Wrapping Up My ILP — July 30, 2018

Wrapping Up My ILP


Photo by Angele J from Pexels


As the ILP for this class comes to an end I would like to reflect on what I have learned.  The very first and probably the most important thing is that even though other people have Hashimoto’s and I might have the same symptoms, my body is my body.  What works for one person might not work for me. It is sometimes frustrating when I see that someone has had great success doing something, and then that something doesn’t work when I try it.  I have had to learn to be patient and to keep trying things to find what does work.

And what does work for me? After this summer’s research I have found out that I can’t eat gluten or tomatoes.  I can eat salads, berries, nuts, meat, and a little bit of cheese.  I can drink lots of water and the more that I drink the better I feel.  As far as exercise, I have learned that I can walk and lift light weights.  Jogging or extreme workouts are hurting my body, as of now.  I would like to eventually get back to jogging and/or be able to do harder workouts. However, another thing from my learning is to be patient.  I may not ever get to the point when I can workout as hard as I once used to, but someday I might.  Until then, I have to listen to what my body is telling me.

Something that I have learned about myself as a learner is that I am not very patient.  I wanted the things that I was reading about to start working immediately.  I don’t know why I was like this.  It’s hard to be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and just not want to be better, I suppose.

I also learned that when it comes to putting what I learned into practice is difficult.  This is something that I have always struggled with, putting myself first.  However, I think this is so common for moms.  It is easy for moms to make sure that their children’s and husband’s needs are met before thinking of themselves.  My family is very supportive, however they don’t exactly understand what I feel like physically at times.  This summer I tried to think of my needs when it came to my health. However, it’s hard to tell my kids no I’m not going to fix lasagna for supper, because I’m fixing a Hashimoto’s friendly meal for me (and I don’t make separate meals). Or practice something my doctor said which was about getting 8 hours of sleep a night. My kids love to come in and talk to me when I’ve already gone to bed.  This is a routine they have done for a while, because I think at night is when they think of all the things they want to tell me.  This was the most difficult to say no to. I like this time as well.  But I do not hurt as bad in the mornings that I have had a good night’s sleep.

I will continue to do this research about Hashimoto’s as this is something that I will have for the rest of my life.  I want to continue to learn as much as I can and keep trying things to see if I can get to my best self. I have found great blogs to follow and people on Twitter to keep reminding me to keep fighting!


I Am a Teacher — July 29, 2018

I Am a Teacher


This week’s readings:

This week we read several different articles discussing education in schools today, specifically how students may not be learning in the most productive way.  Two articles that talked about different ways to teach students were Children Educate Themselves  and It Really Is Okay to Leave School .  Both articles were about a school with the belief that students’ learning is done with complete choice in what they learn.

In the article, Children Educate Themselves the school’s name is Sudbury Valley School.  In this school all the students starting at the age of 4 years old to high school seniors as well as the staff members all are equals in decision making.  The thought is that adults do not control the students’ education, the students educate themselves.  Staff members do not have tenure and students along with the adults vote on the hiring and firing of staff members.  The school is ran like a democratic government at a weekly School Meeting to decide any decision at that school.

In the article, It Really Is Okay to Leave School the school’s name is North Star School.  Every student is on an academic plan that is produced in partnership with the student, and each student is assigned a personal advisor.  Some guiding principles of North Star is that young people want to learn and learning happens everywhere. The belief is that it is okay to leave what is considered traditional school.

The other articles that I read this week discussed different feelings that people have about school.  One that I found interesting was 9 Elephants in the Classroom .  This article discusses 9 things that happen in the classroom setting that hinders the learning in students.  For example #2 talks about how students are bored and disengaged in school, #4 not assessing many of the things that really matter for future success, and #5 grades, not learning, are the outcomes that students and parents are most interested in.  An elephant that is discussed in this article that I found the most interesting was #6 curriculum is just a guess.  I found this interesting because as a teacher for 22 years, I have spent an amazing amount of time at workshops and staff meetings discussing curriculum.  This is just absolutely mind boggling to me and hard to wrap my head around.

