What a great way to honor someone who is "retiring!" Voicethreads & wikis

I feel like an awestruck child looking at my first fireworks show.  Who am I that such wonder should come my way?

And yet, tonight, on wow2, I was totally shocked to have such kindness from many of you.  You made a tribute to me of encouragement and kindness in celebration of the last night on the show as an official co-host.

After a long day of teaching, I'm so exhausted, and yet, I've listened to every voicethread comment and looked at every picture on the tribute wiki.  You have given me one of the greatest gifts I've ever received!

In the voice thread below, I've truly recorded all of my thoughts to you and how I feel.

Though spent, I am exhilerated.

This is a great way to honor someone and the model Jennifer created is beautiful:

And, how on earth did it stay a secret?
Here is a copy of the letter I just posted to the home page of the wiki:

“Dear friends,

Thank you for reaching through the Internet and encouraging me. This is such a kindness! The educators around the world are truly a welcoming and noble group of people. I am happy to call you friends and colleagues.

I've left a voice recording on the beautiful voice thread you've left and hope you'll take a moment to listen to the thank you. Of course, I'm not going far and still will be on the Internet at the Cool Cat teacher blog and sharing things at select conferences.

I'm very grateful to the amazing edtechtalk.com channel — the most amazing group of webcasters in education. I hope we can figure out a way for me to help in any way possible the amazing efforts of these pioneers in education. I plug the podcasts there every chance I get. Also, I encourage every educator who wants to webcast to join the webcast academy and become a Webhead. We need more webheads so we can have more podcasts. It is time for science, history, literature, languages podcasts to crop up. Share, Share, Share. We are much more together than we are a part.

Of course, I will always, always, be a women of web 2 and am grateful for Jennifer, Sharon, and Cheryl and the many hours we've all put into making the show the very best it can be. I will remain a loyal listener and fan as they take it all to the next level and will continue to support the show in any way I can.

Thank you for taking the time! Let me point this out. This wiki has touched me profoundly, so, what could you do for someone retiring in your school, district, or organization? Make a voicethread like the one that is here. I LOVE THE VOICETHREAD! It is a gift to the person and to their family.

Everyone wants to know that they mean something, that they've left a legacy — ESPECIALLY TEACHERS. What better way to do this than to have voicethreads to celebrate the work that they have done.

The best way to thank me is to do this for someone else. I can tell you this, when people want to pay tribute to other teachers by leaving a voice thread message, somehow the whole thing comes alive. Learning to edit a wiki to leave a comment does something. I think this is a great thing to do for anyone you want to honor.

The tears upon my cheeks tonight have shown me the power and gratitude that I feel.

Because we can give thousands of plaques and thank yous, but it is the stories of those we touch that make our legacy. It is not about awards, it is about the lives we touch and the people who we've helped live better lives. Every good teacher deserves this.

Thank you for not only affirming me, but in affirming to me the desire to pass on the feeling I have right to other teachers who deserve the thank you… and this world is full of them.

Turn around and do this to thank another teacher or educator.

I am forever grateful for this tribute, it is truly one of the pinnacles of my career.

Vicki Davis
Cool Cat Teacher
co-founder of women of web 2

If it is possible for me to feel that words are insufficient, now is the time!  But I'll say this, using these tools to honor the teachers among us may be the single greatest “happy accident” we've had in a long time.  Try it and share it.

Thank you!

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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RW July 9, 2008 - 1:49 pm


Could you clarify what you mean by “happy accident”?

Am finding that to be a bit insulting to those people who worked hard to create this for you, to spend time adding their thoughts. It was not an accident that this was created and I find your description an unfortunate choice of words. Would enjoy hearing your explanation on that.

Also, you need to know I lost the bet. I thought in no way would she call attention to her tribute blog for at least two or three days but I lost by a landslide.

Habitually you continue to shine the spotlight on yourself and sadly, again, that seems to be quite evident.

