It is the tenth season of the Edublog Awards, awards created in 2004 to promote the educational uses of social media and to influence schools in offering–not blocking–access to educational resources (read more about their history here).
Nominations closed a little over a week ago and now voting has begun. I am honored to be nominated for three categories: individual blog, individual tweeter, and most influential blog post for “On Broken Door Handles and Butter Knives,” the company in each is amazing.
What I Like: Celebrating
The best part of the Edublog Awards, I think, is the nomination process. To take a moment to reflect on the people and ideas that have made an impact on your over the year is such a gift.
Not only do you feel good sending a little virtual “thank you” out to those you admire, but it also helps you remember why this profession is so great. It reminds you of the countless educators who tell their stories, share their hopes, offer their help to the rest of us.
It reminds you that none of us are in this alone, and if you seek out open arms you will find them.
What I Like: Connecting
If nominating people is the best part, the close-second best is connecting with new people, blogs, tweets, and apps. I love how the awards don’t just have a handful for nominees in each category, instead there are many. Each category is made up of a list of recommended-by-our-peers suggestions of people to follow, apps to check out, or posts to read. I caution you that it’s a perfect way to get lost in internet induced procrastination, but assure you that on the other side you’ll be happier for it.
Here is what I am doing this year:
- I am making sure I vote. It is very easy, go to the Edublog Awards website and click into any category that interests you. This year when you attempt to vote for someone a little pop-up box will walk you through signing up for a List.ly, a free service the awards are using this year to ensure each person only casts one vote per category.
- I am clicking through to visit as many nominees as I can. I love these lists because I know every click will take me somewhere or to someone others have found useful.
Everyone Likes to Feel Honored
This award season will come and go. What I am most aware of is that it’s not the award that matters, it is the the huge role saying thanks plays in all of our lives.
Think of the last time you were given a directive, one mostly likely “due yesterday.” Now think of the last time you were given a specific compliment about your practice.
Those moments of thanks propel us forward. They give us faith in ourselves (and also faith in those who gave us the compliment). Think of ways you can bring these feelings to your community and your classroom:
- “Nominate” others: think of those around you as if you were creating voting categories (most likely to make you smile; most creative use of chart paper; the mess-fixer). Then, go tell them, either simply by paying a compliment (I really admire how you…) or go further and create= a bulletin board or part of your school webpage to celebrate the special roles your colleagues and students play.
- “Give out awards”: you and your school could organize actual awards or instead think of surprise good deeds as awards (offer to cover another teacher’s class for a few minutes, bring in fresh flowers for someone’s desk, pick up coffee, leave a sticky note message).
- Say thank you. Often.
On that note. Thank YOU for all you do, every day.