Category Archives: Blogs that Inspire Us

Technology, Education and Human Resource Recommended Blogs

Last week while sitting in an airport, I grabbed a magazine that featured information on Microsoft’s HoloLens. As an educational leader, I was simply blown away with the future classroom applications that could occur once this product’s engineers have worked out all the kinks and the price driven down to make it an affordable tool to use to enhance learning for learners of all ages, in school and in the workforce.

Below are some good reviews to get one acquainted with the product and provides a glimpse of what it can do and why this product is one to watch for making a change in the way we look at teaching and student learning.

Check out this YouTube Video, that is mind-blowing in educational possibilities for our future with preparing tomorrow’s leaders for any industry. Microsoft HoloLens-Transform your World with Holograms

A Look at Microsoft’s HoloLens by Sean Hollister on CNet.com

Education and Technology…Blogs to Read to Stay Current and use as a Resource

The 2016 Must Read Education and Technology Blogs by Ed TECH Focus on K-12.

The Top 10 EdTech Blogs by http://www.Brainscape.com

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning website is very cool and offers a plethora for resources for educational leaders. The site offers blogs to follow and products to use to enhance any learning environment.

Continual Learning Across the Industries

Since we should always be learning new ways to perfect our craft, regardless of industry, this is a great site for professional development and human resource  leaders as well. Learning needs to be engaging for all learners, regardless of their age or level of education. SnackNation, conducted a survey and came up with some out-of-the-box blogs that share ideas on how to make your employees feel validated and engaged in whatever it is you as a manager, leader or employer have to offer.

In an age where after a 30 second sound bite, we lose interest, gleaning some perspective and new ideas from those with whom we want to engage, so they can lead our industries into tomorrow might not be a bad idea.

Human Resource Blogs

The Top 30 HR Blogs for High Performance HR Professionals by http://www.snacknation.com

Capella University’s 6 Must Read Blogs for HR Professionals

Great Leadership -A blog for a leader/manager at any level. This blog also shared best practices and tools to use with your team. e.g. Individual Performance Plans etc.

Strategic Human Capital Management A useful resource for an HR manager or leader in any industry.

As I transition from my role as a traditional education leader as a school principal into more of an education leader within the world of human resources,  I will share all the good sites and resources I discover. Life after all, is just one large volume of multiple lessons…

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

 

 

 

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Filed under Blogs that Inspire Us, Change Agents, Curriculum Resources, Educational Free Webinars, Favorite Sites, Human Resources, Team Building/Positive Work Environments

We are Called to Inspire our Students even in the Last Few Weeks of School…Remember the “Why” in Choosing to Teach


(Picture posted on Facebook by Teacher2Teacher #T2T)

We have limited days left with our students.

What a blessing it has been to greet them each morning as they enter our building, our classroom. To be able to tell them they can learn the impossible and see that which is not visible. Be a caregiver, boo-boo healer, magician, entertainer, disciplinarian and mentor. To be a dispenser of hope and a well of motivation and inspiration. Provide them examples to model after and to strive to emulate.

What a blessing it has been to be all we are called to be to them this school year.

We as educational support staff, teachers and administrators  have modeled for those placed in our care more than we will ever know.

Hopefully, we have modeled positive conflict resolution, how to demonstrate and hopefully deal with disappointment and frustration, how to be kind in words and actions and how to forgive.

Our students have watched and listened to our words and actions.

As one who who chooses to work within the world of education, teach and inspire our future leaders of tomorrow, this is so very important for us to remember.
Let us have faith that the seeds and examples we have planted and provide will be watered to bear fruit for many years to come.

May the last few weeks of school be all that you hoped this school year would be …on the first day of school!
May we continue to seek knowledge in all things-

Denise

Principal

St. Augustine Catholic School

Twitter:

@dballwriter and @principal567

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Never Underestimate the Power of Believing in a Child

As educators, we have been blessed with an awesome responsibility to educate the whole child to become productive citizens and leaders of tomorrow.

As an administrator, one of the blessings of my job is to help my faculty and staff be the best they can be in the lives of those placed in their care.

Simple reminders:

*to greet students at the door and actually “see” them each day

*to remember that as an educator, we are the rational adult called to model behaviors for our students…forgiveness, flexibility, humor, compassion etc.

*it is okay for students to know that mistakes have been made or something is not “known” …demonstrate how to build the muscle of “recovery” and “collaboration”

Never underestimate the power we have in lifting up our students to new heights…if you BELIEVE they will ACHIEVE!

 

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

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A Huge Thank You for Helping Unlock the Teacher Blog Reach 50,000 Plus Post Reads

A very special thank you to all of our faithful supporters who have encouraged us and helped this blog surpass 50,000 posts read since 2012.

Since I took a position as an elementary principal, our posts have been random as I acclimated to the new role. However, I am working on a new academic eBook book for summer publishing, and the Unlock the Teacher team is currently sending out proposals on a resource book for early childhood parents and teachers.

