We are in the midst of the crazy race to the finish of the year. Managing report cards, creating engaging lessons, planning field trips, end of year activities...the list could go on and on.
Yet, no matter what, in a few short weeks, many of us will begin our summer break.
As the school year comes to a close, it is the time of year in the cycle of teaching when we begin to reflect on the past year and make summer plans. One might think these are two separate tasks, yet often times these go hand in hand. Our chosen profession is relatively unique in that many of us have an end, a break, and then a new opportunity for a fresh start every year.
Below you will find a few articles that might help you embrace these three stages:
Hopefully, these resources will help you finish the school year strong, dive into summer, and start fresh again in the fall.
This post brought to you by Ann Miller, K-8 Math Specialist, along with
Heather Lyke and Jen Coenen, Secondary Implementation Associates
If you know me, you know my husband and I are shopping for a new home. Wanting to downsize (I want a tiny house, he wants no yard, so we’ve compromised on looking for a condo), we’re slowly filtering through our belongings. We’re pulling items out of closets that we forgot we even had: placing in boxes the linens not used in years, the sweaters we no longer wear, and the camping gear we’re not even sure why we purchased in the first place.
Perhaps the hardest part of this downsizing escapade, is that we sometimes run into those items we should get rid of but struggle to part with. Those items that served a purpose in their time but no longer are of use. Items like:
Again, if you know me, you also know I love a good extended metaphor. As I see it, downsizing our course content is much like downsizing a home. Fourth quarter, and on into the summer months, we often find ourselves with a bit of extra time to focus on what’s next—and with no fifth quarter on the horizon, this often means making adjustments for the school year to come.
In our classrooms, just as in our homes, there are items that are easy to donate or toss:
However, also like with our homes, there are items that are hard to part with, although maybe we should:
To get inspired to downsize our home, my husband and I (along with much of the US), have been watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondō on Netflix. Having read her first book a few years ago--The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up—this new Netflix series has served as a reminder of many of Marie Kondō’s key ideas. Ideas that, of course, work great in homes, but that also can be used to help create even more magic in our classrooms.
However, if doesn’t spark joy, set it aside. Consider making three piles or lists for those items that no longer spark joy in you and your students:
This, at least for me, is the hardest part of tidying up. It may help to keep in mind what Marie Kondō notes in her first book: “when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.”
| 5 |
Finish discarding before moving on.
Likewise, in our classrooms, we have to get rid of—or least commit to revamping—those items that no longer fit our students. Only then, once we see what remains, do we know what new format or structure might work best for the year to come. Only then, do we see if we have any gaps in our instruction.
| 6 |
Organize by category.
| 7 |
Designate a spot for everything.
This step reminds me of what I did about ten years ago when I revamped the American Literature course I was teaching. After having purged a few novels and some grammar units that were no longer sparking joy in my students, I rearranged. Because I figuratively laid everything out on the table, I was able to then see that my remaining content, texts, lessons, etc. fit into six themes. Embracing that fact, I rearranged from teaching American Literature chronologically, as I had always done in the past, to teaching it thematically. But it also meant I had some holes to fill: I was suddenly able to weave in a new book group unit and adjust how I taught grammar by embedding into our reading and writing tasks. It was a lot of work, but, ultimately, it lead to more effective learning in the years that followed.
As my husband and I are experiencing firsthand with our home, the act of downsizing can feel overwhelming while in the process of discarding. However, we look forward to placing all our remaining items back in the best order (ideally, in our perfect-for-us condo in downtown Rochester).
As Marie Kondō states, “the space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming...not for the person we were in the past.” This is true for our classrooms, too: we need to make them a place where students can grow into who they will become in this ever-changing world...not for the students we taught in the past.
Here are three quick tips and resources to help shore up your classroom routines and procedures so you maximize learning in the fourth quarter:
| 1 |
Greet students at the door with a sign that says I Love a Silent Start and train them to read the board and begin the entry task silently. This is a great way to channel the high energy that may be coming in from the hallway and get students focused on the learning that they’ll do during the hour. Some teachers do a quick write on the topic that you’ll be working on or a quick review from the day before.
The Teaching Channel has this great video of the routine!
| 2 |
Plan for Movement
Since we know students are going to be needing to move even more in the spring, plan this into your lesson. Here are some of my favorite teaching moves that allow students to move and talk with one another:
| 3 |
Be Explicit about Behavior Expectations
- How should students enter the room?
- What should students do when they hear my signal?