My Take:

So, after I read all of these articles I felt very frustrated.  First, I am going to say that I am very proud of being a teacher, and I am very proud to be a public school teacher.  I work my butt off to educate every student who walks into my classroom.  I spend hours coming up with lessons that are engaging and to create an atmosphere that encourages creativity, curiosity, and choice.  I take college classes and workshops to learn all that I can to enable students to succeed in their future endeavors.  Also, I teach with many teachers that do the exact same as I do.  We eat, breath, and think teaching at all times.  So when I say that I was very frustrated with these articles, I felt that they were putting down public school educators when using words like deschooling/unschooling and using words like hazing when describing the practices in schools. That made me absolutely sick!  There are many great and amazing public school teachers!

Daily Creates 9-20 — July 21, 2018

Daily Creates 9-20

9. #tdc2317 One word poem


10. #tdc2346 Find a tree and tell us about it

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This is what is left of one of the trees along my driveway.  Several blew over and were uprooted after a night of storms.  It makes me sad, because I loved being able to drive down my road and have this small lane of trees greeting me right before getting home.  As you can see there aren’t many left.

11. #tdc2347 Define beauty

Seeing my children doing something they love!

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12. #tdc2348 There’s a gap

A gap in the open window to let in fresh evening air!

13. #tdc2349 Please give us your creative recipe for some nice food


Homemade Spanish Rice


1 can of diced tomatoes

2 cups of quick cook rice

1/2-1 cup of beef broth

1/2 package of taco seasoning

Mix all the ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl. Cook in microwave, stirring every 2 minutes, until done. Top with shredded sharp cheddar and chopped green onion

14. #tdc2370 Newspaper collage poem

Haiku Poem


Hashimoto’s won’t

Stop me from being my best

Healthy yummy food

15. #tdc2371 Verbify a noun


verbified noun: locusting

meaning of the verbified noun: coming to an end

history of the verbified noun: I have always been told that when you hear a locust, there will be only 6 more weeks of summer.  I have no idea if this is true or not, but this is what I have been told, AND what we call locusts are not really locusts, they are cicadas.  Who knew?!

used in a sentence: My summer is locusting quickly!

16. #2373 Who would you walk 1,000 miles for

I would walk 1,000 miles for any one of my children and my husband, and back again!

17. #tdc2375 Map your personal sphere


18. #tdc2377 Show us your journey

My morning walk!

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19. #tdc2380 What does your wall look like?

This is a wall in my favorite room in the house. It’s where we crash at the end of the day, have family movie nights, and where I enjoy my morning coffee (which is what I was doing when I took this picture).

20. #tdc2381 Create a wacky Olympic event

Hold up a tiny fisherman contest!


Disconnecting from Technology — July 17, 2018

Disconnecting from Technology

This is what disconnecting from the technology looks like!

Interesting Topic

I really enjoyed reading about the topic of disconnecting from the Internet, your phone, and other technologies.  Mainly my thoughts went to my own three kids.  I’ve said for the last couple of years that I think they’re addicted, especially my daughter.  Since I don’t have Facebook or Instagram or some of the other things, it’s hard for me to understand why they are on their phones so much.  And I never feel like I’m missing out on things because I don’t have these social medias to check on. So, again, I don’t understand why they feel like they’re missing out.  I will say to my daughter, “What could you have possibly missed out on in the last 15 seconds?” It’s the constant notifications that keeps her distracted. The only time that I feel like I’m checking my phone so much is when my kids are gone. That’s when I reach for my phone to see if they’ve messaged me to let me know where they are or what they’re doing.

