Friday, April 23, 2010

Teachers Who Inspire

As I finish my Masters program this past week from Full Sail University in Education Media Design and Technology, I am now flooded with more free time than I've had in over a year. However, my personality is one of that who likes to stay busy so I've decided I needed something new to spend my time on. Hence my blog - The Art of Possibility for Teachers has begun.

As educators, we always have those fellow colleagues who work with us or who we find online that inspire us. During my years of teaching, I have found many who have helped shape my teaching and continue to do so. I would like to take a moment to pay homage to those teachers. 

When I first began teaching in 2004, Mr. Coley's website was one of the first 5th grade classroom webpages that I came across. It was because of him, that I ended up creating my own website for my class! Not only did he inspire me to do that but he also provided many great ideas such as Roving Reporters, Club Ed and using a classroom economy. Additionally, he uses his website to showcase student work, which I just think is a fabulous idea! Even 6 years later, I find myself cruising back to his site to just refresh or check out his new ideas. Mr. Coley's inspires me still to this day and was one of the leading reasons I wrote my thesis on using technology to improve parent/teacher communication. He is not only an inspirational teacher I'm sure to his students but also to educators everywhere!

Many teachers are aware of this amazing teacher, Mrs. Newingham! Not only does she have a wonderful website, she also is a featured blog writer for Scholastic, Inc. Her ideas are revolutionary and make me wish I was a lucky student in her class. Always willing to share her ideas, she is one teacher I wish could work with to see in action. Whether you are interested in ways to use your classroom library more effectively (check out her page and resources on this!) or you are trying to find a way to make studying the states more interesting for you students, she has you covered! I'll admit - this past week alone, I have purchased the social studies books she uses off of Amazon, the CD from the publishing company and hats galore from Oriental Trading to make my U.S. State tour just as amazing. Not too mention, I'm busy creating travel tickets for my students. All in all - Beth Newingham is beyond inspiring and well worth your time in checking out!

There are so many more teachers out there who inspire me and I could go on and on, however I will discuss just one more. (But of course provide links to all the others). ;-)

Danny Pezzotta - Planet Bravo
Mr. Pezzotta is no longer a classroom teacher but instead has branched out and started his own business on teaching technology to kids. I have been lucky enough to know him since he was hired on to implement formal technology instruction at our school. However, over the past year he has inspired me time and time again to be a better teacher and implement technology in numerous ways in my classroom. Always willing to take the time out of his extremely busy schedule, Mr. Pezzotta has assisted me with numerous projects in the classroom including helping to create a formal excel payroll spreadsheet for my classroom economy and providing tech support for many of my own classroom projects. While he no longer gets to work directly with kids but is more behind the scenes, my own students have been indirectly inspired by him through his brilliance and willing to help me become better at what I do. I highly those that live in the Los Angeles area look into his company and summer programs for kids.

Links to More Inspirational Teachers:

Stay tuned for a new posting on using wikis for Literature Studies...


  1. Welcome to the world of Blogging, Katie. I think you will find it to be a challenging and rewarding experience. Your blog layout is clean and simple which is attractive for readers. Since you're starting a blog, why don't you jump onto the Twitter band wagon as well. The two go very well together. Twitter will provide an outlet to let people know about your blog and will undoubtedly provide inspiration for future blog posts.

    Happy Blogging!

  2. Thanks a bunch for the kind words! Sharing ideas/resources with other teachers is one of the big goals for my site, so I'm thrilled to hear that it has been helpful to you. :) I also agree with the previous post that Twitter is a great opportunity to connect with other educators to help expand your professional learning network. I joined about two years ago and follow teachers who use ed tech. It's been a great place to share some amazing information and resources.

    Brent Coley

  3. Thank you for the comments from you both! :-) I actually am on Twitter, however I'll admit I don't use it daily. But I'm always willing to give things a second chance so I went back and tweeted a bit today. You can find me at Ms_Jensen. :-)


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