- What should students do when they return from being absent?
- What are the teacher’s expectations for electronic devices in the classroom?
- What are my expectations for classroom clean up?
- What is our ending classroom routine?
If you would like help with any of these tips your instructional coaches are an awesome resource! You could request that they support you with one particular hour that may need additional reinforcement or just do some planning with them.
Here’s to an awesome and productive spring filled with learning and engagement.
Mr. Knipshield, 'Nipper' as we called him, showed us movies, told us stories and had us read articles about driving. Along the way, he would give us quizzes to ensure that we were ready to pass our permit test so that we could graduate from the parking lot driving to the open road. My guess is that he would adjust his lessons based on what we still needed to know.For this portion of our learning, the permit test was the summative assessment. If we did not pass, we would be stuck in the parking lot.
As we were driving back and forth or in an oval in the parking lot, Nipper was talking to us over the radio in our cars. “Slow down, speed up, car #6-leave more space between you and the car in front of you.”
On the road, he was continually giving feedback and was even equipped with a brake in case of an emergency. We had to do our part, but we knew exactly what we needed to work on at all times.
So, what does this reminiscing have to do with classroom teaching? Everything. When we think of the power of formative assessment, it is incredible. Many educators argue that this is the most integral part of effective teaching. With regular formative assessments, both the student and the teacher know the next steps for teaching and learning. The student knows what they know and don’t know, and the teacher knows what to do next. By gathering this information, classrooms become less of a “string of activities” and more of a direction on a clear path.
As an assessment expert, Paul Black put it, “When the cook tastes the soup, that’s the formative assessment. When the customer tastes the soup, that’s a summative assessment.” One definition of formative assessment can be found here.
When I think of Nipper, he was continually individualizing our learning based on what we were doing at any given time. He would adjust our classroom lessons based on our quizzes, questions, and answer during class. He would adjust and give feedback on our behind-the-wheel lessons based on our driving performance. Depending on our need, he interacted with us differently. We all had the same goal in mind-passing the driving test! We just may have needed a different way of getting there.
In this article , there are 10 examples of formative assessments. By choosing the appropriate one for the situation, a teacher will be able to adjust instruction or practice to fit the needs of a learner or group of learners.
As I think back to Mr. Knipshield and his many classes of 15-year-old adolescents, I am thankful that he gave us all the feedback that we needed along the way. We needed to learn and practice in many different ways in order to become roadworthy. I am also aware that my learning is ever present. I am now the one that is formally assessing my driving. After 37 years of driving, I still need to check myself to ensure that my practice is up to par. This is the highest level that we can hope for our students to attain; to internalize the process and using it through life.
[Also, check out this blog for a peek at how formative assessment and self-assessment go hand in hand. This topic just may appear in a future blog post!]
Below are five ways teachers in the Rochester Public Schools are using instructional coaches to support their own professional development and growth.
| 1 |
We all have those students that we haven’t connected with yet. These may be students who need an additional challenge that you want to provide or students who are not yet engaged in your class. They could also be students whose behavior may be getting in the way of their learning. Ask your coach to observe them in your class and in another setting and share the data they observed with you. They can also support you in creating a plan for how to get to know these two students better or do some research on the supports other teachers may already have in place.
| 2 |
Choose a lesson you want to revamp or remodel because it hasn’t gone the way you’ve wanted it to in the past. This may be a reading that students always struggle with or a project where you’d like students to take more ownership. Meet with your coach to share what you’ve done in the past and what you are hoping to change. They can assist you in planning, resource gathering, and carrying the lesson out. For example, one middle school teacher wanted to give students more ownership in her implementation of literature circles. She worked with her coach to create a plan that included more student voice and dialogue. Her coach helped in her planning and also supported her implementation of this model in the classroom.
| 3 |
As we are studying CLRT strategies your coach is a great resource for support with trying some new teaching techniques. Teachers at one of our middle schools are trying to implement discussion protocols in their classrooms to improve student voice, engagement and achievement. They are working with their coach to choose a discussion protocol, plan for implementing it, and then reflect on what worked and what they might change the next time they use the protocol in the classroom. An additional conversation is reflection on which students are being validated and affirmed with the various protocols.
| 4 |
If you are being formally observed by an administrator this year your coaches can support you with a practice observation. Although coaches are not trained to score you on the CLASS tool like your administrators are, they can help you see where your strength and growth areas are. Conversation with your coach around the CLASS tool can also help strengthen your reflective conversation with your principal.
| 5 |
The beginning of the quarter is a great time to lay out a rough outline of what you’d like to accomplish in the new quarter. Your coach could help you do some long-range planning and could assist you with the development of formative assessments or resource gathering within the quarter. More lesson planning templates can be found on the Curriculum and Instruction website under teacher planning.