It is a rule at our house that all phones go on the kitchen counter at night by 9:30 during school.  However, during the summer time I’m not such a stickler about it.  Of course you can imagine how almost every night that my husband or I holler that it’s 9:30 the discourse (and eye rolling) that comes from the kids, especially from my daughter.  Apparently we are the only parents that do this and that apparently makes us very mean! I was thinking about this the whole time that I read Teens Disconnect from Technology  and wondered how my children would react.  I’ve decided that this is an experiment that I’m going to try. Another rule that we have at our house is no phones at the dinner table.  This is one that my kids do not mind following.  They love to talk about their day and what is coming up.  This is about the only time, especially during the school year, that we have time to catch up with what is going on in our lives.

When do I need to be mindful?

I need to be mindful when I get caught up in a game.  There are two games that I like to play on my phone and sometimes I do catch myself sitting for way too long to play them.  I catch myself not really paying attention to something that my husband or kids have said to me.  Other times that I catch myself getting caught up on the Internet is when I’m on Amazon or Pinterest.  It is easy, at times, to spend too much time looking through these. Usually this happens about now when summer is winding down and school is just around the corner.  I love to look through teacher stuff or books to buy to fill my classroom library.  Yes, these are professional things I’m doing, but it doesn’t mean that I should sacrifice face to face time. It makes me feel terrible when I do this.  I can’t imagine how I would feel if I did this all the time!  Simplify the Internet was my favorite article from this week’s readings.  I loved all of the strategies and I am planning on having my daughter read it.

ILP Weeks 3&4 — July 16, 2018

ILP Weeks 3&4



These last couple of weeks have been interesting for sure. I have been working at finding recipes that are friendly to my diet needs.  I’ve been making a collection and trying them on my family.  So far so good.  Which is nice, because I really don’t like to make more than 1 meal at night.  We’re all too busy for that!

The only other update is that my new doctor sent me to a rheumatologist for a couple of reasons.  First, she had some blood work done on me that I hadn’t had before and it came back wonky. Second, she wanted to make sure that she was on the right track with what we are doing to treat my symptoms especially since I have been hurting quite a bit lately.  The appointment with the rheumatologist was awesome.  He felt like the treatment plan with my doctor was right on track.  However, what I learned fits into my research that I had been doing….exercise.  He praised me for working out, but what he told me was I’m doing the wrong exercise.  This leads to my new diagnosis, chronic nerve pain (which is a very real thing).  It explained why my shoulder blades, hips, and feet are killing me.  Unfortunately, the workout that I was choosing to do was making it worse!


As I have been researching these last couple of weeks, I have learned that the opinions for exercise vary just as much as the opinions with what to eat vary.  The opinions range from only light walking to do whatever you feel that you are capable of.  Because I have been an athlete since I was a kid and love to play sports and workout, I choose to push myself.  This is something that I am used to and I felt like this is what I should do.  My body is capable.  But as I explained earlier, my body wasn’t capable.  It was trying to tell me that I can’t do this…not right now anyway.  My chronic nerve pain has been heightened because of pushing myself.  The rheumatologist’s recommendation is that I walk, no more jogging, and to continue lifting light weights or use bands a couple of times a week, no more extreme workouts.  Which I was glad that he was a proponent of weight lifting, because it is so important for women. Strength Training for Women  This is a great post to read about the importance of strength training.

This is the type of workout I’ll need to do until I can gain some control of the pain. He did tell me eventually I can add in some other things that I like to do, but this is how it needs to be for now.  He also told me that this was going to be a process that will take awhile.  So, I have to be patient and smart in my workouts from now on. I’ll end with an empowering tweet from Girls Gone Strong.

Digital Activism — July 15, 2018

Digital Activism


Learning Lots

The last two weeks of research has been very informative.  I liked how we learned about Digital Citizenship before learning about Digital Activism.  It was such a great transition. This week was interesting to learn about.  It was one of those times that I knew a little bit, but didn’t really stop to think about.  Because I am not on social media a whole lot, I didn’t think about people connecting for political or social change through social media.  I can see how this is or can be a great way for people to easily connect this way.

