Updated: Dec 11, 2020
Hello, reader, it's nice to meet you! My name is Kristen Elliott and this is my blog, where I plan to write and think about various topics throughout the upcoming months. I really appreciate you taking the time to read my posts, and hope that you not only take something away from each time that I write, but as well enjoy the experience!
I thought the best way to start this blog is to provide an introduction about who I am. Like you, I try diversify my personal portfolio in life. I enjoy wearing many hats and figuring out how each part of me connects to a larger whole. I establish these "puzzle pieces" as affirmative core value statements. Here are my top three to note:
1. I am a lifelong learner, and to teach is to learn.
Heard of Strengthfinders? If you have, you know that when you take their quiz, they give you a personalized result summary of your top five strengths and how you can utilize them in your work and personal life. Every single time I take the SF assessment, I always receive the result that "Learner" as a top strength of mine. And what that means is that I have a strong desire to learn and to continuously improve through the act of learning. I'm the kind of person where I actually enjoyed going to school for the aspect of being in the classroom, and I'm a huge fan of diving into something I don't know through reading, research, and talking with others. To me, learning equates to confidence, and by knowing more about a topic, I feel more confident to speak about it and use it in my day to day experiences.
In this thought, I also believe the affirmation that to teach is to learn. A famous French essayist, Joseph Joubert, shared the same vision through his quote "To teach is to learn twice." In my opinion, to be a strong teacher is to inspire students for them to want to learn more. And how can you inspire students? By being inspired by the material yourself. You have to energize your love for learning to spread it to others. I think about this a lot when teaching in the classroom. If I don't enjoy the material I'm teaching, then how can I expect my students to be fully engaged as well?
2. I am an ambassador of STEAM.
You most likely have heard the term STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. STEAM represents the same with the addition of the "A," which stands for art (humanities, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design, etc.). STEM focuses on utilizing scientific concepts; STEAM does the same, but does this through representation and support of the creative process. There are so many benefits to embracing the arts and many will tote the belief that pursuing an arts based education makes you a more well rounded individual. It helps you find new and different ways to identify empathy, and allows a creative outlet in building a stronger foundation for problem solving, attention to detail, and working with others.
What does it mean to be an ambassador of STEAM? Well, in my mind I embrace daily the balance of being a woman in STEM while also being a professional musician. I went to school for both topics (Music and Psychology), and while I work in technology for my "9 to 5", I live, write, teach, and play music in my free time as my personal passion. I honestly cannot imagine a life without either pursuit because it makes me, well, me!
3. I am a leader because I am a collaborator.
There is so much power in diversity of thought. At the end of the day, I am just one opinion and one mindset in a collection of thoughts. When working on a project, or a problem, I never want to be the only person in the room. I want to work with a variety of people because they may have a different perspective, or a different piece of information that I need or want to know. Working with others is the greatest strength the human mind can do in creating success; therefore, as a leader I don't lead others - I support others!
I hope my core values intrigue you to keep reading some of my future posts. I plan to cover a wide variety of topics, and am excited to hear your thoughts and feedback as we dive in.
With that, learn on readers!