If you are interested in any of these options, reach out to your building's instructional coach(es) or special education coach. If you are not sure who this is, feel free to email me and I can connect you with the appropriate coach.
So, Casey reread it. He vacillated on what to do. He called his spouse. He called a friend. He vented to co-workers. Eventually, he went back to the source: he re-connected with the teacher, but this time over the phone.
Hearing Casey’s voice, the teacher sensed his anxiety and assured him that the email had been misunderstood. The teacher had meant to convey, I’m going to explore some ways I can best support your daughter; but Casey had interpreted it as, your daughter needs some immediate behavioral interventions.
This misunderstanding, and all the anxiety that came along with it, could have been avoided by skipping the email and picking up the phone instead.
As teachers, our lives are hectic. We have to manage our time, and often an email appears to be the quickest route for parent/guardian communication. We hop on Skyward, grab the parent/guardian’s email address, open Outlook and we’re off—just a few clicks, some tap-tap-tapping on the keyboard, and we’re all set. Communication home is done. But, in truth, it’s rarely that simple.
In my last classroom, the phone was on the other side of the room from my computer. Calling home meant (1) clicking into Skyward, (2) writing down the number [and crossing my fingers that it wasn’t a long-distance number since my classroom phone blocked such calls], (3) walking across the room to dial, (4) crossing my fingers that the parent/guardian picked up, while also (5) crossing my fingers that if s/he did there were only questions asked that I could answer without having to reference something on my computer which was still across the room... But, despite this complicated process, it was worth it.
Calling home has power:
- It is a two-way process, helping us build a collaborative relationship.
- It allows us to interpret the reactions of those on the other side of the line and adjust accordingly. It enables us to be empathetic.
- It is sociocentric, just as are many of our students and parents.
- We can say more in less time (well-crafted emails take longer to write than some might think; plus, they often lead to a series of replies being sent back and forth which can add to the time factor.)
While, calling home can may be daunting to some, here are three ways to make it more manageable.
This is where the strategy “8 Greats” comes into play.
- Print out your class lists (or simply add a ‘phone call’ column on one you’ve already printed out).
- Each week, pay attention to the good things that you see in your classroom. Jot these down somewhere safe, including the names of who were involved.
- Once a week, refer to your list of good things and choose 8: call these students’ parents/guardians and share the positive story with them.
- Track who you called. This will help you ensure that each student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) get a positive phone call at least once each semester. As the semester goes on, do your best to look for the positive occurrences that connect with the students’ whose parents/guardians you’ve not yet called.
- The 2018 ASCD Road Tested article: “Good reasons to Call Home” by Clint Heitz.
- Chapter 5, “Make that Phone Call,” from the book Kids Deserve it! by Todd Neslony and Adam Welcome.
- Chapter 6, “Positive Communication with Parents,” from the book Dealing with Difficult Parents by Todd Whitaker and Douglas J. Fiore.
| 2 |
Make a Sandwich
Whether you are of a similar generation or are simply not sure what to say once you get someone on the other end of the line, the “Make a Sandwich” strategy might be for you.
- For a difficult conversation, consider this opener: Hello [Mr. Diaz], this is [Heather Lyke]--your daughter’s [4th period English teacher]. I’m hopeful this is a good time to talk. I wanted to connect with you on how we can best support your daughter’s learning.
- For an uplifting conversation, consider this opener: Hello [Mr. Diaz], this is [Heather Lyke]--your daughter’s [4th period English teacher]. I’m hopeful this is a good time to talk. I wanted to connect with you so we could celebrate together something that happened [in your daughter’s class yesterday].
When sharing details, the words we choose, along with the order we put them in, really matter (for more on this topic, check out the past blog post Digging into Diction).
- Avoid phrases that may cause the adult on the receiving end to bristle. Nix phrases like: "I’m concerned about your daughter’s behavior," or "other students are having difficulty concentrating with your daughter always walking around."
- Instead, keep the focus on the student and her learning. Try phrases like: "Your daughter is struggling to stay in her seat during whole group instruction," or "due to your child’s struggle to stay in one spot, I wonder how much of the lesson she is processing."
- Share what strategies you’ve already tried. This illustrates that you wish to work collaboratively, and assures the parent/guardian that you're not simply calling to pass the buck.
