Posted by: Tricia Buck | January 12, 2009

Square One

Standing on the precipice of do I or don’t I, the answer is I do.  I do start a blog.  Why not?  I have often thought about it, but  have remained inert.  What has changed?  Everything.  Today when I woke up, as I was baking muffins, laughing with the  kids, missing my hubby off on business, thinking about making exams, reading my rss feeds, twittering, and visiting the Powerful Learning Practice (PLP) Ning for the Illinois-Ohio Cohort it hit me–those last three things have become part of my norm, part of my comfortable weekend routine.  In spite of my hesitation, awkwardness, uncertainty and complaints of being too busy, somehow while I wasn’t looking I became a 21st century learner.  

Transformative professional development through PLP with guidance from fellow learners Will Richardson, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, the Illionois-Ohio Cohort members, and cohort members from around the globe has energized my thinking, teaching, learning, and life.  Below is my discussion post to the PLP Ning from this morning entitled, “The Curious Case of Outhouses, Toilets, and PLP”:

Tonya Heron’s great post about PLNs and morale (check it out and respond) has really inspired me to think about my personal growth and all of the changes going on in my professional life. In my district,FHSD, we are so fortunate with what we have at our disposal. Nonetheless, PLP has helped me see that perhaps the greatest resource is not from the top down, and the realities of the district, financial, technological or otherwise, good or bad, are neither promise nor hindrance to each teacher’s personal growth. If we accept that this is a personal journey, we have to give ourselves permission to start at our own personal square one. What is not acceptable is to remain inert. Once I quit complaining that it is all so overwhelming I found a lot more energy to use for my own growth. Yes, I sometimes feel like a loser on twitter when I ask questions and have no reply, or when I reply to a tweet and get a ping back that seems only to clarify my own idiocy, but I am in the game, I am on the path, I am enjoying the journey.

Doc Searls’ blog post entitled Screw popularity. Just make yourself useful. was a game changer for me. You mean I can be the useful one? I can give ideas, tips, help? I can add to the important discourse about learning, teaching, growing, change? Wow! I have now changed my thinking from being a waiter, waiting for someone to tell me how it works, what to do, what tools are needed, to being a helper, a friend to fellow learners, a sharer, an encourager. To refer to Sheryl’s response to my New Years Resolution thread on the main page of our Ning, I am now the difference, I am not waiting for it. My how my tweets have evolved. My how my sleep has devolved. But it is okay. My eyes are open, my spirit is lifted, my concern for seeming dumbish is dwindling, and not one ounce of this came from a staff meeting in the media center at 2:15. How freaking cool is that?

So, you’re wondering about the curious discussion title? Well, I have been trying desperately to wrap my mind around the changes in my teaching life and to process the constant feeling of being too busy. As in, I am too busy to learn this, too busy to look into that (insert your terms: rss, skype, twitter, ning). The other day I burst out laughing. Would I ever have said, “I am too busy to figure out that strange new indoor commode? I am more comfortable with the awesome outhouse?”

It may be indelicate, it may not be prim, but perhaps it is time to take our fears and excuses and…flush.

So that is it, my first blog post.  Glad I did it.  Glad I am in the game.  Glad I have moved from reluctant teacher to eager learner.  Grateful to have you on my path…



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  2. Wow Tricia! Nicely put! 🙂
    I love it. You are right, I could see myself, no, hear myself in all the things you were saying about “I’m too busy”. I find myself constantly struggling with that still. Somehow, as I continue on my personal learning journey, I am finding more time. 🙂 Slow growth is still growth.
    Great Blog!

  3. Congrats on your first entry! I look forward to reading more.

  4. Hey Mrs.Buck,
    Just figured I would drop by and check out your blog because you were talking about it in class so much. I’m loving the analogy and the line “It may be indelicate, it may not be prim, but perhaps it is time to take our fears and excuses and…flush.” reminds me of a certain essay writing style.

