About the Blog


I started HotLunchTray in 2010 after transitioning from classroom teacher to an eLearning Specialist in the Technology Department of my school district.

Recently, I was asked about my blog name. I think back I am in 4th or 5th grade in the cafeteria of Hilltop Elementary in Cedar Springs, Michigan. This was a school my great grandparents attended as their high school and it is a beautiful building. I do not remember if I consumed an inordinate amount of “hot lunch” in elementary school. However, I can hear the lunchroom helpers telling students to pick up, take care of, return their trays. Their hot lunch trays.

I called those trays that in three different states to many students, maybe it is one of those local colloquialisms? But they are hot lunch trays to me.
And nothing says Public School to me like a hot lunch tray.

On HotLunchTray.com I provide insights into educational technology, teacher professional learning, and fresh opinions on education. I hope to continue to reach my people.

About Me

I am Penny Christensen. Originally from Western Michigan, I have taught and lived in Florida, Georgia, and Michigan. I am a lifelong educator, I am still not sure what that will look like in the future for me. I have formally taught 4th-7th grades, specializing in mathematics, science, and content literacy.

After teaching for 11 years I moved into the Technology Department in 2009 as an eLearning Specialist. I help educators implement educational technologies. This technology integration thing is just like acquiring any literacy, one should acquire it and then not need people like me to help. Let’s see.

I have some firm beliefs:

  • public schooling can be an act of social justice
  • doing well in school does not mean doing well in life and vice-versa
  • teachers can at any given moment be the one who makes THE difference and they will rarely recognize that opportunity so always be prepared
  • standardized testing is data, just like my BMI
  • a person is smarter when they access people from a variety of places and backgrounds

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Penny Christensen