Listen. Be open-minded. Understand that there might be pieces of information you’re unaware of.
- While it’s a great idea to have thought out what you’re going to say, it’s important to not have such a tightly prepared script that you forget to collaborate with the parent/guardian. Be ready to adjust based on any new information you receive.
- If you feel better having a tight script, add in moments for listening. Try adding to your script a question like, "Do you have any thoughts on this?" followed by time to hear and process what they share in response.
- For a difficult conversation, consider this closer: Thank you [Mr. Diaz] for your time. I’m certain that together we can best support your daughter’s learning.
- For an uplifting conversation, consider this closer: Thank you [Mr. Diaz] for your time. I’m looking forward to seeing your daughter in class again tomorrow.
If you’d like to read more on this idea, consider exploring chapter 6 “Positive Communication with Parents” from the book Dealing with Difficult Parents by Todd Whitaker and Douglas J. Fiore; as well as chapter 13, “Delivering Bad News.”
| 3 |
This is where the strategy “Quick Calls” works well.
- Early in the year, teach students how you would like them to respond when you ask them to make a “Quick Call.” For instance, one teacher may ask students to use the classroom phone, while another might say cell phone use is fine; one teacher may have a prewritten script at the front of the room for students to use, while another may have students practice with a peer using different scenarios before making a real call home.
- Consider informing parents ahead of time to expect such phone calls, say at parent-night or via a whole-class Skyward message. (If this step is skipped, you might find confused parents emailing you or calling you in reply to the seemingly random phone call they received earlier in the day.)
- Establish a way to easily communicate to students that it’s time to make a call and what you believe the focus of the conversation should be, such as a simple phrase you say or sign you hold up.
- Stand near the student while s/he makes the call. Student messages will vary: from “Hey, mom, I was tardy for the third time this week,” to “Hey, dad, I just want you to know that I now understand why finding a common denominator is important and how I might now use this understanding outside of my math class!”
- Have a way to verify the information and the purpose of the phone call.
Whatever structure you use to make phone calls home, keep parents/guardians like Casey in mind. We want to work collaboratively with our students and their important adults, and that often begins by picking up the phone.
Top 10 Things to Keep in Mind
When You Implement Anything New
| 1 |
Approach it with a Growth Mindset
| 2 |
Be Up for the Challenge
up for that challenge and really enjoy it."
| 3 |
Be Kind to Yourself
| 4 |
Don’t Work Too Hard on the Unimportant Things
| 5 |
Don’t be Afraid to Let Some Things Go
--Elsa, from Disney's Frozen--
| 6 |
Give it Time
| 7 |
Know that You Are Not Alone
| 8 |
Take Advantage of All the Possible Professional Development
In regard to the new middle school math curriculum that some teachers are adopting this year, you may want to organize a cohort that uses the Curriculum’s Teachers’ Edition as a book study for CEU’s. This gives you the opportunity to study and have professional dialogue as you “unwrap” your new curriculum together. The Office of Curriculum and Instruction will be offering as much math support and training as it possibly can. Please contact us with questions, concerns and ideas as to how we can best support your learning.
| 9 |
Have Confidence in the Leg-Work Others have Already Done
When thinking about the new middle school math curriculum, trust that “great care” was given in the development and selection of this curriculum. You may or may not have been a part of the articulation or curriculum early implementation process. However, if you are a staff member in the Rochester Public School system, know that many of your colleagues spent a great deal of time reviewing data, current best practices in instruction and content as part of a process to select this new curriculum. Every step of this process focused on what is best for our students. Believe that the articulation committee made the best decisions possible in the selection of this curriculum. The early adoption team will be spending this school year working through the curriculum so that we have a running start next school year.
| 10 |
--The office of Curriculum and Instruction--
The journey may not be easy. You will not always be successful on your first attempt. You may love some things you are trying and dislike others. You may soar high and then crash but you will soar again; higher, farther and faster than you could ever imagine.
- Boyle, Russell. "Open the Door: Effective Teaching is No Secret." Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). 2018. CER
- Hattie, John. "Collective Teacher Efficacy." Visible Learning.
- Hattie, John. "Hattie & His High Impact Strategies for Teachers." The Australian Society for Evidence Based Teaching.
- Hattie, John. "Teachers Make a Difference: What is the Research Evidence?" Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). 2003.
