I struggled a long time, trying to decide which member of my DEN Family deserved my #DENThanks – and due to my less than traditional manner in which DEN became part of my daily life, there are just too many significant people who inspired me and reached out to help me grow in my craft through integrating 21st C technology and resources like Discovery.
My first thanks goes out to Siemens and the Discovery PD team rock stars including Lance Rougeux, Patti Duncan, Steve Dembo, Brad Fountain and Mike Bryant. Because of their inspiration, encouragement and support at the Siemen’s STEM Institute, I had found direction and validation in my passion of pursuing 21st C STEM initiatives. The Fellowship included a one year subscription to Discovery, which I took advantage of, attending many webinars throughout the year, with very warm, personable presenters who met the needs of their attendees.
But then I found the opportunity to become more involved and connected through the WI DEN Leadership Council. Rita Mortenson and Rachel Yurk welcomed my help with open arms, getting me up to speed with the events, and accepting my willingness to pitch in. But the entire LC team was dynamic, with all members so excited to have another pair of hands to wake up the WI DEN. Toni Heinowski, Kathy Houchin and Kari Huttner all welcomed me, sharing ideas for events and blogs. It is this kind of professional support and energy that attracts and retains my interest in DEN. Because of my energetic, positive LC members, DEN became even more a part of my professional focus, driving me to pursue even more…. So I applied for the 2011 DENSI.
Because of all the proactive, helpful DENSI attendees who readily made me comfortable to experiment with ideas they shared, twisting what I had learned into a STEM integration opportunity, I knew I had found the best, never-ending professional development group. DENnis G, Trace B, Mark P, Genny K, Kim R.A., Rita M, Jan A and David T each took time outside of the DENSI schedule to personally tutor me during “free time,” and even offered support throughout the school year. This kind of supportive professional family is why I love the DEN and stay involved. (60 Seconds: I’ll tell you what DEN means )
Although I could be forced to pick only one DENthanks, I just can’t… There are so many others who have supported my growth as a 21st C educator, I wish I could name them all – as they deserve to be mentioned. The DENsynergy just keeps growing! That first push into the DEN is important, but the consistent, positive energy to help each other grow is what makes DEN so powerful!
So if you are DEN – then I owe you, because every DEN member has contributed to my craft. Now, I too, strive to pay DEN forward, now offering support to local teachers as well as new DEN Friends I have met over the last years.