I am Jana McEachern and I have been teaching in some way, shape or form since I was in college. It started with twirling (yes, I was a twirler, don’t judge, it’s a lost art) lessons my freshman year of college, then morphed into teaching Criminal Justice in 1997. I didn’t go the traditional teaching route – I was an alternative certification teacher after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University. I loved teaching high school kids, the opportunity to watch them grow over their four years of school is something I treasure, and when I see or hear from those kids today I feel like such a proud mom. In fact, I taught Daisy Middlebrook Marino and her sisters, and watching her grow into who she is makes me beyond proud to have been a part of it.
As with teaching, I didn’t come into the technology field the traditional way. I became a Technology Mentor and Curriculum Facilitator on my campus and discovered I had an affinity for the techy stuff. From there, I went back to school, got my M.Ed. in Educational Technology and never looked back. I started teaching teachers at Region 5 Education Service Center after 10 years of teaching and I can honestly say I truly love what I do. I learn just as much from teaching them as I hope they do from attending my trainings.
Currently, I’m working with a middle school campus on implementing their 1:1 iPad initiative. This is some of the best, hardest work I’ve ever done. We’ve had some big mistakes, and some big successes and I’ve learned so much from the people I’m surrounded by. I, along with some great educator friends, recently started moderating #reg5chat – a Twitter chat for all teachers in the Region 5 ESC geographic area (Southeast Texas). This has been an amazing experience for me – we’ve had educators from all over the world attend our chat who amaze and inspire me with their ideas and their passion. I’ve learned more on Twitter in the past year than pretty much all my teaching years combined. I’ve been to some awesome conferences, but Twitter and the people who passionately share their experiences and ideas on it are the most powerful resource I have.
Lately I’ve become passionate about developing teacher leaders and lead learners on the campus/district level. I’m married to a school superintendent who I truly believe embodies the definition of lead learner, and he influences much of what I do with the campus I’m on. I believe that building a strong culture of teacher leaders and lead learners on a campus or district is the best way to foster success. Those who lead, act. And those actions have a powerful effect on school culture.
My Favorite Things: Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, all things Google, ExplainEverything, Remind 101, Educreations, Zite, Pocket, ThingLink, eBackPack, Smart Boards/Smart Notebook.
Ways to connect with me:
Upcoming Projects: EdCampESC5, March 29, 2014 – Warren HS, Warren, Texas.