14 Best or Worst from 2014

As I reflect on 2014, I want to share 14 of the best and some of the worst from 2014.

1) Most acknowledged blog post -- Mystery State Skype

I received the Editor's Choice Content Award from SmartBrief for my post on the Mystery State Skype. I also had the opportunity to talk with by Larry Jacobs on Education Talk Radio -- (click here to go straight to archive of radio show).

2) Most visited blog post -- Digital Storytelling and Stories with the iPad

3 & 4) My favorite post -- Harnessing Powerful Ideas: Leading One-to-One

This post was my favorite to write because it helped me collect many ideas about one-to-one, and place it in one space -- my post. Furthermore, I absolutely loved creating the graphics for this post. It was my first experiment with using Canva.

5) Favorite new(ish) tool (besides Canva) -- Pinterest

While Pinterest isn't new, it so happened to be new for me. I had an account before 2014, but it was during this past year that I really recognized the power of Pinterest, and had the insight to know when to use it. I found myself diving into Pinterest for visuals, which led to resources and learning.

6) Epic fail -- Lost many creations

Did I take the time to back it up before installing? Doh! Serves me right!

7) Most difficult lesson learned -- Leadership has a cost
"Good leadership is not a popularity contest. One of the most important days in my career was the day I realized that leading well was more important than being well-liked." -- John Maxwell
8) Most challenging idea -- Create my TPOV

Shawn Evenson, a highly-valued member of my PLN and friend, challenged me to write down my Teachable Point of View (TPOV). While this was an activity to strengthen leaders, it trickled into other aspects of my life. By reflecting on my core values, it helped me make tough decisions -- decisions that I stand by -- and helped me communicate those decisions and ideas to others.

9 & 10) Most important reminder & biggest decision -- family comes first

Family is always a priority. Always. We put family first and chose to move mid-school-year back to California to be closer to family.

11) Best gift -- John Maxwell book from Larry LaPrise

So, a gift by Tina Jada was awesome-sauce too, but Larry's note left my heart full and eyes saturated. -- Larry was the principal who first hired me in Apache Junction. He always spent time building other leaders in the organization, and invested in me, even though I didn't see myself as a leader at first. I wouldn't be where I am without his mentorship and friendship.

12) Most excited about for 2015 -- Next to being closer to family is my new role at VCOE

I was hired by the Ventura County Office of Education in the Curriculum and Instruction Department as the Technology Integration Specialist. I am surrounded by the most innovative educators and am inspired every day!

13) Bucket List for 2015 -- PhD

I've narrowed it down to a few programs, and have to get applications rolling.

14) Bottom line -- Serving, connecting, and 21st century learning

The bottom line is I'm most excited when I am serving and connecting with others, and am passionate about 21st century learning. With all the changes going on in my life, I'm relying on my PLN more and more these days. So, I thank you for connecting and learning with me.
  • What are some of your best or worst from 2014?
  • What are you looking forward to in 2015?
  • How do you communicate your TPOV?
  • How else does this post connect with you?


  1. Congrats on the new job and a wonderful 2014. Hoping 2015 is even better for you!

  2. Tracy,
    Wow! Where do I start? First I love the whole idea of your post - reflecting on the whole year and looking ahead! So many wonderful things happened to you - congrats on the award and making the difficult decision to move closer to your family! As you say "family comes first!". Congratulations on your new position. I'm sure the very same people who inspire you are being inspired BY you! As we all are - your blog posts are always so thoughtful, thought-provoking and in depth. I love learning from you. I have yet to hear of TPOV and am intrigued by it - so of course you have set me into motion! Finally, good luck on your PhD - it makes perfect sense!

    I am forever thankful that we have connected! Wishing you all the best in 2015!


    1. Nancy,

      I want to thank you so much for being such a valuable member of my PLN. I learned so much about Mystery Skyping FROM and with you. I believe your class(es) were actually the first and the last (as of date) Mystery Skypes I've done. Thank you for taking me under your wing to walk me through it!

      TPOV has been around for a while, but I really gained so much from applying it while I listened to other speakers, and then when I really reflected on what mine is. The process of narrowing it down to one idea really took me some time -- then narrowing it to the best story that would articulate it and connect with others also required some consideration. When I think about it, those I really connect with I can tell you what their TPOV is because they are consistent -- and it's powerful. I look forward to learning more about TPOV and learning with you!

      Happy New Year!

      Kind regards,

  3. What an enjoyably rich post, Tracy! I felt like I got to know quite a bit about you and your life just from this one entry. Your writing is thoughtful and thought-provoking. You are such an asset to the educational community.

    1. Thanks! I look forward to learning with you and getting to know you better!


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