Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2017

Embrace It

Embrace...my One Word for 2018. This process has helped me focus on my goals in the past and I look forward to the journey of my One Word again. This might be the easiest One Word I have ever chosen. It came to me after thoughtful prayer and consideration. I wanted a word that would move me into action. Something I could carry with me that would inspire my journey, but also lift me up when I enter the valleys that inevitably come.

Embrace means to accept or support willingly and enthusiastically. This is easy to do when it involves the happy things in our lives like promotions, accomplishments, family, but can be much more difficult when we travel through the valleys in our life. When this word first entered my heart I thought for a moment about what it meant to me. I immediately thought of my oldest daughter, who is a senior in high school. I want to embrace every moment of this next semester with her because I know it will fly by. I want to create a balance in my work life that allo…

The Gift of Behavior

If a picture is worth a thousand words then what's the value of an action? How do we quantify that? Have you ever sat and just people watched? It's something my dad loves to do. He gets a kick out of watching people hurry about and interact with each other. I have often caught myself sitting and observing the people around me. I find myself wondering what they're thinking. What is going on inside their head that has caused the particular expression being displayed on their face at that moment. It intrigues me. It all serves as communication. Every facial expression, movement, word, or disengagement communicates something. But what if words can't be found? What if the way someone chooses to communicate makes it difficult for anyone to see, hear, or try to understand them and in fact causes the exact opposite...causes people to stop listening, engaging them, or trying to understand them? This is what is happening in classrooms across the country. I know it is not is…

Schoolhouse Goals

We all have goals. I have personal goals and I have schoolhouse goals. Goals drive us, motivate us, and keep us moving forward. We model goal setting for our students and therefore it's important to share some of our goals with them. They need to see us working towards them. Better yet, they need to see us go through the struggle, the ups and downs of trying to reach our goals.

Goals are like the light at the end of a tunnel that you can see clearly during parts of the journey and not at all at other times. I have to remind myself that a goal is a challenge, an end result that will make me, my kids, or my schoolhouse better. The struggle that we go through to reach our goals is empowering and builds character. It fosters a growth mindset and instills a determination in our hearts. I want my students to know that through hard work they can accomplish their goals, modify them, and set new goals.

My schoolhouse goals are both simple and complicated. Simple in the idea that they are g…

What Connected Educators Do

I woke up this morning, made my coffee, and began my journey out to my front porch swing. As I sat there, I began my morning routine. It starts with a stroll through Twitter. Many minutes are spent reflecting on the plan for the day. A check list starts to form in my head of things to do and people to talk to. During this time I reflect on conversations, things I've recently read, Twitter chats, and so on. Today I am reflecting on relationships. The power of being connected. My mind naturally goes to this place because a new school year is just around the bend. 
I'm a connected educator. I can call myself that because I make a point to connect with other educators. That is what being a connected educator means...right?
Yes and no. 
Connecting with other educators is crucial to our growth and our abilities to maintain best practices for our students. However, this morning I am reflecting on the question...
What do connected educators do?  
Where do I begin? I mean there is the …

Dream Big

Dream Big...this has been a conversation that keeps popping up around me. First, it started with my daughter. She is about to begin her senior year in high school. I'm currently holding back tears as I see those words in black and white. It's true, my oldest daughter will graduate this year. We have had many conversations as a result of this milestone. She shared an observation she made, "Everyone keeps asking me what I'm going to do after high school." She went on to share some of the many questions she is asked.

Are you going to go to college? What are you going to do? What do you want to be?
She turned to me and said something so profound...
"You know what I want to be? I want to be a graphic designer, but I also want to be a writer, and I love photography, so why do I have to choose?  You know what...from now on when people ask me what I want to be...I'm going to say...I want to be a lot! My dreams are big and I'm not going to make them small just so…

Why do we do what we do?

   I always like to start with the “why” behind my motivations. Why do I teach? To educate children. To provide them with a better a future. To prepare them to become productive citizens who have a passion for other people and believe in their own abilities. My hope is that when they leave my classroom, they are confident learners, who believe they have a future story.
Why do you teach?
    I am a teacher. I am passionate about what I do. I impact lives every day. In return, I get to watch my students grow into wonderfully, intelligent, and independent people. Some of my students come into my classroom eager to learn while others take more encouragement. No matter how they start out, I get to see the fruits of my labor transform them into readers, mathematicians, problem solvers, and most importantly confident people who believe in themselves.  
    I understand the responsibility I have. It’s a big one, and I don’t take it lightly. This brings…

Looking for Lovely...

I had a conversation with my kids the other day. The conversation started in response to an argument they were having. I started thinking about how often I am mediating these arguments, not only in my home with my own children, but at school as well. I then began to think about the overall attitude I am witness to on a daily basis. I began to notice something... we all seem to have developed a "hall monitor" like perspective. You remember the hall monitor days where a person was appointed the job of monitoring the halls, looking for "offenders." The offenders were quickly addressed and given their subsequent consequence. Yes, that is definitely the perception we have developed today.

We stand at attention looking for what is not being done the right way. Looking for "offenders." Ready to pounce, admonish, and correct. We admonish the behavior through social media, in person, through our conversations, etc...  We have become the negative seekers. We are mo…

Misunderstood...

The classroom is so quiet...everyone sitting in rows.  There is another look shot my way...a comment to 'please stop' said in my direction. I can feel the stress rising in my body. I know...I know. Later, I will place the note in my backpack. A note that will explain to my parents that I continuously made distracting noises even though I had been asked to stop.

I look up to see a girl two desks in front of me looking at me with a smirk. She is now giggling as she mimics me. She looks at the girl across the aisle from her. They are both giggling now. My face is red. I feel hot. I didn't know, I want to say to them both. They don't understand...I don't understand.

The stress is building...it's getting worse. Another comment, another look... "I'm trying!" I want to yell at the top of my lungs. Please stop looking at me, talking to me about it...you don't realize it, but you're making it worse.

I'd like to say I won't do it again, but …