Teacher and life-long learner looking for innovative ways to inspire the students I teach. Middle school reading interventionist (grades 6-8) in Texas, yearbook adviser, & student advocate looking to grow my PLN with real people and real solutions.
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2014 Life Lessons Learned this Summer
Ms. Angelou said it best; and for this summer- I am thankful for life.
As my summer wraps up, I'm left to reflect on what I've learned- which is to being thankful for the moments we are given, each one of them. So these are my top 2014 Life Lessons learned this Summer:
Grow your zones of comfort; push your boundaries... Being scared to do something is ok... normal, even; but when that fear overpowers your will to step out of the boundaries you set for yourself, you begin to limit your own effectiveness, defeating your power of growth.
Celebrate the moments of life; even in death... The mom of one of our students unexpectedly died toward the beginning of the summer. My heart ached for this young man; losing his mom at such a young age. My son was also a classmate of his this school year, so we (my son and I) attended the funeral for his mother. It was a beautiful service, but also a reminder that the kids we serve are not only our kids from August through May. Our lives are forever intertwined, and our support for them is so much more than a regular 8-5 kind of job.
Cherish each moment; live your day to its fullest... As stated above, we never know how much time we will be given and that is true for the young, as much as the old. This summer our school lost one of its rising 5th graders in a tragic accident. While I had not had the opportunity to teach this young girl, I had the privilege of hearing countless stories of how she loved life- loved laughing, fishing, going on adventures, and "wasn't afraid of anything." She was known for her vivacious smile and excitement for life. May we, too, celebrate each moment in the same way.
Relish new beginnings; they equal growth... I also had the awesome opportunity to attend the wedding of one of my friends, whom I teach with! I sincerely enjoyed seeing all of her planning and excitement fulfilled as her dreams came true. I'm reminded that we should also relish in new beginnings because this equals growth... and growth is good.
Take time for family and friends; your devices, tools, and resources will be waiting... At the end of the day I've tried to do my best with not being as "electronically" connected and instead "presently" connected during these summer months with my family and friends. What I've learned is that while there always seems to be an urgency and fast-paced sense to things in the Edtech realm, those things are still there, waiting, when you pick them back up.
I hope that you're gearing back up for a great school year, but also hope that you've stopped long enough to enjoy your summer as well!
.... and there is was. I loved my classroom. I loved my kids. I loved those things and they were great... But I wanted something even more than that. I wanted to be able to focus on reading with small groups of students at a time in order to understand their individual needs; to try to get a glimpse into why they struggled year after year, to be a source of encouragement, and ultimately to help them be a little better at reading and comprehending than before they'd ever met me. So... to do this- to go after what I wanted but had never had, I had to do some things I had never done. I had to leave my intimately cozy school where I truly considered each person there a part of an extended family unit. I had to load up 8 years worth of materials and teacher junk and haul it to a new school; and not just any school... to a MIDDLE school! The horror! I had always sworn I would never... COULD never teach in a junior high/middle school setting, and here I was scrambling over boxes and giv…
QUESTION: If you were any animal, what would it be? While I would love to say a cheetah for its stealthy ability to run and its sleek body movement in the wild, the fact that I am a wood duck proved more accurately after a recent field trip to a Botanical Garden and boat ride on the bayou. While I've gone with classes in the past on this same field trip, ridden this same boat through the bayou, and heard about the wood duck nesting boxes erected along the side of the bayou- I guess I had never really given much thought to the special nature of the baby wood duck and the mother duck who calls her babies to literally fall out of the wooden boxes since they are unable to fly. I think the mother wood duck must feel like a teacher most days of her motherly life in her little nesting box. Why? Because as a teacher I worry and fret about what I'm doing in the classroom to help my students be successful. Sometimes as a teacher you feel like your kids have automatic hearing they can turn o…
Autonomy and collaboration are two buzz words you hear often right now in the realms of education chatter. And for those days when collaboration means within our own classroom, it seems like this is the day autonomy needs to be focused on the most. I can take the same two students and match them up to work as partners, who would have normally joined up anyway- but there is something about the teacher doing the matching that often times sets things on a bad foot right away. I noticed this when school first started. I would watch the groups and partners gather in clusters when I simply said for them to partner up- versus watching their reactions when I actually called them out, putting them in very similar groupings. There is something to be said for students feeling like they have a say in who they work with. I guess we are no different as adults.
I saw a strategy at a workshop last year called "Making Appointments" that I envisioned as a complete train wreck, but one day last…