Life Changes

Since the completion of Course 2, it seems like my life has done nothing but change. I have relocated from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Guangzhou, China and while the big shock of an international move is behind me, rippling effects of change in my day-to-day life seem to be constant. My chaotic morning commute on the motorbike has been replaced with a leisurely stroll to the bus stop around the corner. The conversion of local currency that seemed so automatic in my brain has been digitized and made obsolete with WeChat. Our Friday night tapas with friends has now turned into a boozy happy hour with my new work colleagues. The massive, beautifully decorated villa we called home has been downsized to an apartment resembling a long-stay hotel… until the 54 boxes of crap we shipped arrives next week, but that’s another story. And sadly, a bigger life change occurred last week when we had to put one of our fur babies down after discovering an inoperable tumor in her nasal passage. But all of these changes are part of life and like most changes in life, we improvise, we adapt, we overcome. 

Work Changes

While the life changes I’ve been experiencing recently have been both up and down, the work changes have been nothing but great so far. Now, is there still A LOT to learn? Yes. Do I know everything I’m meant to be doing here? Not hardly. But, am I excited for the challenges that await me when I get to work each morning? Absolutely. And that’s an incredible feeling after a year of sacrifice and uncertainty, so I’m going to ride it for as long as I can. 

And interestingly enough, much of the work I’ve been doing lately intersects with the coursework and topics we’ll be exploring over the next six weeks. It’s almost uncanny how seamlessly this COETAIL journey has matched with exactly what I need when I need it and without me realizing it beforehand. At the moment, I am working in a small team of Innovation Coaches, IT technicians and the Director of Innovation & Technology to prepare for an edtech conference hosted at our school next month. Much of the work I’m doing on this project is on the branding and marketing side, including the updates to the event website in WordPress. So it looks like the timing couldn’t be better for rethinking the design and purpose of this here blog. Not to mention that I’ve been working with the Grade 4 team to create student examples for the unit’s summative assessment and getting ready to unpack design principles with students next week. More on both of these in the weeks to come.

Blog Changes

I guess I should talk about the part of this that I’ve been putting off… my COETAIL blog makeover.

I had a critical look at my blog from a reader’s perspective when week 1 started, and truthfully, I didn’t even know where to start because I wanted to change it all. And instead of heeding the advice from this week’s action tab and choosing one change to implement, I jumped right in and started moving things around and changing it until I hated it more than I did originally. In fact, I spent about 5 hours over the weekend alone watching Youtube tutorials about WordPress until I just gave up. Frustrated and somewhat defeated by the limitations of the COETAIL-owned WordPress dashboard, I reached out to a colleague and fellow COETAIL-er, Diana who reminded me that part of the journey is overcoming challenges. So, with some renewed faith in myself, I started again and here are a few small changes I’ve made (and a few I want to make, too)

Change background and image

Kind of like a new haircut in that it’s fun to change and it’s not permanent. 

Before

Add tabs for different pages on the header

Before

Gives a more organized appearance but not sure how helpful it is to a reader unless they know about the COETAIL courses.

An ‘About Me’ page

What’s missing here?

I like the idea but it still feels unfinished.

Embedded Twitter feed

Widget didn’t work
Neither did the embedded HTML
WordPress problem or user error?

I’ve tried everything and the only thing it will do here is to add a hyperlink to my Twitter feed.