In three days, I have inventoried 1110 chromebooks by hand. Thankfully, there was a scanner and most of the barcodes were read by the scanner. And thankfully, I only had to inventory about 400 by myself. Over 700 of those chromebooks were inventoried in a tag-team effort with our elementary math specialist, Ruth.
She really is dear to me. Ruth will be retiring November 1. I have worked in the same department with her for over a year. She has been teaching longer than I have been alive. While scanning the chromebooks at two of our schools, we talked about life, education, and everything in between. She loves her grandkids. She is looking forward to retirement. She shared stories of when she first started teaching. We both enjoyed meeting the teachers and seeing the students during the inventory process. Being in the schools reminds us why we're doing what we're doing and why we love doing what we're doing.
Let me just tell you that 700 chromebooks plugged in carts with zip ties can wage war on your arms. Ruth and I both have scratches from inventorying the chromebooks. We put our blood, sweat and tears into those fixed assets. I am still applying Neosporin.
As educators, we lose blood, sweat and tears every day on the battlefield of education. It is a battle. Most everything in life is. Some days you advance. Some days you retreat. Many days you might not be able to tell where you stand. Yet you are still standing.
A talk I was listening to described having two methods of attack in strategic planning - an air war and a ground war. For me, twitter is my air war. I can send for help, ask questions, make funny comments, and encourage others via twitter. My ground war is waged by my network of colleagues and coworkers in my city, state and region. I view my role as encouraging other people in this battle as well as equipping them as I can.
For example, in a battle on Wednesday, I was able to discuss a tech problem with three colleagues in an office while simultaneously tweeting with three others in Texas, Idaho, and Pennsylvania for help. Together, via twitter and in person, we were able to solve the problem in ten minutes. That's what being connected means to me - having a network of like-minded people who will fight with me.<br />
This month is Connected Educator Month. Being connected to me is about your allies in battle, whether on the air or on the ground. The end result of our battle is the betterment of learning. Don't ever lose sight of that.
So call in reinforcements. Request assistance. Celebrate victories. Bear those scars proudly. The scars reflect what we've been through, how we've grown and where we've been. And share the war stories. We want to hear them. We must share them. We grow from listening to them and talking through them.
In conclusion, I leave you with one of the four best motivational speeches before a great battle. Here's President Thomas J. Whitmore to fire you up for the battle at hand!