  5. This is an inspiration. I know it is baby steps. I want to know. Is there enough time in the day?

  6. Great first post, Tricia! I am so proud of you and I applaud and agree with all you said here. I especially like how you said that jumping into this learning experience may be indelicate and that you have to start at your own square one. So true. That’s what so many have been saying – Learning is messy – but so what – just get in the game. Open yourself to all that there is and you will find your way in your time. Complaining and resisting take too much energy away from the important task of making a difference in what we do in all aspects of our lives – home, social, and work.
    Thanks for voicing what will be, no doubt, an awesome inspiration to many to just “flush”!

  7. Tricia,
    You are an inspiration! Last night I was feeling very woe is me, I don’t get all this, it’s too much, gotta do the dishes. Something shifted in my mind after reading your blog/post on the NING forum. I just have to do it. Forget the darn hand holding and move it, Hannah. Thanks for the nudge!

  8. Hi Tricia,

    It’s great to see you blogging!!!

    Looking forward to following you on this journey!


  9. Welcome blogling!

    This is sort of your personal buck-et list? (Sorry!)

    Oh, I talk to myself all the time on Twitter. Hope this demonstrates to you that someone is listening.


  10. That picture is great! What’s wrong with an old out house BTW?

  11. Welcome to the blogging world! I think we are all going to benefit from your perspective, your enthusiasm, and your journey.

  12. Great to read this at a time when I’ve been thinking about making the same move myself. Many thanks for the nudge.
    Your post was so full of personable energy that I found myself hoping you’ll change the sub-heading. It’s not ‘just another weblog’.

  13. YOU ROCK!!! I am inspired to learn more and I’m not even in school. As always, you did it… and it’s perfect. Congrats. I know how much you love teaching and what a terror and thrill it has been over the last year to delve into the cyber world only to find your students able to interact and learn more. Congrats. – Julie

  14. Great first post. I have been a secret on and off again blogger for a couple of years. I’ve been out there, but never told anybody. I recently made the same step. Congratulations on a job well done.

  15. I so enjoy following you on Twitter, and I loved that post on popularity as well. So glad you are blogging…adding you to my feed. I plan to share this post with other teachers as well. Your points will be game-changers for many, I think. Thanks for sharing this and tweeting it too!

  16. I’m really lovin’ this whole blog thing!!
    Maybe i’ll start one soon…who knows!
    Great first blog! So inspiring, as usual.
    I can’t wait to read your future posts!!

  17. Trisha, Thank you for sharing this and for starting your blog! You are an inspiration. I am now retired, but I haven’t let go. I am involved in PD and I see the need for change. I have to change if I am to bring about change in my consulting. It’s a stretch for someone who is nearly 64 and no longer teaching.

    I am learning twitter and loving it! I also started a blog. It is a bit of a confused mixture of things because that is where I am in life right now.

    If you don’t mind, I am sharing your insights tomorrow when I teach my PD class. Thanks for taking the leap!

    My blog:

  18. I enjoyed your first post. When I started blogging a few months ago, I found the process itself to be transformative in the way I approach new concepts. I am much more discriminative and inquisitive. I love it! I look forward to reading more of what you have to share!

  19. Pretty “freakin'” cool, Trisha! Thank you for jumping in. It’s obvious you have much to share–can’t wait!

  20. Congrats on starting the blog. Best of luck with it. I look forward to reading your insights. All the best.

  21. I feel I learn about all these new things (blogs, wikis, voice threads, etc.) and I am afraid to jump in and just give it a try. I worry that my first attempt will be pitiful but I have to get beyond that!! Congratulations for jumping in-thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for commenting Leah. I know just how you feel. I am forcing myself to confront my fears, and to move to action. No longer am I willing to talk myself out of things I want to do. I am really having fun with the blog and other new experiments…if you jump into the blogosphere I would love to read your thoughts!

  22. Go girl! I really enjoyed reading your blog. I, too am a person who DOES welcome change (although sometimes my mood matters), but often don’t do the changing (or initiating it) myself. I love your analogy about the outhouse vs. the indoor model. I also recommend “Who Moved My Cheese” to everyone. I read it in one sitting. Congratulations on this blog.

  23. Tricia,
    I always thought you had something “neat” going on with you! You are creative, fun, and sincere. I absolutely loved reading “Who Moved My Cheese?” You have a beautiful way with words and gift for inspiring.
    Your a neat person inside and out!

