Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Waiting for the Storm   2 comments

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to Dance in the rain.”

I recently got this quote via a great Twitter friend from VanMeter, IA @shannonmmiller

She was given the quote by someone and she passed it along via a TWITPIC.  So 1st off I would like to thank @shannonmmiller for sharing because I was immediately struck by this quote.  It reminds me of so much I feel is so important;  a person’s attitude, a teacher’s attitude, and an administrator’s attitude.  In fact, this includes anyone in the school system, the lunch ladies, the custodians, the secretary, and anyone else I’m forgetting.

So often times in my young career in education (I’ve been in the game for 13 years now) I have come across so many teachers and administrators who bring me down because of their attitudes!  Their negativity is toxic!  Like a cancer in the teacher’s lounge.  I cannot understand how so many people get teaching jobs, and keep them?!?!  I cannot understand how some administrators don’t know what a thumb drive is?!?!  and worse yet they refuse to learn.  Some people have the worst attitude day in and day out and I find this very sad!  I have a hard time understanding why they have to be like that and why they come to work then.  I am a firm believer that if you are not happy doing what you are doing, then DO SOMETHING ELSE!!

I wish I could share this quote with everyone and they would actually adhere to it!  but then again, my dad always said “your such a dreamer kid”.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to Dance in the rain.”

Posted April 20, 2011 by brentcatlett in Education

$700 Honda   4 comments

"The Racecar . . ."

Picture me rollin’ in this bad boy out of some parking lot where my wife and I had met this gal at a pizza joint via Craigslist on a nice Sunday evening to see about buying this car.  She was listed at $900 on CL.  I was out to buy something for less than $1000 for my new job of Instructional Technology Trainer for my district because I was going to be traveling all around the district from school to school and my BIG HEMI full size Dodge Ram 1500 wasn’t going to cut it with the way gas prices are!  I needed a little gas saver car.

So our journey led us to this Honda.  1993 Accord.  This “RACECAR” as I affectionately like to call her now.  That’s right, it’s a she.  She is somethin’ else.  When I test drove it the 1st time it had no muffler and sounded like a stock car so that is where her nickname came from.  In fact, my wife wouldn’t even get out of our other car to test drive it with me and I remember her laughing at me as I drove off in it.

So the test drive went well.  It rattled, it creaked, it leaked oil, there was rust all over it,  it had 253,000 miles on it, and it roared like a stockcar!  So I bought it!  I offered them $700 and they took it.  I bought it that evening and drove it home.  That was in July.  My new job started in August with the new school year.  I needed something and I needed it quick!

Now here is where my story gets better!  So a couple months into the job I was heading from one school to another and I decided to stop at a gas station to grab a pop and snack.  I pull up in front  and park in one of the stalls.  I go in and get my pop and snack.  As I am in line to pay in walks a gal dressed very sharply.  She walks in and grabs a drink out of the cooler and gets in line behind me.  I walk out and she isn’t far behind.  I walk around my $700 Honda and open the door to get in.  She walks around her HUMMER H2 parked next to me and gets in.  I fire up the RACECAR and back up and drive off.

I remember thinking, “now this is funny”.

Why is it that people feel the need to fill their lives with material things?  I had to laugh that day as I drove away in my $700 1993 Honda and she drove off in her very expensive Hummer H2.  Do you think she judged me when she saw my car?  Would you judge me for my car?  I remember thinking what a GAS HOG that vehicle must be?  Why not buy the ridiculous Hummer H2 that epitomizes the overspending and gluttony of our society.

I drive my RACECAR with Pride.  I don’t need a brand new Hummer H2 to feel like I’m important or worthy of looks.  People are so messed up in what is important to them.  I am not by any means singling this one gal out individually, but moreover I am questioning all of us, myself included.  As I reflect on what is important to me it has become more and more simple as I have grown to my current 35th year of life.

It’s family, it’s my son, it’s my daughter, it’s my wife, it’s my future baby coming in October, it’s my parents, brother, sister, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and cousins.  It’s all them, it’s not the material things I have or accumulate.  It’s the relationships with those people and the people I come in contact with.

Simple as that.  Maybe you should by a RACECAR!?!?!

Posted April 10, 2011 by brentcatlett in Education, Parenting

EdcampOmaha!!   3 comments

This past Saturday (March 26, 2011) I attended EDCAMPOMAHA at UNO in the Alumni Center!  One of the things about edcamp is that it is FREE!!  So that was fabulous, my district didn’t have to pay a dime for me to attend and neither did I.  Although, like my Twitter friend @Matt_Gomez from Plano, TX who was in attendance, after we attended the 1st session called, “APP MANIA” together we were both about to spend $15 on featured Apps for our iPads!

Ok, so EdCampOmaha was organized by my other Twitter friend @j_allen!  Many other great Twitter friends attended the edcamp and many different states were represented at the camp!  I was immediately blown away by the whole thing!  I was so excited to meet some of my Twitter friends in person so I attended the Tweet-up on Friday night and had a chance to meet some and then of course on Saturday at the conference.

I am still wrestling with whether or not this was the best conference I ever attended.  The environment was immediately laid-back and I could tell I was in a different place that I was going to enjoy.  There were no vendors, no team of people walking around in the same colored shirts.  I’ve always attended NETA and will again this year.  NETA is a whole nother beast.  To truly understand EdCampOmaha one must have been there.  My PLN grew exponentially and I had the chance to meet, collaborate, and learn from so many AMAZING educators from the Midwest.

