Leibster Award


This week, I was surprised to be nominated by Norah Colvin for the Leibster Award, which is an effort to encourage and recognize emerging bloggers and to spur connections between bloggers. Thank you, Norah, for nominating me. Norah is a fellow educator who has a great blog that you can access here: http://norahcolvin.com/.

I will now turn to the questions that Norah has requested the bloggers that she nominated answer.

1. What do you value most in life?
What I value most in life are moments of possibility and opportunity, where the world seems open and the choices seem infinite. I also value the people that I know and the education that I have received.

2. What activities do you enjoy and why?
The activity that I most enjoy — and which I have always most enjoyed — is reading. I love how transformative literature can be and the opportunity that it allows me to consider viewpoints so different from my own. I also enjoy non-fiction, especially work related to education that tries to challenge the status quo.

I also really enjoy playing board games of any variety and cooking — particularly baking.

3. What is something you wish you had more time for?
I wish that I had more time to travel, to try new recipes, and to read more books. And also that I had more time to spend with my friends and family.

4. What is one change you would like to make in the world?
I would like to change our society so that equal educational opportunity could actually exist, so that everyone could have access to basic resources, and so that money and special interests wouldn’t dictate the media.

5. What is something you would like change about yourself?
I would like to be a tad more outgoing and a little less independent.

6. What “big” question do you often ponder?
Why our differences continue to lead to such polarization and why empathy can be so selective.

7. What surprises you most about your life — something good in your life that you hadn’t expected, dreamed of, or thought possible?
Being in a relationship with a partner with a worldview quite different from mine who challenges my views and assumptions and is incredibly kind, supportive, and loving. I did not know it was possible to find someone to whom you could literally say anything!

8. What sorts of things amuse you?
I am most amused by the comments that my second graders make in our classroom. I also enjoy when the ridiculousness of an idea is exposed by positing the same thinking in another situation. For example, when teachers being evaluated based solely on test scores is compared to dentists being penalized for the number of cavities they have to treat.

9. What is something you can’t do without?
I can’t do without a good book on my person at all times — I regret it horribly when I am somewhere and have nothing to read! I also could not do with pasta. I read an article that said that climate change could lead to a decrease in pasta production due to difficulties cultivating wheat and it sounded like a plot of a horror movie to me.

10. What do you like to collect?
I like to collect copies of student work that blows me away with its insight or hilarity (I have a “smile file” where I keep these items). I also like to collect quotes and articles and stories that suggest that gender roles are actually shifting and gender stereotyping is altering. And pasta recipes.


At this point, I am supposed to nominate a couple bloggers whose blogs I enjoy reading to complete this same exercise. I am clearly in need of more suggestions about great blogs to read — unfortunately I often barely have time to update my own blog. I wish that I could find more time to read all the wisdom that other educators are sharing on their blogs!

But, I do have two blogs that I enjoy reading and think that others should check out!

  1. Tickle Me Pink (http://judymko.wordpress.com/)
    Judy blogs about teaching and life. She teaches second grade like I do, and she has recently started doing Genius Hour with her students! I really enjoy reading her reflections on her classroom — she has lots of great ideas.
  2. Texas Teaching Fanatic (http://texasteachingfanatic.com/)
    Kayla blogs about her 4th grade classroom. She has great suggestions for teaching writing and is clearly a passionate educator!

My ten questions will be the same ones that Norah asked me — I can’t come up with any ideas that are better than hers at the moment!


10 thoughts on “Leibster Award

  1. Kayla Shook March 13, 2014 / 4:33 pm

    Wow! Thanks so much for the nomination! I’m honored that you would select my blog! Now I’m off to answer some questions and nominate someone else. 🙂

  2. Norah March 14, 2014 / 8:40 am

    Hi Nicole,
    Thanks for your very thoughtful responses to my questions. I really enjoyed reading them. You did a great job. I had a go at answering them myself yesterday and got a bit “stuck”, thought maybe they weren’t as easy as I’d thought and that I should have tried them first. Your answers make them look effortless. I am also amused by the things that children say, amused in a delighted kind of way. They just have a wonderful way of looking at the world. I also love to collect what they say, and especially hold dear the letters and drawings they make for me – very special.

    • Cultivating Questioners March 20, 2014 / 11:17 am

      Your questions were so good — I wasn’t sure whether or not I had done them justice, so I’m glad you felt as though I did!

  3. Charli Mills March 15, 2014 / 12:54 am

    Congratulations, Nicole! I’m so glad to get the opportunity to meet you and read your answers. i think Norah did a splendid job at crafting thought-provoking question. I had to laugh at your idea of a pasta-less world being like a horror movie. And I’m touched that you collect your student’s work. Teachers are awesome!

    • Cultivating Questioners March 20, 2014 / 11:19 am

      Thanks! She really did do a great job. It looks like you have an interesting blog, too, I’ll have to check it out!

      • Charli Mills March 20, 2014 / 9:51 pm

        Thanks for visiting my blog…maybe you’ll join Norah and me in crafting flash fiction! 🙂

  4. judymko March 15, 2014 / 9:59 am

    Thank you so much for the nomination. I was surprised and honored. I enjoy reading your blog, too.

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