VSTE 2016: ISTE-T Certification

I’m always looking for a next possible step in my career, and I’d been stuck. Becoming an ITRT was the next step, but there really was no certification to do so; VA doesn’t require it like WV does. That means I end up competing with all sorts of folks. Competition isn’t bad, but I want to find ways to make myself a better ITRT and stand out in my field. Turns out, I found my next step at VSTE- ISTE-T Certification.

The ISTE-T program is tied to ISTE standards and is a rigorous program that shows you know the standards and how they are applicable in today’s classroom and schools. It’s meant for those who have been teaching for some time, and is self-guided. There is a 12 month period to complete all of the required work. The cost is actually pretty doable, and I’m pretty sure I can get all of it/most of it compensated by my district as well, which is even better.

I can apply at any time by submitting a lesson plan to demonstrate my current level of technology use in the classroom. I have a few to work with and will probably tweak one more in the future. The best time to start the program is October 1 – April 1. They don’t like you to start during summer break and immediately lose 3 months due to summer vacation and they also don’t like you to start during September when school is starting. Based on that, I would want to start the program next November since I’m getting married in October. I don’t want to have to deal with coursework and plan for a wedding at the same time, especially not the final bits.

During the session, we had a chance to practice getting things ready for submission by providing possible documentation that we already had for some of the standards. We can double-dip as well. That’s certainly helpful. I know there are definitely standards that I’ll be working toward creating things for, and working my hardest so I get good feedback on my work.

The group at the session was very small, and some folks left in the middle because it wasn’t right for them for one reason or another. It is meant to be a very rigorous program and isn’t meant for someone just starting out in teaching. It’s a nice goal to look forward to though.

I feel like this will be a good challenge for me, and really put my skills to the test. I want to keep challenging myself, and it has been a little bit since I committed myself to a work heavy program, the last one being the TIS cohort. I’m ready for the next thing, and it’ll help me out if I decide to switch positions and move as well. Unlike the TIS certification, this one will be recognized for its rigor and prestige no matter where I ended up living.

Now I just have to prepare for next November and get anything together that I plan to use already. I can use whatever I have, as long as it’s been done in the past 2 years. I’m ready to advance!



Turning 30: A Look Back & Forward

Today I turn 30 years old.


Summer 2016 at WVSTC during a Pokemon Go conference session.

I certainly don’t feel 30. I know I don’t evenĀ look 30. I’ve been mistaken for a middle school student quite a few times this year already. I know the tradition is you’re supposed to feel down and out about turning 30 because it’s getting older. Your 20’s are gone and it’s time to usher in a new decade.

I’m rather excited though. I feel like I’m finally hitting my groove when it comes to everything going on in my life. I have a wonderful job that I love. I have been able to try new things and have been challenged and pushed to go above and beyond. More than ever, I feel like I’m able to try so many new things and get the support I need. I have a wonderful fiance; she and I go so well together. She’s always been my rock and cared for me in ways I never could have imagined. We’re the biggest pair of goofballs, so I’m sorry if you’re ever subject to our shenanigans together. We’re planning to start a family in a few years, and both excited to see where our journey leads us- together.


Bethany and I together for her family pictures.

I’ve been able to accomplish a lot so far in my career, and I’ve taken chances on many things. My career has evolved from teacher into instructional technology specialist. In my 20’s I received not only my undergraduate degree, but also my masters. I was able to also become a certified technology integration specialist in West Virginia. I added a Virginia teaching license to my West Virginia one. I’ve spent time going to professional development sessions that I love, connecting with many educators, and attending/presenting at conferences.

There have been many people in my life that have supported me along my journey. Some are no longer part of it; they were there for only a time before we parted ways. No matter what, each person has contributed something toward helping me become successful, and for that I’m very grateful.


Those givers of life- aka mom and dad

I’m curious to see what kinds of things I’ll end up accomplishing in my 30’s. I’m hoping that I can do more great things in the field of instructional technology, and better myself as a learner. I do hope that I never lose the desire to stop learning. I hope that I pass that same desire to learn on to my children. After all, I hope to have a child in the next few years!

Welcome 30… let’s get to work!