After reading the article The 6 Activist Functions of Technology   I learned that there are six ways an activist can use digital technology.  They are 1) shape public opinion, 2) plan an action, 3) protect activists, 4) share a call to action, 5) take action digitally, and 6) transfer resources.  Activists can easily decide how they want to get involved in something that they believe in or are passionate about.  This can be such a positive way to make a change.

Teen Activists

Another part of the research for this week was looking through the nominees for The Teen Activist Award .  I have to be honest and say that with everything that is going on in our country today, a lot of the activism that I see is so angry and mean feeling.  I understand passion as I, too, am passionate about the things that I believe in.  However, I stay quiet because I don’t like the meanness and black lash that seems to follow if you have a different opinion than someone else.  I have even looked through tweets of people that I do not agree with and hate the repercussions they receive and just can’t stand to continue reading on.  Sometimes it feels as if the message gets lost. That is why I enjoyed learning about digital citizenship last week.  I think that these two concepts, digital citizenship and digital activism, should go hand in hand.  It is good to learn how to share your opinion, hear other’s points of view, and be able to be respectful.

Whew…that was a little walk through the park.  Let me bring you back to the teen activists.  I looked through the winner and the nominees, and my two favorites were Hope and Why to Stay Strong.  Amazing teens who truly care about others and have worked hard to make sure that their message of helping people with their problems, suicide prevention, and offering strength and hope by being positive. I spent a lot of time looking through both of the teens’ Twitter.  It was so inspiring to see the encouragement.

Daily Creates 1-8 — July 9, 2018

Daily Creates 1-8

1. #tdc2352 Let’s all take a second to appreciate the beauty of nature

Rainbows in the Sandhills


2.  #tdc2353 Picture your dream animal, the animal you want to be

My cat Echo…because she gets to nap anytime she wants!

3. #tdc2354 Tweet a quote that is inspirational

I’m going to put it in a blog post instead


4. #tdc2358 Synthesia


Looks like a bright, perfect rose from my father’s garden

Sounds like a crowded Memorial Stadium on a crisp, fall evening

Smells like spicy salsa with corn chips and a Corona

Tastes like sweet, homemade strawberry sorbet for dessert

Feels like sticky, shiny smooth of my favorite lip gloss



5. #tdc2362 Illustrate a word


6. #tdc2363 Translate a poem into English

Haiku poem by Basho           My translation                                    Translation

Furu ike ya                              a quiet smooth pond                         an old silent pond

kawazu tobikonu                   the little green frog plops in            a frog jumps into the pond

mizu no oto                              no more quiet pond                         splash! silence again

Haiku poems are one my favorite types of poems to teach.  The kids always love to write them.  All I knew about the poem before I tried my translation is that it was about a frog in a pond. There are many translations to this poem, so I chose the one that followed the 5-7-5 pattern of haiku poems.


7.  #tdc2366 Draw a map of where you live


8. #tdc2368 What’s the last book you read?

My Summer Reads-so far
Digital Citizenship — July 7, 2018

Digital Citizenship


What is it?

After doing some research I learned that digital citizenship is guidelines for responsible, appropriate behavior when using technology.  There are so many parts to think about when being a good citizen digitally; cyberbullying, online safety and privacy, and copyright and plagiarism. Digital citizenship is something that is so important, and should be taught in schools.  It amazes me how kids have been taught so much about it, but still struggle following what they know is good citizenship.  I do have hope, and believe that it should be our job to continue to teach kids.  They will eventually learn and make good choices. A perfect example is Jeremiah Anthony of WestHighBros.  What an amazing idea from this high school junior that is trying to get the message out to be caring and kind.

One article that I enjoyed reading as I was doing my research was “The Digital Citizenship Survival Kit” by Craig Badura.  He makes these survival kits for the kids he teaches about digital citizenship.  To me, it made a whole lot of sense what he included in it. Digital Citizenship Survival Kit

At times when it comes to personal things people put on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook, I’m shocked at what they think is ok to post. My own experiences in the digital world have not been all that positive, and I’m sure that is why I have the opinions that I have.  Before taking the online classes that have required me to use social media, I had not been a part of any of it.  I did not have  Facebook (and still don’t). I did not have Instagram (and still don’t).  But I was required to get Twitter and be able to blog.  So, those are the two things that I signed up for.  I will admit that I’m getting use to posting blogs and and tweeting.  It hasn’t been that difficult the more I do and the more I learn.

