Why I Don’t Cook and Other Things I learned at Fall CUE

I’m a decent cook. I have even been known to fix a few dishes worthy of the finest of palates, but I really don’t enjoy it. On the other hand, my husband loves it. He watches cooking shows, researches perfect ways to make roux and dreams about chiffonading. So, a few years ago, I relinquished all meal making duties to him. I realized I was missing one main ingredient:  passion.

Our CapCUE shirts say it all. Photo by CateTolnai

This weekend was my first Fall CUE conference: a huge community of educators learning and sharing ways to enhance student experiences through technology, but also passion.  It would take me days to convey all that I learned. The practical takeaways are countless, but what resonates with me more are the philosophical and inspirational pieces.

Teach Students to Tell Stories: I got the opportunity to sit in the theater and listen to Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee talk about telling the stories of people on the fringe, who are hopeful and resilient, despite their perils. Sharing these with students can bring a layer to their lives incomparable to a conventional textbook. And getting kids to tell stories…wow!

Be a Rockstar in Your Classroom: Now I could listen to Jon Corippo preach for hours on lesson design. Apparently, I’m not the only one. I sat on the floor to listen to practical ways to engage my students, but also ways to change how I think as a teacher. Bottom line: empower your kids. We have to stop being content delivery systems. We need to be coaches because a coach helps you do something you cannot do yourself. Ah, I wish Corippo ran the world. CSL6JJEVEAA0MKy

Make Each Day an Adventure: David Theriault‘s keynote was on point and beautiful. He reminded us that learning should be sticky, it should be memorable, that your classroom needs to be an adventure. Why would a student want to learn another way?

If your student can Google it, why are you standing in the front of the room talking about it? Spoken by one of my dear friends, Trisha Sanchez, in her SAMR workshop, I was struck. Duh. Of course. We need to change the way we teach for our audience. This generation needs something else.

We are a Family of Educators: More than a community, people that feel passionately about innovation, student engagement and change tend to flock together. But with that they are stronger. Of course, there’s also a fair amount of fun.

That’s where you spend your time. Where you feel the passion. This is why we give up our weekends. This is how we fill up our cups to walk back into our classrooms on Monday ready to share the communal goblet. Cheers to my family!


photos by Ryan O’Donnell







4 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Cook and Other Things I learned at Fall CUE

  1. I love this so much! Your summaries of sessions are great nuggets to remind you of your learnings when you need the inspiration in a month or 2. I love working with you and growing alongside you. “That Girl is On FIAH!!!!!” 🙂

  2. This post sums it up so well. My mind has been spinning with many of the same thoughts and inspirations from many of the same passionate educators (and others) that you have captured so perfectly in this recap. I wish I could bottle the mojo brewed up at that event I would break it out on those challenging weeks to remind me that it’s about the passion, the sticky, and those magic moments that people outside of this profession so rarely get to share in.

  3. I enjoyed reading your reflections once I got passed the aggressive pop ups. I didn’t go to the same sessions, so it was nice to read what was happening elsewhere. The thing about googling struck me funny. We were doing something in my class and kids were using chrome books and when of them asked me what a word meant. I pointed out that they were sitting in front of a chrome book and that they could look it up themselves. The Tech lady that was in the room at the time looked up at me like I’d just said the most amazing thing ever. It seemed kind of funny to me because I thought it was the obvious teacher answer. I had a great experience at CUE and your reflections make me wish I had a clone, or a bot, or a mini me (complete with lasers) so that I could have been in more sessions.

  4. Well said, a Family of Educators. It is about passion: the people who got the most out of the FallCue gig were those who were connected to one another through a passionate belief that we are doing something to have an impact. It is an exciting group to be a part of!

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