The PLN Challenge

It occurs to me, that I really haven’t blogged much this year.  A mix of stress, exhaustion, frustration, and I feel lack of creativity, has, I think, swept over me.  Either way, it’s a new year, which means new opportunities, a fresh start, or the reminder of the only Latin phrase I know, “tabula rasa,” or blank slate.  Hopefully, THIS year is the year I do a bit more blogging.  The countdown to my first grad class has begun, which means new growth opportunities and a chance for my PLN to expand.  With that said, a good friend and colleague Joe Devine (@JosephADevine) has challenged me to take the #blogamonth challenge.  Joe is the co-moderator for #PAEdChat that takes place on Thursday nights at 9pm.  It’s really the first consistent effort I’ve had at participating in a chat, and I look forward to more in 2014.

The PLN Challenge:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger – Check!
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you
  4. Nominate 11 bloggers for the Challenge
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let the bloggers know they have been nominated.

11 Random Facts About Me

  1. I have a son named Carter William, who is just a miniature version of me and we named after my grandfather and my wife’s grandfather.
  2. I am a massive Phillies fan, and can still name the starting lineup of the ’93 squad.
  3. As much as I love my parents, my grandparents had probably the greatest influence in my being who I am today.
  4. I look up to my younger sister (@diana1020) and all that she has the ability to do.  Check out her talents at
  5. I’ve only been addicted to coffee for the past two years; not quite sure where it’s been my whole life.
  6. I’m a founding brother of Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Service Fraternity at Shippensburg University and helped found the Rad Roadies that still exist and move band equipment today.
  7. I’ve taught 5th grade, 6th grade math, social studies, and language arts, 7th grade language arts, and have been a middle school athletic director prior to teaching technology. 
  8. I can drink a Large Chick-Fil-A milkshake in under 3 minutes and a cheesesteak from Lee’s Hoagie House in under 4 minutes. 
  9. I grew up living my life like I was Cory Matthews from “Boy Meets World.”
  10. Aerosmith is my favorite band; I’ve seen them 11 times.
  11. I had to uninstall Candy Crush because it started invading my dreams.

11 Questions asked by Joe

1. If you weren’t in education, what would you do instead?

With all of the t-shirts I’ve designed for my fraternity, I’d probably be in some sort of sales or marketing.  I think I’d love to have a screen print and sign shop with my sister.

2. Who is your favorite actor of all time?

Tom Hanks.  I don’t think there’s any other actor who can actually BECOME a character like he can.

3. If you could go to have attended any famous speech anytime in history, what would it have been?

Jim Valvano’s 1993 ESPY speech.  ( I’m not a really big basketball fan, but this was just a tremendous piece that has helped others in a time of need.

4. What do you do to relax?  De-stress?

Listen to Jimmy Buffett or Bob Marley.  Get me back to the islands, mon!

5. If you could invite anyone to dinner who would you invite and why?

Bill Cosby.  I feel like he’d be that old guy at the dinner table who can get away with saying anything he wants.  And we’d have pudding pops for dessert!

6. Would you prefer to visit a Zoo or Aquarium and why?

When we were in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, they coaxed a gorilla out of the corner so that visitors could see him.  He proceeded to move to where we could see him, pick up a piece of his poop like it was a Snicker’s bar and went to down on it.  He clearly wasn’t going anywhere for a while.  To this day, my son, when asked what gorillas eat, will say, “Poop!”  Zoos are MUCH better places to visit!

7. Favorite twitter chat?

A little biased, by I prefer #PAEdChat.  I like to pop in on #techedchat as well, and I’m hoping to start up #Hallochat this year with parents and teachers from Hallowell Elementary School.

8. What is one thing you tried last year that you learned about from your PLN?

I’m constantly learning about new apps to help teachers infuse into their lessons.  I think the big one that I helped push in was Socrative.  Teachers are finding success with its quick assessing and ease of use.

9. Best place to be quiet and reflect?

The shower.  That is all.

10. Favorite book of your life?

Maybe not the best book I’ve read, but because I’ve read the Harry Potter series the most, I think they fall into that category.  The books pretty much got me back into reading and they were suggested by my fifth grade teacher when I went back for a visit.

11. What is one thing you never/rarely share that you are exceptionally proud of?

I’ve been in the swimming pool business for 14 years, declined a management position to pursue my teaching career.  I’m still recognized around town as “the guy from the pool store.”  It’s been a fantastic ride of feeling like a local celebrity and having people trust me with their summers.


Nominate Others

I really don’t follow anybody else’s blog, and to be honest, never knew anybody that read mine.  So I’m kind of in the dark here about nominating others for this challenge.  But if you stumble upon this, my 11 questions for somebody else would be:

  1. If you could do anything you wanted for a living, what would you do?
  2. Who has been your biggest influence in life?  In education?
  3. If you could have attended any movie premiere, what would it have been and why?
  4. What do you do to relax?  De-stress?
  5. If you could invite anyone to dinner who would you invite and why?
  6. If you had $100,000,000, what would you do?
  7. Favorite twitter chat?
  8. What is one thing you tried last year that you learned about from your PLN?
  9. What do you look forward to in the future?
  10. Favorite book of your life?
  11. What is one thing you never/rarely share that you are exceptionally proud of?



This was a fun way to reflect.  Hopefully some others pick up on this and hopefully I can post some more reflections this year.  Happy New Year!


About MrDeissler

I teach technology education to elementary students and work with teachers on integrating new technologies into their lessons at two different elementary schools. This blog serves as a place for me to reflect and share to help make me a better educator. I've also been considered a "OneDrive Jedi," and am a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. I enjoy blogging, but struggle to keep up with it... All of my opinions are mine and not of the Hatboro-Horsham School District. Follow me on Twitter @mrdeissler
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