Here are some Twitter friends I had the pleasure of meeting and sharing and learning with:  @shannonmmiller @michellek107 @BarbInNebraska @mrbadura @mhuskerfan @mrmanteacher @bgoeman @mattiejg @jerrodkruse @lfeld52 @russgoerend @teresa_casart @afitzgerald @kylepace @johnccarver @smileyomahan @usamimi74 @Mrskmpeters to name a few. . .

EdCampOmaha was so cool because people could present if they wanted to, or they could hang back and listen and learn.  Either way you were bound to collaborate and engage in conversations with other passionate educators that was sure to have you thinking and taking notes to bring back to your home district and school.  Is was very cool!  Very Fun!  And very rewarding!  So glad I attended!  Thank you Josh Allen.  Great job!!

Posted March 27, 2011 by brentcatlett in Education, Social Media, Technology

Twitter? Should we use it?   1 comment

I would like to pose the question of Twitter?  Should we use it?

My answer is we should all be using TWITTER!!

Quick background, I am fairly new to twitter.  I used to think of it as Celebrities using it to promote themselves and posting ridiculous things about where they were and what they were doing.  I never realized the power of connecting with fellow educators and establishing a PLN!

Currently, I am an Instructional Technology Trainer for a Public School District in Nebraska and in my district TWITTER.COM is BLOCKED!  My fellow colleague @techiefeldie and I decided after embarking into the Twitter world (that she showed me upon learning at ISTE) and realizing the power of it that we had to bring it to the teachers of our district.  So we put together a plan to have an on-line class so they could do it from home.

With wonderful support from our Superintendent and boss we launched the class to 40 teachers at the beginning of March.  As class has continued this month we have been excited to see the interaction and collaboration with these 40 people and all I can think about is why don’t all of the teachers of our district use Twitter!?!?!

In my dream world, every teacher, principal, main office employee, and anyone else in between would have a Twitter account.  The true collaboration that could take place would be instantaneous and connecting.  A 4th grade teacher could throw a question out there and immediately have feedback from all over the district.  Principal’s could poll teachers quickly and easily, or they could disseminate information to their staff.

Imagine the possibilities.  A truely connected and collaborative environment in a district via Twitter.  I could go on and on about the endless uses of Twitter in my district.

then my man Nelly sings . . .  “I realized it was only JUST A DREAM”. . . . .

maybe my dream could come true

Posted March 17, 2011 by brentcatlett in Education, Technology, Web 2.0

Isn’t she Beautiful?   1 comment

 

White or Black?

 

Ok, ipad2 is coming 3-11-11!!  She sure is beautiful!!  Yesterday Steve Jobs came out and spoke at a kickoff media event extravaganza!  Twitter land was swarmed with #apple and all my Twitter friends were a buzz.  As a user of the original ipad (thanks to my fabulous job & district) I couldn’t help but think how cool the new ipad2 will be because of its new capabilities.  Furthermore, as a father of a 4 1/2 yr old and an 8 month old I was thinking how the ipad has already affected my home and watching my young son navigate it like “it ain’t no thang but a chicken wing” I am constantly torn with the idea of what the future holds for kids in school with technology and particularly my young children.

I wonder what would happen if my Twitter friend @Matt_Gomez down in Texas was given a class set of ipad2’s to use with his Kindergarten students?  How awesome would that be?  All I can say is I would want my son in his class come next year when he starts Kindergarten.  I guarantee you @Matt_Gomez would move mountains if given the keys!  Can you imagine?

So perhaps the question “Isn’t she Beautiful?” should really be “Should I get White or Black?”.

Posted March 3, 2011 by brentcatlett in Education, Technology, Web 2.0

Changing Email   Leave a comment

Hello Family, Friends, and Colleagues.

After some careful consideration, and long nights of thought I have decided to RETIRE “thecat@teacher.com” email. Not because
I am no longer a “teacher” or something crazy, but because it’s time. Yes, this email has followed me from my days at Creighton and was
my very 1st email, so this break-up hasn’t been easy for me to pull the plug on. She has treated me well up to this point, but the internet world
is changing and I must keep up and I feel this is the best move for me at this time in order to achieve my goals.

I know how annoying this may be to go in and update your contact list, but nearly half of you on this email I know I have had to update
my contacts for you, so I would surely appreciate the favor back in return as you take moments of your life to point, click, copy, paste, type, and update.

Make no mistake I am totally worth it! jk

I thought it would be nice to actually write you a message here instead of simply just giving you the email because some of you
have done that to me. So I hope all is well with you.
Life with me is FABULOUS! I have an AMAZING supportive boss! My colleagues are AWESOME! My family is growing and great! and I continue
to grow as a person, professional, parent, husband, brother, uncle, brother-in-law, coach, son, godfather, son-in-law, and instructional technology teacher.

I hope to hear from you soon on my new EMAIL!!

So without further ado, here is my new email that I would love for you to send me some love on:

brent.catlett1@gmail.com

P.S. I hope you receive this because I have had nothing but trouble with this email system the past week.

P.S.S. Are you on Twitter? Follow me if you are @catlett1

P.S.S.S Most of this email was designed to be funny, so hopefully you chuckled at least

(adios “thecat@teacher.com” . . . it’s been real)

off to google and the GMAIL world . . . .

Posted February 24, 2011 by brentcatlett in Education, Technology

Twitter   1 comment

By: TwitterButtons.com
By TwitterButtons.com

Posted February 22, 2011 by brentcatlett in Education, Parenting, Technology, Web 2.0