It’s been a while since I have written in this space. That wasn’t the plan, it just happened and as it did, it was harder and harder to get back here. Writer’s block? Laziness? Pride? I’m not sure what got in the way, but allow me to briefly get you caught up with the past few months…
We continue to work hard on the house we bought almost a year ago.
The kids are swimming, dancing, playing instruments, and playing sports (and this and this).
My school won a massive competitive grant which requires us to redesign everything this fall.
My wife’s company is in the midst of a major acquisition which means she is on the road more than in the past.
I’ve been using my free time to explore my passion for photography. (or like this)
All of this has resulted in a too busy schedule for our family and has meant that my time here and in other online spaces has been compromised. I say too busy fully acknowledging that this is not really a problem. Truth is, I would not want it any other way and I am by no means complaining. I feel incredibly blessed to be too busy.
But when this email arrived in early October, it served as a great reminder as to how important this space has been for me:
Congratulations! You have been nominated for the Susan Janosz Technology Impact Award presented by New Hampshire Society for Technology in Education (NHSTE).
A colleague of mine, without my knowledge, nominated me for this award and wrote the following for consideration by the committee:
I’m not sure if Tony’s more known for being an introvert, administrator, blogger, Tweeter or photographer. Tony is really good at a lot of things! My favorite aspect of Tony is that he trusts the process in both his professional and personal life, and is transparently reflective about his process…Tony has been the most influential and inspirational leader I have ever worked for, which is why I keep following him.
It’s often said that the rewards of teaching come much later in life, well after your students have moved on and in the places you least expect it. Like the time I was walking through Lowe’s and a former student of mine stopped me to say “hi” and tell me how she remembered my class in particular. Or the parent who stopped me at a hockey rink and told me how she still remembered the end of the year slide show I would do for the kids. Or the man who now works at Staples (and looks totally different) who remembers when we used Palm Pilots and heart rate monitors to study the cardiovascular system. Those quick conversations, as clandestine as they were, validated the long nights, early mornings, and hard fights we had to do what we thought was right in the classroom.
When I got the email nominating me for the Janosz Award, it was similarly validating for me. It validated the path that connective technologies have led me on since July 2009. The path that led me to connect with incredible educators all around the world. The path that led me to many conferences and the many friendships along the way. While life is happening, and will continue to happen, the nomination process provided a much need reminder for me of how important it is to make and maintain meaningful relationships along the way and to live up to the words in my colleague’s nomination and return to being transparently reflective in my leadership. Frankly, I think I do my job better when I am.
This November 6th email from the Chair of the awards committee was just icing on the cake:
… congratulations on winning the 2013 Susan Janosz Technology Impact Award! I’m so excited for you!
On December 4th I will receive the award at the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference, but in reality I’ve already won. Having the opportunity to do the work that I love, with people I have the utmost respect for, and being able to connect with so many others in this community, has provided me with more rewards than I could have ever imagined. And now, with this wonderful reminder from my colleague, I am ready to be transparently reflective again.