    • Your words are so kind Laci! I really appreciate you taking the time to read my newborn blog. I am inspired every day by you and the great teachers at Turpin!

  24. Tricia,
    I was in a small group at our inservice and you apoligized for us having to read your blog. That really sparked my interest and I was eager to check it out. I think it’s great and it has made me want to get organized and be more productive. Good luck and keep writing!!!!

  25. You are a courageous person and should be applauded on your efforts. I’ve gotten into the wikis and my next try is a voice thread. Wish me good luck!

    • Good luck Mary Lou! I applaud you for your willingness to learn and grow too!

  26. Tricia, I am inspired, but mostly I feel understood. I feel like you have put into words exactly how I feel about all this cyber-stuff. Yes, I’m overwhelmed, underconfident, over-anxious, and all around scared of it all. I also feel like it will take so much time to learn and be comfortable with moodle, blogs, wikis, twitters, PLP, web 2.0 etc —I won’t have the time, so why start? I sometimes am absolutely imobilized. I feel like powerpoint, exel, word, publisher, etc. are more my speed. I’m so comfortable and good at those kind of things because they are so static. Anyway, I hope I can eventually be like you and “get out there”. Thanks for your inspiration.

    • Hey Robin, thanks for the comment. It is so important for us to be ok with wherever we are, but to be willing to do what we ask students to do every single day: learn, change, grow in spite of fear. Keep up the great work you are already doing and enjoy the journey wherever it leads you. If and when ready, I’d welcome your follow on twitter. I am triciabuck.

  27. […] quizzes and tests.  Invigorated by my professional learning journey as of late (see previous posts) I felt the time was right to give the paperless classroom a try and to see what would happen if […]

  28. Tricia, you continue to amaze me. You constantly break the boundries that plead to be broken. I thought about something the other day I wanted to share with you… You once told me that Coco Chanel was a woman you looked up to. You then asked me who I look up to. I had no response. That woman is you. You are an amazing educator, mother, wife, etc. Keep forging your own path, for the great don’t follow in the footsteps of others, they create their own!

    • Thanks so much! I am inspired by your positive attitude and your strength Stefanie, and I so appreciate that you took the time to read my little post!

  29. Trisha
    First of all, I am sitting here so excited because my students will be in your clasroom “with no walls” and I can’t wait for them to join you. Also, in your blog you mentioned you began to not complain about how overwhelming all of this can be and started channeling your energy towards growing as an educator. In this PLP project that our groups have joined, I am inspired by colleagues such as yourself to grow and use that new found energy I thought I never had before now. Thanks for the inspiration. I was once asked in an interview what I want most for my students and I replied to inspire them. Your blog has inspired me. thank you

  30. […] With the ebb and the flow, ripples continue to grow as more members of the Illinois Ohio cohort engage in blogging in and out of the cohort space reflecting on their learning— “I thought I had this teaching thing down to a science, but this year PLP has rocked my world. I started using a tablet computer last year and was using Moodle and other 2.0 tools, but PLP has opened my eyes far beyond a tool. I am now talking to my students about their own personal learning networks. I am working with showing them how their learning goes far beyond the 4 walls in my classroom.” –Pat Grove “I met with my PLP group on Wednesday night for some yummy Thai food. We needed to cement plans for our project that we’d be hemming and hawing about. After quite a bit of discussion (and again, some yummy food!) I think we came to a consensus. Our project will be connecting.“ –Christen Fouss “Being on the edge of this shift has been very energizing for me, but it has also been very frustrating. Many times, I have more questions than answers. I’ve never been a “think-outside-the-box” kind of person, yet I find that I have to continue to push myself to see how my classroom may benefit from changes in procedure. I’m gathering information from blogs, from my Twitter network and my Ning colleagues. I’m processing the sample lesson plans and assessment options available to me in the hope that I may also be able to give back and share ideas with others, who are also trying to build new procedures that make sense for our time, and replace systems that no longer work in the 21st century.” –Sherry Amorocho “…somehow while I wasn’t looking I became a 21st century learner. Transformative professional development through PLP with guidance from fellow learners Will Richardson, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, the Illinois-Ohio Cohort members, and cohort members from around the globe has energized my thinking, teaching, learning, and life.”–Tricia Buck […]

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