Saturday, January 04, 2014

The Sunshine Award: Bloggers Share

Like a chain letter, the Sunshine Award is spreading over the Internet prompting bloggers to share personal/professional facts and ideas. When I first saw this on the Internet, I wasn't too interested because it seemed like a popularity contest, but now that I've been invited to respond and I've completed the tasks, I have found the task to be wonderful pushing us to interact, think about one another with greater depth, and wonder about what's important to us as we pose questions.

The toughest part of the task was choosing only eleven people to tag as once I got started, I realized I'd like to tag all of my PLN to get to know them better.  Instead, I looked at my latest Twitter "connects" and picked the last people to comment or ask a question.  I look forward to hearing their answers, and reading other's interactions as well as on their own blogs as this connection chain continues.

The Sunshine Award Rules
  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  • List 11 bloggers: they should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate
  • Let those 11 bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

I was tagged by the thoughtful Illinois educator, Dea Conrad-Curry.  Reading Dea's eleven random facts and answers to Fran McVeigh's questions helped me to gain a fuller understanding of Dea's vision and work in education, her dreams, and life events.

Thank you Dea for sharing this award with me!  I've added my facts, answers, tags, and questions below:

Eleven Random Facts
  1. I'm the oldest of six children, four brothers and one sister.
  2. I have fifty-six first cousins.
  3. As a child I spent a lot of time celebrating special events with my big, extended family.
  4. I traveled to Paris and the country of Turkey for my honeymoon, a trip of a lifetime.
  5. I have encouraged my own three children to follow their dreams.
  6. Scrabble is my favorite game.
  7. I met my husband while we worked at a mountain resort during college.
  8. I wish I didn't have to work so hard when I had young children as I would have enjoyed spending more caring, creative time with my children.
  9. I like to draw.
  10. I read the newspaper and watch the news almost every day.
  11. I love the synergy of a class of young children who are all invested in an exciting, meaningful learning endeavor.
Answer's to Dea's Questions:

How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging for about three years.

Have you done other kinds of formalized writing?
Before blogging, the only published writing I did was a chapter for a professor's book about first year teachers. Other than that I wrote daily in journals and for my students. 

When do you do your blog writing?
I typically write first thing in the morning.

How often do you publish a blog post?
I usually publish one post a day, sometimes more. 

How do you increase traffic on your blog?
I publish the link to my blog on Twitter and Google+ after writing.  Then I often link my blog to other posts, comments, and teacher-to-teacher correspondence when helpful.

Do you care if you have readership on your blog?
I think it's exciting to have readership, and I like the idea of helping others with my ideas and experiences. While I look forward to increasing my readership, my main purpose in writing my blog is to find the best ways to teach well. 

How long does a typical post take you to write?
A typical post takes about 30 minutes to write and publish. 

What is your writing process?
My writing emanates from my questions and needs.  Hence, typically I am mulling over a new idea, requirement, or issue, and when I reach a point where I think my share is valuable, others can help, or that I have a good plan, I write. 

Do you have anyone else read your blog before you hit "Publish"?
I usually only consult others if I feel the post will be controversial or problematic, otherwise I self edit. Once I publish, I often go back into the post and read it with new eyes.  That often leads to a next edit.

What is the most traffic you've had on a single blog post?
My most popular posts have been related to classroom design, the role of a teacher, the new Massachusetts' teacher evaluation system, and the writing process.

Eleven Tags
  1. Dea Conrad-Curry, @doctordea
  2. Sue Dunlop @Dunlop_Sue
  3. Heather Scott @h_sunshine
  4. Cathy Mere @Cathymere
  5. Karyn Saxon @waylandelass
  6. The Radiant Orchard @th_purpl_lady
  7. IamOkema @IamOkema
  8. J.M. Muzi @MuziLearningLab
  9. Frank Watson @FollowBlueFlute
  10. Renee Coates-Smith @coatssmithr
  11. Paul McGuire @mcguirp
  12. Anyone else who would like to respond, please do. 
Eleven Questions (Please "connect" your answers with me @lookforsun via Twitter)
  1. In your professional work, what name, nickname, and/or title do you prefer?
  2. What part of your professional work are you most excited about?
  3. When did you decide to enter or choose the professional work you do?
  4. What is your greatest professional challenge at this time?
  5. If you could change or impact one aspect of our world, what would you change or impact?
  6. Describe one place that you like to visit?
  7. What draws you to a blog post?
  8. What is one skill that you bring to a collaborative group that helps the group succeed?
  9. What is one project, research, or study you are working on now that you're excited about?
  10. Describe one highlight moment in your career.
  11. What is one piece of advice you would give to young professionals starting their careers.