I will admit, though, that when I am on Twitter I do struggle with what some people say.  I’m very picky with who I follow and have quit following people that either tweet something themselves or retweet something that makes me uncomfortable.  In the article Dealing with Digital Cruelty  by Stephanie Rosenbloom she quotes John Suler a professor of psychology at Rider University, “If you’re going to be a blogger, if you’re going to tweet stuff, you better develop tough skin.”  I know exactly what he is saying, but it makes me so sad to think about.  We shouldn’t have to be that way.

The meanness that some people post, or if people post things that they don’t necessarily understand that causes others to have an uneducated opinion, or if people post flat out lies, it all makes me uncomfortable.  It’s those things that I justify my reasoning to not have a lot dealings with social media.

A blog that I enjoyed reading and have started to follow has stated exactly how I feel and how I try to teach my own children.  It was a nice post to read, and to know that I’m not the only one who feels the way I do in a very social media oriented world. Living Our Lives Online

ILP Week 2 — July 2, 2018

ILP Week 2


Photo by Trang Doan from Pexels

First off, I would like to make it clear that I am writing about MY journey.  I’m not promoting or telling anyone what I think they should do or not do.  These are just things that are or have been helpful to me and my own experiences with Hashimoto’s.


This week I decided to focus my search on diet while having Hashimoto’s.  As you can imagine, there is all kinds of things out there.  Things that were contradicting with each other greatly.  One website would say to eat a certain food, but then I’d find a blog that would say don’t eat that same certain food.  It can be overwhelming and frustrating.  However, I did start finding things that were giving the same kinds of advice, maybe differing a little, but had the same basic guidance.

My process for finding helpful articles

What I did to weed out the hurtful from the helpful articles, blogs, etc was to think about all the work I had done in this last year. As I stated last week, I worked with a nutritionist (well actually she is a dietician).  She was the first medical person that I encountered after being diagnosed where I actually started feeling some hope.  She listened to me about everything that I was feeling.  I cried, got angry, and cried some more.  I just kept telling her that I am too young to be feeling this crappy.  I have a lot of life to live with my husband and kids, and I can’t live it if I’m in bed because I’m so exhausted or my body is hurting so badly that I don’t want to move.  She sat there and listened to me.  Then instead of telling me, “There’s nothing we can do,” or “You’re going to just have to live with the symptoms,” or “You look fine, it must not be too bad”….yes these were all things medical people told me!  She looked at me with empathy and determination and said, “Well, let’s get you to feeling better.  We’re going to have to work hard, but I’m confident that we will get you better.” Finally, someone gave me hope!

We spent the rest of that summer and the school year finding foods that were making my symptoms worse.  She had me do a very controlled diet called FOD Mapping. Ultimately what I did was eat a very strict list of foods for 4 weeks, and then 1 week at a time added in a certain type of food.  I needed to document what I was eating, when, and how I felt.  With this I learned several foods that were exasperating my symptoms, and the surprising thing is many of them are healthy foods.

Before meeting with my dietician, I had gone through a series of ultrasounds, because of a lump I could feel in my throat.  I was relieved to find out it wasn’t cancer, however that’s when I learned that I was developing a goiter.  So, some foods that I immediately took out of my diet, were broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and cabbage. I gradually have added them back, but very rarely and only cooked. These foods are considered goitrogens. Goitrogens disrupt the production of thyroid hormones.

Back to the results of the FOD Mapping. The first group of foods that cause me problems, I’m sure you can guess, is gluten.  So, I immediately have limited my eating of bread, pasta, crackers, etc.  I also went on a mission to find tasty gluten free alternatives.  And let me tell you there are some really bad tasting gluten free foods out there.  However, I have found some very yummy things that curb my cravings for crackers and toast.

