Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Teacher Wears Many Hats- But A "Vendor" Title Is Not One Of Them!

Greetings Edtech World,

It was recently brought to my attention from a Minnesota administrator- that another Minnesota school district was inquiring to find out more information about me, my company and my credibility as a presenter. I am glad individuals are seeking out this needed information to do their research on the front end, and bring in the most
influential and inspiring presenter to make a learning impact with their staff. But I later found out one individual responded to the original Google+ post online and noted he did not know much about me, but noted he met me at the MN Google Summit, and interacted with me online though a few Google Hangouts, but viewed me as a "vendor' since I was not "stationed" in a k-12 school. It saddens me to note that some educators view a successful edtech business woman as a "vendor" from their perspective. The online quote from this individual noting, "I met her at the Minnesota Google Summit this past spring and wanted to write her off as a vendor for not being connected with a school." This quote appears as if a woman owned edtech company was frowned upon or looked down upon because I was not in a classroom setting. Yet he does not know my whole story and the capabilities that I have and offer- as I was not there selling anything- I was providing professional development expertise and provided my service for free at this event. 

According to Wikipedia- vendor, or a supplier, in a supply chain is an enterprise that contributes goods or services in a supply chain. Generally, a supply chain vendor manufactures inventory/stock items and sells them to the next link in the chain. Today, the terms refers to a supplier of any good or service.

The word "vendor" apparently can be taken out of context and be utilized in a negative way even though it is meant to positive. The quote I noted in the above paragraph of "I met her at the Minnesota Google Summit this past spring and wanted to write her off as a vendor for not being connected with a school" left me feeling that my unselfish ways of sharing of my expertise and bountiful resources at this event was not appreciated or even accepted. It is amazing how one person can have so much influence- whether negative or positive on another individual with sharing a small piece of misguided information. *Now if he would have only "Googled" my name - he would have gotten the big picture, the whole story- the missing puzzle piece to understand that I am not a "vendor."

Hmmmmm.... this made me really take a step back and look differently at this situation and reflect on this particular incident. In all of my F2F and online presentations, I almost always introduce myself as an educator first and foremost before any of the titles, certifications or years of teaching experience. At times, I even begin my workshops and bypass my intro and truly focus on my audience member intro's to get to know them more professionally, and then usually after an hour or so- an attendee will ask...."and what is your name again and I want to visit or land a job in your school where you instruct." You see, I truly live and breath the life of an educator. It is not about me as a "vendor" it is about the educators I serve to provide them the best possible professional development experiences to improve their instructional practices and approaches to enhance teaching and learning.  Yes, I DO have a dream job as an educator, even though I am not "stationed" behind 4 walls within a physical classroom setting and do not have 25+ students in my classroom.

My job is PASSION - DRIVEN- it is not "vendor" driven. I stay up-to-date and relevant with current trends, research, and best practices in K-20 education. I spend an exorbitant about of time each week researching, reading, designing, creating and publishing original works to share and collaborate with others to extend their and my personal and professional learning. An additional 10-15 hours a week I spend networking, connecting and cultivating relationships with k-20 educators and administrators through social media streams to solve problems, find new solutions or create new edtech work flows to increase productivity and efficiency of a school's professional development learning initiative and communication practices.

The best part of my job is I meet with students and teachers on a regular basis and ask them and discuss with them how they learn best. I dig
deeper into the inquiry process and continue to ask them what would they like to change in their educational work space to create a better, safer and more conducive learning environment. And then I try my best to make the magic happen with finding funding resources, or connecting or bringing in experts in virtually to provide new inspirational insights to support their practices of change, or empowering the teachers and students to step-up, take the risk and activate the change they are seeking for improved classroom learning experiences. 

Then as I continue on with my "normal 60+ hour work week" as many educator's do,  I provide inspirational professional development to schools throughout the Nation and Internationally- whether it is onsite or through Adobe Connect or Google Hangouts as webinars. I wear many hats in my job- as most educators do, as I am also a technology coach, a Google Certified Teacher, a National Intel Senior Trainer, and a 1:1 mobile learning specialist.

My job is to empower teachers and administrators with motivating and engaging best instructional practices- to improve their teaching and administrative performances in their k-12 teaching and learning environments- to ultimately impact student achievement for each and every child in their district. 



My name is Naomi Harm, I am a very proud and respected educator, I am a mother, I am a first time grand-mother, I am the CEO of Innovative Educator Consulting Corporation, a first generation woman owned business entrepreneur- and proud of it! I am not a vendor.

3 comments:

Deb Norton said...

A person only has to spend a short time with Naomi to know what an incredible educator she is. When I first attended one of Naomi's sessions, I quickly realized that she knew the big picture of what I experience every day in our 5th grade classroom. Having seen Naomi work with a group of educators first hand, I can tell you that she is able to connect instantly with educators in a personal and professional way that is motivating and purposeful. Naomi is working hard to change the educational technology world and I am proud to call her my friend and colleague. She is one of the hardest working educators that I know!

Kim Penrod said...

Well, He has obviously never seen you in action. You are an outstanding educator! In my opinion, Winona Schools are stronger for your training.
As Buggs Bunny says..."He don't know you very well, do he?"
Kim Penrod

Sue Gorman said...

You are one of the most amazing EDUCATORS I know. Everyone who has attended any of your amazing sessions, keynotes, or conversations knows that kind friend. God bless you for all you do for teachers and students world wide.