Earlier this spring I stumbled upon a blog that described creating a “ta-da” list as a way to cultivate joy around the process of achieving goals (https://www.createcultivate.com/blog/2019/5/23/why-you-should-follow-up-your-to-do-list-with-a-ta-da-list). Okay, probably a good idea, but that would have to wait until I completed my “to-do” list … all of the assignments, papers and projects with due dates. I scribbled “ta-da” list on a yellow sticky note, stuck it in my planner and looked forward to a quiet, peaceful day during the summer to sit back, sip iced tea, reflect on my experiences from the previous semesters and prepare for the upcoming academic year. Well, that never happened (LOL – I was too busy working), but here is what I added to that yellow sticky note over the summer.
You got me workin’ workin’ day and night
I had the opportunity to participate in the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s (AACTE) 2019 Washington Week in Arlington, VA from June 3 – 5 as part of the organization’s Annual Day on the Hill. This conference was so informative and excellent preparation for Dr. Eddy’s Educational Policy Development and Analysis course in the fall. I learned that the Four “Ps” (players, politics, processes, and policy) serve as a framework for thinking about policy and advocacy, provide four lenses for analysis and offer a way to organize strategy.
I was employed as an OnlineTeaching Assistant with University eLearning initiatives supporting W&M Arts and Sciences online and hybrid summer courses. In addition to working with a supportive and fun team, I learned about features and training resources for the learning management system (Blackboard) as well as Hypothes.is, Panopto, Proctorio, Camtasia, Higher Education Learning Activity Types (HELAT), Qualtrics and Piktochart. I facilitated my first online course, Breaking Tradition: An Innovative Approach to Creating Future-Ready Learners, a 5 week online course for practicing K-12 educators from across the state of Virginia. Together we explored the 5 C’s: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication and citizenship.
I also supported Camp Launch as a Zumba/Cardio Fitness instructor. Participants selected their own music and collaborated in groups to create an original dance fitness routine by the end of the week. I learned the “Biker’s Shuffle” and “Same Ole 2 Step” from my energetic 7th and 8th graders!
I participated in my first conference as a fitness professional! At the STRONG by Zumba® SYNC Summit in Orlando, FL, I learned to master core martial arts movements to improve my form and technique. I learned how to avoid burnout and how to prepare for and recover from teaching group fitness. I received tips on how to build, grow and sustain my business.
And her nose stuck in a book …
I signed up for an edX course recommended by Dr. Roche earlier in the spring, but Quantitative Research Design & Methods II demanded most of my attention. I audited Shaping Work of the Future over the summer, and I’m so glad that I did. This course helped me to understand the connection between workers, government/policy, business and education on shaping the future of work and developing the next generation social contract (i.e., the mutual expectations and obligations workers, employers, and their communities and societies have regarding work and employment relationships, and how we need to rethink skills and education). But what about technology? I think that MIT Work of the Future Co-Chair David Autor said it best:
“As our tools improve, technology magnifies our leverage and increases the importance of our expertise and our judgement and our creativity.” David Autor, MIT
I appreciate that my advisor, Dr. Gareis, took time out of his busy schedule to help me map out my required courses. I finally drafted my CV. I completed ISTE Summer Bites (focusing on STEM) and made the connection between computer science and computational thinking. I started to explore 3D printing and participated in the basics training offered at SWEM. Arduino and a visit to the Makerspace in Small Hall will have to wait until this fall.
So who would have guessed that my yellow sticky note actually ended up capturing many of the joys and highlights of my academic and work lives over the summer of 2019? My “to-do” list transformed into a “ta-da” list. There are still a few things that I have to work on, but it’s the journey, not the destination. In her book Becoming, Michelle Obama wrote these words:
Denise Lewis Ph.D. ’22