The goal of this blog is to share the good in education for the betterment of our future…our children.

This blog has seen parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, publishers and a few Department of Education and government leaders comment and support its efforts. Thank you for your support.

Here is to another great year…cheers!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

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Kindergartens in the Middle of Nowhere

Kindergartens in the Middle of Nowhere.

A wonderful look inside a unique Kindergarten classroom…so good, we had to share!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise and the Unlock the Teacher Team

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Great Writing Website Resources for Writers Young and Old for 2012

The Key to Unlocking your Writing Potential...Dare to Dream~BIG!

Happy New Year! 2012 is sure to be a fabulous year chuck full of amazing new discoveries. If you are thinking of writing, like to write or have a child or classroom of students who like to write, here are some sites we recommend that provide advice on writing, pay for writing and stand as a good educational resource for writers young and old.

If you have a site that you like or follow an agent who is super fabulous and blogs about writing, please share.  It is in this collaboration and sharing of knowledge that we all grow and learn.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Filed under Blogs that Inspire Us, Curriculum Resources, Educational Websites that are FREE, Resources for Writers Young and Old

Unlock the Teacher LLC Would Like to Wish Everyone a Joy-Filled Holiday Weekend

Unlock the Teacher LLC Trademarked Logo

Given that we are less than a year old as a company, we have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  We are working with a handful of schools in the area of aligning the Common Core State Standards into school’s curriculum for K-8 and curriculum mapping.  Our ePublishing Workshops for students/teachers and adults has been quite successful and we are thrilled to have helped many students begin to build a college fund, and to assist many take their first step towards their dream of writing.

We are immensely thankful for the outpouring of support we have received via social media (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) from educators and writers from all over the world; your words of encouragement on a weekly basis, puts wind beneath our wings and allows us to sail further into our dreams…thank you is just not adequate to express our gratitude.  As we begin to send out our proposal for our 1st book in the Unlock the Teacher series to agents and publishers, it is your kind words that fuel our fire and helps remind us that we are on the right track.

We are thankful to Changez Salon for our relationship we have built-in representing them in the world of social media, website development and management and the lessons that we learn by watching them give back SO much to the community…from helping cancer patients through the loss of hair process, raising funds for various charities like Gilda’s Club and Breast Cancer Awareness, sponsoring the arts in the community via Eisenhower Dance Ensemble and their current promotion, “Hair that Cares” where they are collecting can foods for those in need this winter. They are definitely beacons of light to many!

To all the parents and teachers who have purchased our academic eBooks at Barnes and Noble.com, we thank you for ALL your support!

We believe that if we continue to try to make a difference, that we will be fruitful for our efforts.  Thank you for showing us that good does beget good!

Lastly, we are trying for 10,000 views of our blog before our one year anniversary as an educational company.  We are almost there, thank you for sharing what we do and helping us continue to go into schools, work with students, parents and teachers and for helping us continue to make a difference in the life of our children, our future!

Happy Thanksgiving!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise and the entire Unlock the Teacher Team

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Filed under Blogs that Inspire Us, Business We Support, Sponsor or Develop Curriculum For, Sharing the Good, Who We Are...

Book Proposal Getting Ready to Fly and Positive Comments from Focus Groups Leave us Hopeful for Book I in the Unlock the Teacher Series

Book Proposal Getting Ready to Fly and Positive Comments from Focus Groups Leave us Hopeful

for Book I in the Unlock the Teacher Series

It is an exciting time, as our first “traditional” book proposal will be sent out before the first of the year.  We have worked on this book for over a year and we have been writing and collaborating with Dr. David Lick, Director of Family Medicine Troy Beaumont and Dr. Joslen Letscher, Professor at the University of Detroit Mercy.

We have conducted our third Needs Assessment with another group of parent and educational leaders.  Their feedback was amazing and we gleaned a lot from their input…it gave us much hope for this series of books.

Given the parent and educational leader’s input, we now have a clear direction of target audience. Comments for our book design has been quite positive and we listened to group one and two of our first Needs Assessments and feel we have created an educational tool that will be well received for parent and teacher.

Dr. Lick has offered amazing input throughout this process and I know parents and teachers are just going to appreciate and enjoy his comments in the “Dr. Corner”.

Stay tuned…I will blog here about the wonderful process of submitting book proposals traditionally, and all that this process entails.

However, while you wait, please check out any of our academic eBooks at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/denise-ball

A couple of our academic eBooks are donated to local schools and helping to promote literacy; all profits from these books go directly to the school.  Together we can make a difference!

May we all continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Filed under Blogs that Inspire Us, Book I in the Unlock the Teacher Series, Promoting Literacy, Unlock the Teacher eBooks at Barnes and Noble Online

Anti-Bullying Workshops for Grades 1-12: “Words Hurt”, “Pick-up vs. Put-Down”, “You Can Make a Difference” and “Getting the Big Picture”

Anti-Bullying Workshops provided by Unlock the Teacher LLC

Anti-Bullying Workshops
These workshops ultimately benefit our children, our future and theirs.
We come into schools, summer camps, homeschooling groups,
youth groups and church groups to teach and inspire.

