Monday, December 23, 2013

Tagged By Jill 'The Thrill' Thompson

I met Jill Thompson this past summer at ASCD's Leader to Leader Institute in Virginia. Jill was an Emerging Leader, identified by ASCD as someone with a strong education skill set, with a passion to channel it for what's best for kids. Me, I was a newbie, a neophyte. I didn't know anyone but my NJ Edubrethren, recently having joined NJASCD, attending a few State Executive Board meetings, and going to a few events. As I tried to get my bearings in a new environment where I was a big fish in a school of MUCH bigger fish, I met Jill. She was kind, helpful, and made me feel at ease. Probably what she does when working with teachers and students daily, and just one of many reasons she represents what ASCD stands for.

With that being said, it was an honor to be tagged by Jill for this meme. Not so much for the fact that she thought of me as one of eleven to learn more about, but because I'm interesting enough to her that she reads my blog. So, Jill, and the people I will tag in this post, here are 11 random facts about me you may not know:

1. I really appreciate the opportunities to talk to people in the education field and hear their points of view. I like knowing what they do, what their background is, and what their experience has been like in education (from being a student who sat at a desk to one who is in the front of the room). These experiences root our approach and interpretation of our pedagogy, and I like knowing what motivates people.

2. I learned a lot from Harvey Silver at a presentation he gave. I reference this PD at least once a week, somehow. He was entertaining, engaging, and his presentation was something I was able to turnkey in my classroom the next day. Of course, I lesson planned for it later.

3. I've done Weight Watchers three separate times. One of these days, it will click.

4. On the flip side, I trained for a powerlifting competition while in college. I trimmed down to 5% body fat, 155ish pounds, and tore abdominal muscles. I think I'd rather be chubby.

5. Rutgers was my dream college of choice coming out of high school. When I applied to the New Brunswick campus, not only did they reject me there, but they passed on my application to the Newark campus (without me asking), but then rejected me there, too. Good times!

6. I love to read. I read every night before bed, and cannot go to sleep until I have read something, no matter how tired I am. It was something cultivated in me from an early age by my third grade teacher, who was also my fourth and fifth grade teacher. I kept going, she kept looping. Every Friday we read for an hour independently. There was no formative or summative assessment, it was just read, read, read, and I loved it. @mattrenwick talks about the power of pure independent reading in his blog, and I believe it. Now, how to market it to the powers that be...

7. I find people interesting. I take something away from each person I meet. It may not be a "good" takeaway, but there's always something to learn from someone, if you listen well enough.

8. My wife is NOT into sports. At all. The best line I ever heard her say about baseball was: "I like the Yankees. They have good french fries." Upon many people laughing, her response: "What? Why is that funny?"

9. To piggy back off of that, my wife's explanation of football: "One team has the ball, the other team wants the ball. One guy runs with the ball The other guy runs into him, they crash, and then do it again 3 seconds later." Well, she's not wrong, but I like to think there's more to the game, mainly because it's my favorite seasonal sport.

10. Best thing a student ever told me, that no one ever finds funny but me: when I taught third grade, a student came up to me and said, "Mr. Saide, I eat my boogers. They're really NOT that bad." My response, "Bud, never tell anyone we had this conversation. Do not tell anyone else about this. You will thank me one day."

11. Before I want to ASCD L2L, I hadn't written anything in almost 20 years. I was motivated to write about my L2L experience from my conversations with @alinadavis and @beckcikelly. Now I'm tagging them, and they will need to take a turn. My way of paying forward and saying thanks.

Jill's Eleven Questions for Me:
1. If I could give my younger self some advice, I would tell myself to start being me sooner. Don't worry about what other people think, your own thoughts are challenging enough.

2. If I could go anywhere in the world it would be to Texas. Sounds silly, but everything is supposedly bigger there, and I want to see HOW big that is. I also love BBQ, and I wonder how well we get it here in the tri-state area.

3. I pay it forward everyday somehow. I listen, learn, and leverage others. I enjoy the moments, and I help others to do the same. That's what living is.

4. I haven't lived in too many states: just NJ, PA for college, and VA for an internship.

5. My favorite device is whatever the newest thing I don't own is. Currently any Apple products, especially Mac stuff and iPads.

6. The title of my first book will be: Dudes Can be Maternal: Life Lessons from a Male Elementary School Teacher.

7. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. There's no connotations, no gift exchange, just let's hang out, eat a lot, and watch football. That, and I get to sleep on the couch and it' okay.

8. A goal of 2014 is to get to the gym three times a week, and be consistent with it. I actually like the gym, I just need to get there.

9. My favorite teacher was Mrs. Pace, who taught me in third - fifth grade. She made me think, appreciated all her students, and didn't try to change any of us. She's my first reference on who I want to be.

10. I'm not a reality TV show fan. Actually, I really dislike it, mainly because it's not reality, it's scripted, cut, and by the time it gets on air, it doesn't remotely resemble what happened during the taping. With that precursor having annoyed others, I think I would enjoy being a judge on Chopped. I think I'd be campy about it, and be a caricature of the 'serious judge.'

11. My last meal on earth would be sushi. Eel sushi. A lot of it. With avacodo.

Here is my list of 11 bloggers: (in no order)
1. Michelle Lampien

2. Manan Shah

3. Suzy Brooks

4. Jim Cordery

5. Eric Sheninger

6. Alina Davis

7. Becki Kelly

8. Anthony Fitzpatrick

9. Scott Totten

10. Scott Taylor

11. Michael Parent

My Eleven Questions:
1. What are you currently reading right now?

2. What do you usually eat for breakfast and where do you eat it?

3. Describe one incident of road rage you were involved in.

4. One non-educational dream you have that is recurring.

5. From 1 - 5, one being least, five being most, how much of a fan of The Walking Dead are you?

6. What was one conversation you had that changed you?

7. What was one time you helped someone, but it will never be recognized?

8. Name one disturbing thing you saw in person.

9. Does your significant other tell you to order a different meal when going out to eat if you both want the same thing? (or is it just me?)

10. Favorite dive bar where it feels like everyone knows your name.

11. Something someone once said that blew your mind. (think inconceivable!)

Thanks for reading and asking me to do this Jill, it was a pleasure. To those I nominated, I enjoy interacting with you and reading your tweets and/or blogs. You inspire me daily to be better than I currently am. Keep fighting the good fight, and love like no one's ever felt.