As a teacher, I want my students to have that same feeling of purpose and leadership in my classroom. When I was at an elementary school, I had the privilege to provide a group of students the opportunity to demonstrate leadership skills through running a school store. Students had to complete an application and complete an interview. Seeing these students feel empowered at their interview as they answered questions such as “what has been your proudest moment this year” or “how would working at the school store help you achieve your goals” made me smile. These interviews provided them a time to talk about themselves and let them dream of their future. Students received training in their job duties and then mentored the “new employees”. I witnessed these students transfer their leadership skills back into the classroom and with their peers.
Creating student leadership opportunities in the classroom can also assist teachers in the daily struggle of juggling all the daily tasks. These opportunities provide students a sense of purpose, belonging, and leadership all while helping you maintain your sanity through the course of the day. Here are some leadership opportunities you may want to consider implementing into your classroom
- Teacher’s Assistant – This student can assist the teacher in day to day tasks such as alphabetizing papers, providing support if they have already taken a similar class, provide extra support to students if they have questions and they know the answers, and any other tasks as directed by the teacher.
- Librarian – Assists in keeping books organized and put away neatly. Brings books to the media center as needed.
- Phone Manager – Answers the phone and takes messages as needed (may want to notify main office staff and provide training to students as to when they can take a message and when the teacher needs to answer the phone immediately). Have a message pad near the phone (or post it notes) so they can take down numbers and who has called.
- Substitute Assistant – Assists a substitute in daily routines and helps them navigate the school as needed. May also show the substitute around the room to find important items (i.e. supplies, books, manipulatives, etc.).
- Confusion Monitor – Monitors the classroom for moments when it seems that students are confused or are in need of clarification. This can be key for students who may be nervous about speaking up or asking the question, even when there is consensus that there is a need for clarification.
- Paparazzi – Takes photographs of the exciting things that are happening in the classroom (students working collaboratively, exciting projects that have been completed, students doing kind works, etc.).
- Social Media Guru - This student leader can post pictures of the great activities occurring in the classroom on the teacher’s Google Classroom or other online platforms that the teacher and/or school uses on a regular basis.
- Supply Manager – Makes sure supplies are put away, pencils sharpened, and distributes papers that the teacher needs to hand out. Notifies teacher if supplies are limited or require special attention.
- Director of Maintenance – This person takes care of the physical space. They enlist the help of other students to maintain the classroom space. For instance, they ensure that floors are clean before the class leaves and kindly ask others to help them clean up as needed.
- Time Keeper – Assists in keeping time during group work or other time-sensitive tasks. This leader can also remind the teacher to end the class at a certain time to do things such as exit slips, formative assessments, or other wrap-up activities.
- Scribe – This student assists the teacher in writing notes on the whiteboard or other places as needed. They may also keep notes during the hour for students that are absent or in a special class.
- Tech Assistant – Assists other students, teacher, and/or substitute if simple technical issues arise (i.e. how to log in to an account, create something in an app that they are familiar with, etc.).
Tips and Tricks to Help You Get Started:
- Create a list of Classified Ads or Help Wanted ads that describes the responsibilities of the job and the time commitment. Provide students the opportunity to also explore authentic classifieds or help wanted advertisements so they can explore what it is like to apply for jobs in their futures.
- Create a short application for students to complete. This provides the opportunity for students to write in an academic manner. Provide a deadline for applications (which makes it even more authentic).
- Conduct a 5 minute interview with students so they can practice interview skills. You may want to enlist the help of volunteers or other school employees (i.e. custodians, media assistants, etc.) who could give a few minutes of time to conduct some of the interviews. You may also want to have other students on the interview team as this is another way to bring in leadership skills.
- Provide students with a congratulatory note that tells them they got the job and information regarding when it begins.
- Train students to know and understand their job. Have them model their job duties and provide feedback as needed.
- Rotate leadership opportunities throughout the year. Allow students to train the new employee so that they can mentor and provide support.
If you would like more ideas or to help you implement some classroom leadership opportunities, please feel free to reach out to me anytime!
How to Foster Creative Thinking and Create Greater Opportunities
In March of 2017, Tanya Menon shared her Ted Talk, “The Secret to Great Opportunities? The Person You Haven’t Met Yet” (imbedded below).
However, Menon shares that while strong ties might feel good, there is strength in weak ties. Paraphrasing the work of Mark Granovetter, author of “The Strength of Weak Ties,” Menon points out that most people get their jobs from and have creative ideas sparked by those who share only weak ties. In other words, individuals you just met or know only tangentially are often the ones who will foster your creative thinking and create greater opportunities for you.
