The last week, I have seen some amazing accomplishments happened. After seven years, I was able to get my full state licensure in teaching. I completed my Google Educator Level 1 Certificate and my sunflowers just bloomed for the first time. The first two are long time accomplishments, but it is the sunflower that is the real story.
For the past year and a half, I have been opening students and teachers up to perler beads. The story began in late 2015, when I was looking into a new hobby as I worked towards finishing up my dissertation proposal. Just after New Year’s 2016, I bought a set of grids and a large mixed bucket of perler beads that was being sold at a swap meet and away I went. A few days later, I was working on a project with two of my friend’s children and they were coming up with crazy designs using graph paper and were bringing them to life with the perler beads. I realized this was a great way to teach students about pixel art and doing 3D printing on a more manageable budget. The idea took off with my students and I started sharing out classroom ideas and STEAM lessons on my social networks and have refined the lessons to a more digital format thanks to both Alice Keeler and Christine Pinto over the last year. In the last few months, I was able to learn how to use Bloxels to create 13-bit video games. As a result, I decided to merge them both into an amazing lesson that promotes group work, digital citizenship and STREAM
The other day, I was checking some shared articles in my PLN, when one shared by George Couros stood out to me. 15 Habits of People with Depression, an article about signs of people who are dealing with depression. I read the article and it is pretty spot on. Why? Because it has happened to me. During my sophomore year in high school, I dealt with the usual problems all 15 year olds deal with. Popularity, grades, learning to drive, peer pressure, ect. However, like some teenagers that age, I was that percentage that was not handling it very well. In fact, I was down to thoughts of suicide, leading to a lot of counsoling and seeking God’s help to get me through those days. Something that slowly started turning things around. However, depression isn’t always something that is cured with time, sometimes the effects can last a life time.