The next food group that I discovered gave me some of my most painful symptoms was very surprising to me.  It was the nightshades family; tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, etc. WHAT?!?! I love all of these foods.  Foods that I ate daily.  I always eat a big salad for lunch.  During the winter time, veggie soup with these foods. What I discovered was these were the foods that caused my pain, puffiness, and inflammation in my body.  My garden in the summertime is full of these, and something that I look forward to harvesting and eating. However, I have to remind myself of the pain that they caused me and just stay away from them as much as I can.

I’m ending this post by leaving a few resources that I enjoyed reading and that were helpful to me.  Some steps that I am planning on doing with the things that I learned are to track my daily meals and make sure to include foods that enable my body to work at its best. Which always seems to be the hardest thing to do since I live over an hour away from a grocery store! I guess planning ahead of time and being diligent at food prep is going to be a must in order for me to be successful.

Foods to Avoid

Foods to Eat

Hashimoto’s and Diet

Podcasts and Digital Storytelling — June 29, 2018

Podcasts and Digital Storytelling

To begin…

I’d like to start off by saying that the best thing from this week’s learning was the TED Talk video “Try Something New for 30 Days”.

I thought that it was inspiring and I loved how Matt Cutts spoke about his own experiences of trying something new for 30 days.  It was also a neat idea to NOT do a certain thing for 30 days, such as not eating sugar. I watched the video a couple of times, because I caught my mind wandering off by thinking of what I could do.  I loved his idea of taking a photo everyday for 30 days.  It would be interesting to see what his photos were.  After watching this I also started thinking about my ILP and thought of things like working out every day for 30 days, or drinking at least 80 ounces of water, or tracking my eating, etc. This list when on and on.  I really loved how this was challenging in a way. It made me excited for some reason, this challenge.  I even thought about having my husband, daughter, and sons watch this and challenge them to find something to do as well.

Now the true story…


Photo by Pedro Figueras from Pexels

So, I went on learning more about ds106 and The Daily Create.  I became not as excited. I knew where this was going to lead, and instantly became stressed!  I was learning that ds106 is an open, connected, social, online course where students get assignments to create and share with people all over the world.  As you look through their site you can click on all the different technology assignments, such as visual, audio, video, mash-ups, etc.  Then while looking through The Daily Create, I learned that there is a different assignment every day that requires you to create something showing your digital and creative skills. I loved looking through what other people did.  In fact I probably spent way too much time looking through the examples.  I also liked going through The Daily Create, and marveled at the creativity of the assignments themselves. There were so many creative things, and people can be so talented at technology. Some people are so great at digital storytelling. GULP! I am not any of those.

Some of you may know that when it comes to sharing things through technology…with other people…from all over the place…well I’d rather not.  I’ve grown to not minding to post a blog or tweet.  However, this whole Daily Create thing had me questioning myself once again.

And then…

“Try Something New for 30 Days” popped into my head.  Here I was focusing on failing rather than the confidence I could gain just through having the courage to share.  I was focusing on looking stupid, rather than the learning of ds106 and The Daily Create. If nobody likes what I do or things don’t turn out like I want, so be it.  I had the courage to try.  When I think back to when I took Adolescent Literature, and I had to blog and tweet for the first time ever, when I don’t even have a Facebook page, I felt this very same way.  Yet, here I am blogging and tweeting!  Do I have a lot of followers? No.  Do I say amazing things? Probably not.  But let me tell you that I gained two things: 1) I got over fears and continue to take classes to be a lifelong learner, even if it means that I have to do some of that learning publicly, and 2) I have impressed my teenage daughter!  Nothing else needs to be said about that.

So, I will suck it up.  Eventually take that first leap to start my 20 days of Daily Creates.  Learn from it and be glad that I had the courage to do it!