There are three suggestions that Menon provides for how we might widen our social universe. As she shared these, I saw clear connections to how these ides might impact us as educators, which I summarize below.
| 1 |
Use a more imperfect social search engine (expand your social footpath)
| 2 |
Be courageous traveling your social universe
| 3 |
Reach out to people as partners rather than as resources
Finally, Menon offers the suggestion that we nix the common metaphor of “life’s a journey,” because in this metaphor “you're a passenger on the train, and there are certain people with you. Certain people get on this train, and some stay with you, some leave at different stops, new ones may enter. This one [metaphor] is passive: being a passenger on that train, and it's quite linear. You're off to some particular destination. ” Instead, she suggests replacing this metaphor with that of an atom; one where you’re “bumping up against other atoms, maybe transferring energy with them, bonding with them a little, and maybe creating something new on your travels through the social universe.” While in real life I love a train ride (those of you who know me realize how true this is), I love the poetry found in the atom metaphor—there is something beautiful in the constant change, growth, and renewal found in this scientific imagery.
Imagine classrooms and school buildings were our students and our staff become atoms rather than passive passengers: their potential for creativity and opportunities skyrocketing both inside our schools and out!
If you would like to explore Menon’s ideas further, or should you think of more applications for the world of education, we here at Secondary C&I would love to collaborate with you. Together, we are sure to foster some creative thinking and create some great opportunities!
As the busses rolled away and I waved goodbye to students who have been such a huge part of my life for months, I have always felt a strange mix of celebration and shock. I was so proud my students, but I also couldn’t believe it was all over.
The first week off was always strange for me. I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. This is when the first R of my summer began: time to Reflect.
I spent my first few days reflecting on my year. I celebrated my successes, but I spent more time reflecting on what I wanted to change. How could I adjust my classroom set up that would foster more interaction? What teaching strategies did I want to dig deeper into that I just didn’t have the time for last year? Which lessons did I want to modify to make them more successful for all my students? How could I build in more academic vocabulary in my lessons? I would jot down these ideas as I knew that I would forget them between June and August. I sometimes organized my ideas by the following categories:
- 5 Highlights (Celebrations, accomplishments, lessons that went extremely well, etc.)
- 5 Things to Change (Missed opportunities, lesson changes, organization, etc.)
- 3 Game Changers (Unexpected things that happened that shifted my teaching)
- 3 Focus Areas (What do I wanted to focus on for next year?)
- 3 Things to Let Go (What I could let go that would lessen my stress?)
After spending time reflecting and celebrating, it was time to Relax! Time to rejuvenate and enjoy being away from the hustle and bustle of school. This time allowed me to clear my head, rejuvenate my body and fill up my well again. Here are some ideas that could fill your well:
- Grab that book someone told you about this year or that you’ve been dying to read
- Unplug and get outside (Fresh air does a body good.)
- Download a podcast
- Search some new YouTube channels
- Explore mindfulness techniques
Then, in September, share what you did over the summer with your students in the fall. They love to hear what teachers do in the summer!
After some much needed (and much deserved) relaxation, I was ready to get Reenergized for the fall. I would pick up that list of ideas I jotted down in June. I would reread it and begin making my plans for the start of the year. I would start researching new strategies, read blogs that offered new ideas, or dig into a professional development book that someone told me about. I was ready to get back at it again.
Teachers never stop learning and I saw this first-hand last year at Pages on the Patio. It was reenergizing for me to see these amazing educators reading professional books, listening to podcasts, and sharing their learning with one-another. My co-facilitator and I would have local residents come up to us and ask us what was going on. I’m sure it seemed strange to see 20+ people quietly reading in public. Our response was “we are teachers and this is what teachers do in the summer; we continue to learn”. It was fun to see them looked surprised. They often expressed admiration for what these educators were doing. I took away so many new ideas to start off my year with from these sessions and couldn’t wait for August to start sharing my learning with others. (You can read more about last year's summer learning here.)
By the way, it isn’t too late to sign up for this summer's Pages on the Patio. You can still sign up on PD Express!
As the year comes to a close, my wish for you is to take some time to do the same 3 R’s as I’ll be doing: Reflecting, Relaxing, and Reenergizing.
Enjoy our Blog!
Members of the Secondary C&I team weekly post useful tools, tips, and tricks to help you help students.
Analysis & Inquiry
Grading For Learning
Instructional Learning Formats
Planning For A Sub
Quality Of Feedback
Regard For S's Perspective