Author: Andrew Clark

I am a former 4th grade teacher and current Regional Technology Trainer for 9 school districts in rural northeastern Utah. He enjoys learning about tech, traveling, and spending time with his family. You can follow me on Twitter @And_B_Clark

Join the UCET Board!

Have you been a part of UCET and thought to yourself that you would really like to join to help plan Utah’s largest educational technology conference? Would you like to be more involved with our organization and help to plan the future of UCET? Can you see yourself getting to know more educators across the state as you serve in this organization? Then you should become a part of the board! We love working with educators from across the state and we would love to have you join us! You can learn more about our board by checking out this page. Hope to see you get involved!

Being a Pioneer

In my extended family we celebrate the 24th of July like it's Christmas.  It's something that we've done for more years than I think anybody realizes. The 24th always makes me think about the early settlers of Utah as I sat at the parade and watched representations of Utah's early history come streaming past. This year I have been thinking about the pioneering educators that have influenced me and have helped me to grow.  I think that most importantly I have to give a big shout out to Mary Green at Valley Junior High School and Kathy Gaskins at Granger High School. Their lessons were the kind of lessons that helped to shape my thinking and forced me to go out on a limb in my own education. They expected great things and pushed me to achieve that. In college I had the honor of taking classes from Dr. Scott Hunsaker and Dr. Parker Fawson. These two gentlemen helped to lay the foundation for my early ideas of what a classroom should look like and how I might achieve the classroom that I wanted. In my mind these are all pioneers because they laid the foundation for those who came after them. I owe them a huge thanks and a way to go. I appreciate all of the teachers and educators who help shape me as an educator and who continually share their great ideas.

So as you embrace the upcoming school year with excitement and enthusiasm I hope that you too will be a pioneer for the future educators in your classroom. I hope that you will find pioneering lessons in your departments/teams/PLCs as you use continue to shape the future. You rock! You are amazing! Thanks so much for being the educational pioneer that we need!

So Long May

May is on it's way out and we are about to enter June. Some of you reading this are doing so from the comfort of your beach chair because you've had your last day of school, you said goodbye to your students, and you're on vacation (or you're getting close). Some of us are still in session participating in all kinds of end of the year activities. We've been helping students check out, and we've been crossing off several to-do's from our list so that we can catch our breath before summer work begins.

My own kids are counting down the days (and I say hours and minutes) until they complete another grade level and get to move on. They are thinking that they can shut down and relax for the next few months. They always act this way for about the first 48 hours, and then the dreaded "boredom" sets in. As a parent I can think of things for them to do and I offer suggestions and sometimes those suggestions turn into actual things that they need to do. This summer I'm going to have my kids work on the Wonderopolis summer activities. I'm hoping that being curious this summer they will learn and do more. I'm going to allow them to make more decisions about what it is that they want to learn, because as they get older they can decide more. I'm sure on our road trips this summer to the Rural Schools Conference in Cedar City we will enjoy some Brains On podcasts and we'll all learn together. 

I hope your summer is full of curiosity and wonder! Catch your breath for a minute have a delicious soda from one of those awesome soda shacks and get excited for all the good things that are coming up in the next few months!

It’s Almost Here!

Hello friends!! Can you believe that UCET is fast approaching? Neither can I.  It's about this time of year each year that I get excited and nervous and more excited as I start to think about all of the great things that will be happening at UCET this year!  This year as I'm starting to look at all of the exciting things that UCET has to offer I can't wait to join in and be a part of one the greatest conferences ever!

Recently I was in Florida attending the Future of Educational Technology Conference.  This was my first time attending and I marveled at the size of the venue and how many teachers were there.  I felt like a small fish in a big pond. I wandered around the conference center and I realized that I was missing the community that I feel whenever I go to UCET.  I love going to UCET an catching up with old friends and meeting new friends.  It is great to collaborate with teachers from the great state of Utah and see what everyone is doing to better the lives of their students.  I'm reminded of the first few years I attended UCET, I was a student and I was simply amazed at how all of these teachers would come together to better education and that's all I wanted to do. They have certainly helped to shape me as an educator. Thank you! Thank you UCET attendees for creating the amazing commmunity that we all enjoy!


Thank You!!

There is a gentleman that I admire and had the opportunity to be mentored under and he always told me that "the weather is always beautiful" no matter where we are. When I look outside and see the blue skies, I'm reminded of this phrase.  It helps me to remain optimistic about the future.  Recently I've felt that teachers don't get the credit they deserve.  I've been noticing this as I've ventured into the classrooms of my own children and as I continue to work with teachers.  I can remember feeling this way with my own classroom, and I can remembering thinking that a simple "Thank You" would certainly go a long way in making a difference in my life.  It is because of this that I want to say thanks!  Teachers are tireless workers who see the best in every student.  They spend countless hours devising ways to impact the lives of the students that they interact with and they do it all with a heart of gold.  I know that teaching isn't the most glamorous of positions, but you are making a big difference.  Perhaps you've heard all this before, but I want you to know that you make life better!  You are doing great things!  It is with that same optimism that I would like to remind you that no matter what your classroom feels like now, or at the end of the day the weather will always be beautiful.  Students will always learn, you will always impact their lives, and you will continue to make a difference.  Thank you for choosing to be a teacher.  Thank you for being willing to tackle all that life throws at you and to walk away unscathed.  Thank you for being you!

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