References and Background Check
Information
can be provided upon request.
Please visit our website for testimonials and more information.

Anti-Bullying “Words Hurt” Workshop Session I (Grades K-3)
This workshop is centered on identifying and discovering that  we all have gifts and talents. As a group, we discuss positive and negative words, and how when used, they can make us feel inside.  As a group, students create a “Pick-Up-Don’t Put Down” chart. (e.g.  I am strong because I am kind.”)
Session Length:         45-60 Minutes
Price:                          $400.00 per 200 Students

Anti-Bullying “You Can Make a Difference” Workshop Session II (Grades 4-6)
This is a great workshop for character building. Studies show this is the age to target to catch and dissolve bullying behavior.  Dialogue
centers on identifying appropriate and inappropriate behavior associated with bullying.  Presentation covers how to communicate when involved in or witnessing this behavior. Problem solving tips are given to help with future anti-bullying success. Students create as a group the “Don’t Be a Bully Three B’s Please” chart. (e.g. 1. Don’t be a bully “B”ecause…it makes you feel bad inside!) If time permits, students are encouraged to participate in impromptu skits and role-play scenarios. (Students usually love this portion.)
Session Length:          60-90 Minutes
Price:                          $500.00 per 200 students
Anti-Bullying “Words, Action, Character” Workshop Session III (Grades 7 & 8)
This workshop begins with a review of “You Can Make a Difference” workshop, spending the first 15-20 minutes discussing how we all can
contribute and help each other for the greater good.  In this workshop, examples are given via video clips of 11-13 year olds who have been victims of bullying, its effects and strategies used to overcome it.  Students work together as a group to create a slogan for their school environment’s
“Words, Action, Character”.  Students will identify words that empower the slogan created and words that destroy its meaning.
Session Length:          60-90 Minutes
Price:                          $500.00 per 200 students
Anti-Bullying “Getting the Big Picture” Workshop Session IV (Grades 9-12)
This workshop is designed to educate students on the legal ramifications involved with the improper use of social media tools.
i.e. Twitter, Facebook, AIM, IM, Blogs, MySpace, etc.  Examples are provided to identify improper use and the results and consequences of such action.
Leadership is highlighted in this session along with character attributes.  An overview is given along with examples of how the actions of today are judged by future colleges and employers.  (Given size of school, this session can be divided into two groups: grades 9 & 10 and 11 & 12)
Session Length:          60-90 Minutes
Price:                         $500.00 per 200 students
We work in all schools and are happy to help work out funding or help find a funding source for you.
For additional information, please visit our website at www.unlocktheteacher.com or email us at teachme@unlocktheteacherllc.com
When we all come together for the greater good of our children, our future…there is nothing we cannot conquer!
May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,
Denise

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Filed under Anti-Bullying Workshops, Blogs that Inspire Us, Sharing the Good, Student Workshops

We Found a Great Blog for all Things Curriculum by Carolyn Starkey ~”The Common Core Daily”

As a teacher and now component of Unlock the Teacher, I read, write and work with schools on curriculum and curriculum alignment projects.  I was taught early on in my career and I also believe, that if a school  has a good curriculum base (a living curriculum), then  the sky is the limit for teachers in the classroom.  Once a curriculum cornerstone is in place, the framework is there and this makes scaffolding curriculum to meet the needs of all learners in a building so much easier.

  • Teachers can collaborate more efficiently, knowing what grade level expectations are.
  • Lessons can be more enhanced, working within guidelines vs. shooting from the hip or from the dark.
  • Teachers then do not have to feel they need to teach by the text but utilize textbooks as they are meant to be…tools to enhance the learning process.

Don’t get me wrong, textbooks are an essential component of the learning process.  Good textbooks, written to speak to multiple learning styles, can change the way a student feels about any given subject. However, textbooks are but one piece of the learning puzzle.

That is why, when I stumble upon a good book or curriculum materials from authors like: Solution Tree, Elaine McEwan, Thomas Lickona (Educating for Character~ I highly recommend), Rachel Kessler (The Soul of Education) and Maxine Greene (Releasing the Imagination), I love to share it.  The collaborative process is one of my favorite aspects about teaching and working within schools.

Given all this, I wanted to share with all of our readers, a blog I find a wonderful tool for all things curriculum: The Common Core Daily by Carolyn Starkey.

Carolyn’s blog is a great resource for teachers, administrators, curriculum publishing companies and any parent who enjoys reading about curriculum being taught in schools across the United States. She highlights all views on the Common Core State Standards Initiative and shares great tips she finds online. It has become one of my favorite blogs to read and I highly recommend it. 🙂  It is also a great resource for meeting and adding those who work within the world of education to your Professional Learning Network (PLN).

Let me know your thoughts…

May we seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Filed under Blogs that Inspire Us, Common Core State Standards "Nuts & Bolts"