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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kristen Mattson

My turn for the Sunshine Award

So in the last two days I was nominated for the Sunshine Award by Jon Harper (@Jonharper70bd) and Yana Bauer (@arachnemom), so I guess I should probably take the time to respond! Here is how it works.

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.

  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.

  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.

  4. List 11 bloggers: they should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!

  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate

  6. Let those 11 bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

11 Random Facts About Me:

1. I am a freaky, goal-oriented, over-achiever. By the time I was 27, I was happily married with three children, two homes (long story), and a dog. By 29 I had my Master’s degree and now, at 31, I am pursuing my doctorate. 

2. I am the product of a divorced family, but have an awesome step-dad who chose to raise me as his own and will forever be my daddy.

3. I just finished reading “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn after falling in love with “Gone Girl.” Neither book will disappoint! Next on my list is “Sharp Objects” by the same author.

4. I chose to get a B in my doctoral stats class. Yep. This English teacher was not cut out for an eight week long course revolving around numbers and formulas. To get an A, we had to complete a non-required assignment. Even though it was hard for me to take a B (see random fact #1), I realized my time, effort, and energy was better spent on some work related projects I was in the midst of.It was actually a pretty big step for me to just “let go.”

5. When someone calls me by my first name, it is startling. To my husband, I am “honey,” to the kids I am “mom.” Everyone at work calls me “Mrs. Mattson” or just “Mattson.” I also go by my childhood nickname to my parents and “Aunt Keets” to my niece and nephew. Seriously, when someone calls me Kristen, it takes a moment to realize that they are talking to me!

6. I met my husband in my parent’s driveway. He was working as a college intern for the company that built their subdivision. After a few weeks of referring to me as “the cute girl in the green Mustang” to his work buddies, they finally harassed him into introducing himself to me. The summer romance turned into a long distance relationship when he went back to his college, which was 5 hours away.

7. I bite my nails. A lot.

8. I should probably spend less time reading and writing and a little more time exercising. If only brain power burned calories… I would be a supermodel!

9. My favorite movie is “Old School.” I love everything about it. It cracks me up each and every time. “You’re my boy, Blue!”

10. I suffer from never ending mom guilt. My husband and I do not have a social life. I feel that after working all week, my time off should be with my kids – not with neighbors, friends, or on date nights.  

11. My best Christmas gift was an electric blanket for my bed. Getting up on Monday morning is going to be rough!

Answers to 11 questions from Jon:

1. What do you feel is your best piece? I have written several papers for both my Master’s and Doctoral work that I am fond of, but those are not published on my blog (yet?). I have only been blogging for about a month and half, so my choices are a bit limited. I suppose my favorite so far is “The Day I Cried in the Principal’s Office” because it honestly sums up the learning that happens in those tough times when things just aren’t going as planned. 

2. What is your favorite topic? To write about? I guess educational technology. I am super passionate about teaching students and teachers how to use technology with a purpose. I enjoy reading and studying about leadership and curriculum, and engaging in healthy debates both online and in person that will stretch my thinking. 

3. How will you blog differently this year? My blogging goal this year is just to do more of it. Ideally, I would like to try to post something every day. Realistically, I should probably shoot for about once a week. 

4. What tips do you have for new bloggers? Just get started! I think the hardest thing to do is write the first few posts. At first, you feel intimidated, like you do not have anything valuable to say, but the blogging exercise isn’t always about the audience. A lot of it is just great self reflection that can help you think through choices, celebrate successes, and question the world around you. 

5. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year? I guess I would have to do this in categories. Adult fiction – “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. YA fiction – “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Saenz. 

6. When do you blog? I blog whenever I can find a spare moment. Sometimes I do it while the kids are playing nicely together. Other times I am typing away in the dark, under the covers, with my hubby snoring next to me 🙂

7. How do you find topics/inspiration for your blog pieces? I write for so many different purposes, it is hard to just identify my sole source of inspiration. If I feel I have an exciting idea to share with others, I write about it. When I have had a bad day, I try to look for the silver lining of the lessons learned, and then I write about it. Reading something others have written, whether it is a book, article, or blog post, will often inspire me to share my own ideas on the same topics. In short, I guess, inspiration comes from everywhere!

8. Why do you blog? Honestly, I started blogging as a portfolio of sorts. I knew I was doing a lot of fun, innovative things with kids and teachers and I wanted a record of that. This portfolio was just a private journal of sorts, but eventually, I realized that other educators and their students could benefit from some of the learning and creating I was doing. So slowly, but surely, I am cleaning up that journal of experiences to share with a larger audience.  

9. How long does it take you to write a piece? It depends on the topic and the number of distractions around me, but I can generally bust out a piece in about an hour. 

10. Who is a blogger that we may not follow, but should? I have two suggestions for you. The first is my friend William Dwyer (@WilliamDwyer5). He is brand new to both blogging and Twitter, so I think we should show him the power of connected educators by adding him to our conversations. He is a super smart dude with lots of great insights about education. You can find his blog here. The second is Dr. Edsel Clark (@edseclark). He is a director of secondary education with an insightful blog you can find here

11. How will you improve your writing this year? I think the only way to improve in anything is to continue practicing at it!

11 Bloggers I Nominate for the Sunshine Award:

1. Tammy Neil (@MathNeil)

2. Stacey Roshan (@buddyxo)

3. Debbie Alvarez (@stylinlibrarian)

4. Edsel Clark (@EdselClark)

5. William Dwyer (@WilliamDwyer5)

6. Sharon Plante (@sharonplante)

7. Mark White (@mwhitedg)

8. Jennifer Carey (@TeacherJenCarey)

9. Eric Patnoudes (@NoApp4Pedagogy)

10. Terie Engelbrecht (@mrsebiology)

11. William Chamberlain (@wmchamberlain)

11 Questions for Those I Have Tagged:

1. 1:1 or BYOD? Why?

2. What is one edtech tool you couldn’t live without and why?

3. What is something new you want to learn this year?

4. What is the top item on your educational “bucket list”?

5. Fondest memory/moment as a teacher?

6. What is your best blog post? Why do you love it so much?

7. Which one of you blog posts has had the most views? Why do you think that is?

8. Tell us about the person in your workplace that you can always count on for support.

9. Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? Tell us about it!

10. Favorite board game?

11. What was your reaction when you were nominated for the Sunshine Award? 

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