I have been a fan of Discovery Education for a long time. When our school system purchased for everyone, I was in heaven. The clips, the lesson plans, the images….everything worked for me. I had no idea that I was only seeing such a small part of DE. Last year, while reading a blog, I read about a teacher, Jan Abernethy, who was going to actually ride her horse (Sweetie Pie) from Pennsylvania to Montana- just to attend a DENSI. (I had no idea what a DENSI was- really thought it was a misspelling.) As I read on, I found out that she was a DEN Star. I contacted Anna Strassner whom I met at a NCSTA conference and she told me all about it. Within 1 month, I became a STAR, applied and was accepted for DENSI 2012, and began the ride of my life. To say that the DEN has changed my life as an educator is an understatement. I now live and breathe as a DEN STAR.
The enormity of what the DEN is came to life yesterday afternoon. I am a curriculum integration guru- I make it my job to know everything about curriculum K-8 for the state of NC. But I lack the expertise when it comes to all the technological pieces of instruction. I put out a plea on Edmodo, Facebook, and Twitter for help with a project and within TWENTY MINUTES, I had replies, suggestions, comments, and encouragement from 18+ DEN STARS from across the country and Canada. After the situation was corrected…. I just sat down and cried in relief. I needed help and help came to me. I thank God every night for the friends that I have made in the DEN. These are friendships that will last a lifetime and I am grateful for each and every one of them.