I owe so very many people, outside of my school, credit and thanks for inspiring and motivating me to finally begin this blog.
On a global scale, Australian native, Julie Lindsay, Flat Classroom Projects Co-Founder, gave me a chance and opened doors for myself and some of my students that would have not otherwise materialized. With a simple email and a click of the mouse, Julie gave my students and I an opportunity that has quickly turned into a life-long goal to do more and be better. Julie is one of the most positive and more importantly, encouraging people with whom I have crossed paths in this lifetime. I met Julie when she served as Head of Information technology & E-learning at Qatar Academy in Doha, Qatar. Currently, Julie serves as the E-Learning Coordinator at Beijing (BISS) International School, China.
On a national scale, Vicki Davis, Flat Classroom Projects Co-Founder, believed in me and taught me that connecting and communicating in the virtual world can easily turn into face-to-face meetings, collaboration, and most importantly, friendship. Vicki serves as a teacher and IT Director at Westwood Schools in Camilla, Georgia, USA. During a recent conference for which Vicki keynoted, she made time in her busy schedule to schedule time exclusively with me, over coffee, using her new LiveScribe pen, to brainstorm about a brand and name for this blog. This, folks, is what the real stuff is made of… if more people were like Vicki and Julie, the world would surely be a better place. They care. Period.
On a local scale, my neighbor, friend, colleague and fellow coffee connoisseur ,Ann Czeponis of Kindermusik pushes me daily to go above and beyond to make this world a better place for our kids ~ yours and mine. We share a passion and drive to better our world through education. Having someone right next door at all times to bounce ideas off of is priceless. She toiled with me for days and hours about the approach and name of this blog. She celebrates my small victories with me and is always there to pick up the pieces when the road ahead becomes an uphill battle.
On a community scale, a former student about to graduate from Penn State University, Phil Rathosky, has brainstormed with me for hours on a name and focus for this blog. (It should be noted he has recently changed majors from Landscape Architecture to Education Policy and Reform. Yes, I warned him!) He was one of the best Secretaries to ever serve in my school’s Student Council Organization and has an uncanny creative writing ability for an individual of his age and experience level. He is wise beyond his years.
While there are many who motivate and inspire me, first and foremost, this blog is dedicated to my seven-year-old son, Nicholas, because he deserves a better future, folks, and so do your children. Coal Cracker Classroom will serve as a testament of my goals and aspirations as a teacher to make the future just a little better from my tiny corner of the world.