Friday, February 27, 2015


Hi! I'm Tessa.  Trained in music education, I fill up most of my days working retail and put my passion to work teaching test-prep for a national company and singing in a couple of local community choirs.  I'm currently job hunting in a local teaching environment that can be charitably described as "dynamic," and casting my net as widely as possible given my extremely limited travel budget.  In the meantime, I'm trying to establish a DIY professional development plan so I can keep learning and developing my teaching skills while I'm finding a teaching position.  This brings us to...

Why start this blog in the first place?

It's fine to say "I'm doing my own PD," but what does that MEAN?  I found, after weeks of reading endless blog posts, beginning but not finishing books, and dreaming of magically transforming into a skilled, confident master teacher, that it didn't really mean much of anything.  I needed a new plan. 

Enter Evernote.  Great, now I can file, sort, and search the resources I find.  What's next?  One topic that pops up over and over on the Ed blogs I've been reading is using blogging to help students engage with material and make it relevant and useful to them.  Well, if it works for them, why not for me?

I have found that the huge availability of information on-line, combined with not being in an actual school teaching, has skewed my "do-it-yourself" learning into "do-it-BY-yourself"-- a recipe for isolation and lack of focus.  I need to reach out to other educators, get some feedback, and make connections.

So, I started this blog to establish a PLN, to make sense of my reading, to map out plans to improve my teaching, and to reflect on my teaching experiences.  Learning doesn't happen in a vacuum, so I need to breathe some life into this process!

Okay, but what exactly will be posted here?

I decided to start this blog now because I have a shiny, new test-prep class starting this week, which was practically BEGGING for a post-series about small techniques to improve teaching.  The first things you'll see here posts about which technique I'm focusing on each week, and reflections of how they worked.  Spring Break will be coming up in the middle of my class, so I'll have to branch out with some new topics.  Book reviews, ed news, ed tech, my current or upcoming Coursera course (taken, not taught) and music are all on the table, along with anything else I come up with!

Cool! What's next?

As I said, my class starts this week, so I'll be posting very soon with my first technique and should be posting twice a week from here on out, starting Monday!

Have a technique for me to try?  Want to ask me a question?  Have a resource that may be helpful?  Leave a comment!  I'd love your feedback!

Here's to a bright future,