Posts

Summertime and Reflection

Ahhhh....summer!  After the hustle and bustle of my nephew's graduation, I finally feel like summer vacation has begun.  It's Monday morning and here I sit with my computer thinking about what I want my big rocks to be for the summer.  I mean, of course the usual:  vacation, spending time with family, getting things done around the house (Lord knows we need to do stuff around the house)....but I mean professionally.  I want to take advantage of this time and really help myself grow.  So what is it that I want to focus on?

It's funny that I am pondering this question as I have the ability to view my children's ISTEP scores this morning.  One child has had PASS+ scores since 3rd grade.  The other child has passed ISTEP one year since 3rd grade and failed every year since then, including this year.  As I anticipated seeing his scores this morning I thought "Maybe this year.  Maybe he will pass this year."  You know, I am the first person that will always quickly…

Comparison

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This quote right here.  This is the one that is on my mind.  Honestly, it is one that I have been passionate about for quite some time now but it seems to strike me more and more these days.
In Education, comparison seems to be prevalent in every classroom.  It's hard not to compare, right? We see what the teacher next door is doing and think, "Wow!  Look at what she is doing, I didn't even think of that."  I think that is a basic human reaction in life- comparison.  It can drive us to achieve more, do better, reach higher goals...or it can rob us of what we are already doing well and slowly steal our happiness.  It can control us more than we want it to.  Comparison is a tricky concept.
Maybe not everyone looks at what the teacher across the hall does and immediately compares herself.  Maybe the reaction is different.  Maybe it is one of inspiration and wanting to learn more.  In this situation, comparison can help us grow and find out so much more about who we are…

Clear Head, Clear Goals

For me, Christmas break is always a time to catch my breath and set goals for myself both personally and professionally.  This year is no different.  I was able to watch some of Matt Miller's Ditch Summit over break.  I felt like one speaker in particular  was speaking directly to me!  Kim Strobel is a happiness coach.  She has spent many years in education so she understands the perspective of teachers everywhere.  She has devoted her life to helping people add more happiness to their life.  I feel like I am a fairly happy person but it is so easy, especially in this profession, to get caught up in the things that are not within my control.  Those things can weigh me down, build up over time and soon take over HOW I spend my time.  I might spend my time mentally focused on some of these worries and less time focused on the here and now.  She spoke about being present in each moment- both physically and mentally.

One major takeaway I had from Kim was this idea of a gratitude journ…

Goal Setting

So today I went into a 4th grade classroom to help guide students in the task of goal setting.  I must admit, I was pretty nervous because I am used to 6, 7 and some 8 year olds.  4th grade is a whole different world.  Living with an 11 and 13 year old is quite different than standing in front of a room full of 10 year olds teaching.  Yikes! 

As I over- explained to them the process of choosing a goal, I realized that these kids knew themselves really well.  They have had 10 years of people telling them what they need to improve on.  I didn't have to pull anything out of them at all.  They said things like "I sometimes take things too far and I want to fix that," or "I want to work on controlling my body more."  How insightful!  I just did not give them enough credit.  They were excited to get rolling with these goals and have purpose.  
There was one important piece I took away today:  kids are so very aware of what their downfalls are but sometimes struggle t…

Reformed

I feel like this blog is a constant work in progress.  Instead of just jabbering about myself in these posts, I'm going to try to reform this blog a little so that it is geared more towards the things I am doing in my classroom that are worthwhile.  My purpose is to help.    Before I get into some favorite tools and activities, I do need to give a little background....

A few years ago I found myself feeling burned out, worthless, and ready to quit my job.  I actually Googled "what can teachers do for a living?"  Multiple times.  I think we have all been there at one point or another.  I'm not sure where the turning point was exactly but I do know it had something to do with being involved with technology and surrounding myself with people who saw something in me that I did not see at the time.  I also found Twitter.  These things helped me to be more confident in who I am as an educator.  With this I have become less fearful, more willing to take risks and more EXCIT…

Excitement!

So remember when I was reeling from the conference in Hammond???  I took that excitement and went forth with Google Certification!  I have to admit that I was pretty nervous.  I have not used Google Apps in my classroom as much as I probably should have or could have this past year.  Through the training process, I learned so much and I am super excited to use many of these tools next year!  I also feel this motivation to certify at Level 2, trainer and innovator.  Never in a million years would I have thought that for myself but it's sort of addicting and exciting all at once! There's this other little thing that keeps creeping up on me that I want to do...I really want to share my love for Seesaw at a conference somewhere.  I thought about the Warsaw eLearning day this summer and I have started to fill out the submission form, like 4 times already and then stopped.  Again, intimidating but exciting.  I'm not sure what I will do yet but I should probably make a decision s…