

11 responses to “Blog Post #100

  1. Hads- thanks for this and thanks for the other 99. I will confess that I haven’t read very single one of them as they occasionally come at a moment of frenzy. I have read most of them, and I always learn something or am inspired by something that is said – Thanks -Rog

  2. Mr. Hadley,
    This is Angela Smith and I am currently in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama, and I must say that your 100th blog post was great. I could hear the sincerity as I was reading along and everything you stated was so very true. We never know what a student has faced in the earlier part of the day before coming to our classroom, or how they are feeling on the inside. A teacher, in my opinion, has to not only be prepared to teach the lesson, but to communicate emotionally with their students. I have always believed that understanding and communicating is the key element in any relationship, including between a student and a teacher. I loved the analogy you used when comparing taking a chance at something to the flock of Canadian geese. I will surely keep that in mind! Thank you for publishing such an awesome blog post!

    http://smithangelaedm310.blogspot.com

    • Thank you for your comment. EDM 310 seems like a fabulous class from what I have learned from its students. I love the connections that you are making with educators. It is a great way to learn. Good luck with your work! Hadley

  3. Wow. 100 posts. When I read your posts I want to be better, a better teacher, a better colleague, a better learner and a better person. Thanks for the posts that travel deep into a teacher’s soul. It’s seems that whenever I read your posts, I feel the warmth radiating from the written words. Thanks for sharing what works and what needs some serious attention. Thanks for being so very honest. Please keep writing, I look forward to at least another 100 posts!

  4. Hi Mr. Hadley,
    This is Anna Shartzer and I am currently in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. Congrats on your 100th blog post. It was amazing! Even though we have never met, I can really interpret the sincerity and passion you feel towards education.I completely agree with how educators should be more in-tuned with students emotions throughout the day. Being able to break the emotional barriers that students create is extremely important and could really help improve learning in the classroom. Both of my parents are teachers and I have noticed the importance that they used to break those barriers and build trusted communication and emotionally relate to their students in a professional manner.I think letting students know that teachers care is extremely important and should be implemented in classroom management. Mr. Hadley, I noticed in the beginning of this post, I saw how you mentioned that you were nervous to create the blog. I hope that after these 100 posts you feel nothing but pride and satisfaction. You have allowed educators to improve and have inspired future educators like myself to be just as passionate towards education. I look forward to your next 100 posts.

    Thanks,
    Anna Shartzer

    • Thank you so much, Anna! It is an amazing and endlessly new career. I am trying to share the challenges and the joys here. I am glad you stopped and read some of it.
      Hadley

  5. Hello, I too am a student at the University of South Alabama and I have been assigned to read you blog.
    To start this off, I would first like to say that I really did enjoy reading your 100th post, it was truly enlightening. I don’t know how you are as far as religion goes, but I am aspiring to be a football coach. Why? Because it’s my calling, it’s what I was born to do. To be a guider, a leader, a father, a life coach. To teach them the game of football (and obviously to win some football games ha ha) but the most important reason I am going to be a coach is because of the relationships. I want to see my kids grow up and be successful. With that being said, I am studying to be a Physical Education Teacher (not a physical activities teacher like most schools have these days, but a Physical Education instructor) for many reasons I can’t list in a comment. As I said earlier, I want to be a football coach, but not just any football coach, I want to be one of the world’s best coaches, measured not by games won on the field, but by the success of off-field achievements as well.
    The main reason I am explaining this all to you is because ever since this class started (EDM 310) I have been baffled as to why I (a future PE teacher) need to take this class, and how it is supposed to be helping me. Over the last couple of weeks I have been thinking about these, and similar questions, more and more. While I was reading your 100th post I came to the conclusion that no matter what I think about this class there is always something to learn, always some one to ask questions to, always something new being thought of. Things to make life more convenient and less confusing. I still doubt that my PE class will ever use blogging, but a PLN would be beneficial for my personal use.
    I’m pretty pumped to become a football coach and things are getting on a roll, i’m an equipment manager here at South assisting our new Offensive Coordinator. I’m about to make the transition between my sophomore and junior year and over the summer I will be helping coach at my former high school.
    In closing, do you know if you could send me a few contacts as far as resources I could seek out, like fellow PE teachers or similar type bloggers? Maybe other football coaches or “life coaches?” If I could, i’d really like to get connected with connected to people that write about football, life skills, weight lifting, and such things. I have the drive and will to be the best, but I don’t know where to start. Your help would be very much appreciated 🙂 Perhaps you could even inform me of ways I could better my connections, how to find things, people, and tools. How to incorporate tech into my future career? Any and all of your ideas are more than welcomed 🙂 I hope you are having a wonderful week and I am looking forward to you getting back to me when you get a chance.
    -Travis
    Oh, here is a link to my blog: http://snydertravisedm310.blogspot.com/
    Here is my twitter account: https://twitter.com/#!/TD_Snyda

    What other social networking information would be useful to ask people to contact and keep in touch by? PLN? Symbaloo? Facebook?
    Would you have any suggestions as to what websites I could start using, websites similar to facebook, twitter, blogger, etc.?
    P.S. I noticed some EDM 310 students before me commented and referred to you as “Mr. Hadley” is that your correct title?

    • Travis,
      You are starting with the right attitude, “there is always something to learn, always some one to ask questions to, always something new being thought of.” That is at the heart of being a good educator or coach. I find that the more I seek to learn and grow, the better I am at teaching.

      As far as connecting with other PE educators who are using social media, I would recommend Betty Ann Fish, @bafish10. She is a great PE teacher and deeply committed to connection 21st century learning with physical activity. She and I work together a lot, and I know she is connected to one of the National PE associations. Sorry, I don’t remember which one.

      I use Facebook mostly for personal connections, though the more that I get to know my PLN, the more crossover there is. I use Twitter almost daily to find good articles and blogs to help me learn. @hadleyjf I try to participate in #edchat as often as I can.

      Also, Hadley is my first name, unlike your professor’s. I am actually Ms.Ferguson, though Hadley is fine.

      Good luck and stay in touch! You have great goals for your life!

  6. Also…as the previous students should have let you know, I am required to write a summary of your blog post (Blog Post 100) and a summary of the comment I left you said blog post, in one of my future blog posts. I hope you don’t mind

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