I am sure your presence on WOW2 will be missed which is evident by the kind words expressed by about 20 people. The fact that you felt the necessity to twitter it, to blog it, and to promote it and embellish it to further your greatness? That is sad.


Anonymous July 9, 2008 - 4:34 pm

I have a feeling no one is shining a spotlight on RW and that RW may be bothered by that. That’s the only explanation I can fathom for leaving such a comment. You handled it very gracefully.

Best of luck to you, Vicki. Looking forward to your next edtech adventure.

Vicki A. Davis July 9, 2008 - 2:44 pm

@rw – happy accident is a term we use in the south — it is not an insulting term. It means that something was done and had another effect than the one intended.

I’m sorry you don’t like me, however, the people who did this deserved a thank you and I would find it insulting to them not to say thank you.

I’m sorry that you find it necessary to hurt my feelings in this way. To take a bet on such a thing… that is terribly hurtful.

I’m still thankful to the people who did this for me, it was a very kind gesture and I appreciate it so very much. I am very grateful.

I would never insult people who did such a nice thing for me.

I would say you undid it, but you certainly hurt my feelings. Such personal comments are very hurtful.

Vicki A. Davis July 9, 2008 - 2:46 pm

@rw – Did you mean to point to the art of self promotion as your link?

Kim Caise July 9, 2008 - 7:56 pm


You have left a profound impact on my about all things ed tech. I know it is hard to not focus on the negative, more like ridiculously insane, comments or feedback but I hope you find a way to let the comment roll off your back like water off a duck’s back. RW apparently has issues and unfortunately chose your blog to air his rant.

You have touched the lives of so many of us in such a profound way – around the world and at home. I commend you for adjusting your responsibilities to spend more time with your children. As you well know it is time well spent and time that you can’t get back nor will you regret.

I know this isn’t the end of the road for you ed techwise as you are an awesome educator, eloquent speaker, prolific writer and dedicated Christian – all of which I am honored to know virtually in the blogosphere. Thanks for all you do.

Kim Caise

Cheryl Oakes July 10, 2008 - 2:48 am

Ms. Vicki,
I was going to post something like this in your tribute page, however, it seems appropo to post it here.
In thinking about how I came to know you and work with you, one of the most compelling things about what I have learned from you is that you have taught me how to work transparently in order to model for others how it is to navigate this digital world. You have demonstrated many teachable moments with the right way to do things and then again, what happens if things are done in an unethical manner. You have challenged me to do more and engage others to try new things.You have demonstrated what it means to be gracious to all, not just the few in a group. I agree that the Voicethread and the wiki are great ways to collaborate to honor individuals, I agree that blogging and tweeting are great ways to say thank you.Continue being gracious, continue being innovative, many of us are following your lead and your inspiration with our students.

loonyhiker July 10, 2008 - 8:07 pm

Once again you model how to handle tough situations with grace (like a true southern belle!). I don’t understand why someone would undermine the joy you were feeling by all of us telling you how much you mean to us. If I was in your place, I would feel proud too that I had made such a difference in people’s lives and would have been shouting about this from the mountain tops! I feel this should be shared as much as being proud of yourself but also to inspire others to make a difference like you have. I had lunch with a former student today (she was in my class 15 years ago) and she mentioned some things that I said that had influenced her life. She said, “Teachers don’t realize what an impact they have on their students and other people who are lucky enough to be in contact with them.” This made me proud to be a teacher and made me think of how much I appreciate you and how you have touched my life. Thank you again.

Mr. Edge July 31, 2008 - 2:55 am

Wait a second…isn’t a blog for that very reason? To comment about things, whether they happen to you or as an act of covering newsworthy events. I think both apply in this case. This is your personal blog that you have a right to comment on things that happen to you personally, and it so happens that the event you commented on was a newsworthy event. RW, your argument is moronic. Coolcatteacher, you have opened my eyes to countless educational technologies and websites that I plan to use in my own classroom. Good luck with your next venture and enjoy the time with your family.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere