• Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Archives
    Archives Contains a list of blog posts that were created previously.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Posted by on in Education Leadership

security airport checkpoint

At least I got to enjoy the journey when I was little. The whole process was different, and it definitely helped that I could be a carefree child while my parents took care of the logistics. But now as an adult and living in a different era of safety, the thought of going to an airport gives me complete and utter stress. While I have taken it as a personal challenge to perfect my routine of getting from my car to the plane in the least amount of time, all the steps in between test my perseverance and patience (not to mention my germophobia).

First, I have to wait to catch the shuttle from the parking lot to the airport.

Then, I have the navigate around the cars and other travelers, pull my oversized luggage, and try to keep my kids close while making it to the ticket counter.

After that, I make my way to the security gate while mentally preparing to not sound nervous or guilty of anything.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Education Leadership

I had a conversation this week with an educator that I would define as a master teacher. “What,” she asked, “defines mastery in teachers?” Is it years of experience? Self-efficacy? Or perhaps a set of specific skills that lend themselves to high achievement for students?

I would say possibly a combination of all three.

Can new teachers really be thought of as masterful? Maybe, but I would bend more toward the thinking that in most cases it takes a few years to attain mastery. I have seen brand new teachers do a terrific job immediately, but they are few and far between.

Certainly there are teachers who have been teaching for many years and still have not risen to this level. How, then, does a teacher attain this art of mastery?

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Education Leadership

FrontCrawlSwimming

So, for those of you who have kids or grandkids, book makers came up with the brilliant idea of adding sounds to board books. I have come to the conclusion that these books are fun to give but are awful to receive; worse than fruitcake.

My daughter’s love their Finding Dory book, and love tapping all of the sounds even more. The sound I hear over and over and over again: “just keep swimming, just keep swimming“. I think it’s easy to say that I’ve heard this phrase at least 500 times in the past week. Ironically, it applies very well this week.

It’s been one hell of a week on my end. Besides the typical tomfoolery of my job and putting my dog down last weekend, I now have to deal with a mold and dry rot issue in my house! I noticed it over the summer that there was leakage; that turned into mold, which turned into dry rot, and a portion of my roof needs to be replaced, along with walls, and my floor. My house has been taken over by plastic sheets. If you have ever seen the TV show Dexter, each room looks like a scene from when Dexter was ready to get down to work! The joys of homeownership. 

We all have moments on our lives where we are tested. Sometimes, it feels like everything is hitting you at once. What I am going through at home is almost what I go through at work on a daily basis. Issues arise everywhere and anytime. Some issues are small; some issues are huge. There is no rhyme or reason to it, but you need to deal with it. In many ways, you just keep swimming.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Education Leadership

Meeting

Over the summer, I experienced two makeover opportunities! The first one came from a friend who came to visit me. She has a keen eye for home decorating, so I asked her to give me her feedback on areas in my home. After agreeing, she first asked me to show her everything – not just the areas I wanted her to see. So, I took her throughout the whole house, showing her the good and the bad.

As we went from room to room, she asked me what I liked about the room, what I didn’t, and what purpose or outcomes was trying to be achieved. While at first I thought it was awkward to state the home office was a place where I did paperwork, she did get me to question why I was holding on to two outdated printers and dried up ink cartridges littered in the corner of the room.

Part of me was nervous by this activity.

  • What if she didn’t like the areas I was most proud of?
  • What if her feedback reflected on me as a person?
  • What if she recommended me to scrap the whole house and move?

Admittedly, I had a great experience! Her questioning techniques allowed me to reflect and look at my house and view of the spaces in a whole new way. Through some modifications and a change in perspective, I was able to get much more from my home and am enjoying it even more.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Education Leadership

invitation

Do you send out invites to your parties, or do you just hope people hear about them through word of mouth and just show up? Unless you still live at a college frat house, chances are you send out invites. The invitations are an important part to any successful party. Without them, people don't know when, where, or even if there is a party. And it could be the best party ever, but no one would know without the invitations. 

Earlier this year,  few of my colleagues and I went to a Breakout EDU workshop. It was something we all had a strong interest in, and something that we were excited to try when we got back to school. But then, something terrible happened. We all went back to work the next day, closed our doors, and started teaching in our own self-induced, solitary confinement classrooms. What we were so excited and energized about doing (and something that required communication and collaboration), faded away as quickly as the next day came.

A few weeks went by, and I kept looking at my Breakout EDU kit that was sitting in my room since I had received it from attending the workshop. To be honest, as cool as that black, spy-looking kit looked, it was also a bit intimidating. All those locks with all those Breakout EDU games were a little overwhelming. The box was unlocked and I was still unsure whether I could break out of it or not. Then I started thinking about my colleagues who attended the workshop with me. I sent an quick email, or invitation, asking if they would like to do a Breakout EDU game together with my 6th grade math class. Everyone quickly responded with a, "YES!" That was it. That was all that was needed in order to get this party going. A simple email inviting others to join in. So, we all eagerly got together at the end of the day on Friday of that week, determined which game to do, picked a day to do it the following week, and took our kits home for the weekend to set up. We met briefly Monday to iron out any issues we encountered from the weekend with our kits, and then again at the end of the day Tuesday to get the room set up for our Breakout EDU game the next day. The next day, the day of the Breakout EDU game, we all adjusted our schedules to be there for the party. 

Now, a couple of things. First, we made time to meet. It wasn't a hour or even a half hour. We didn't request time from our principal to let us met. We just made time. It was 5 minutes here, 15 minutes there. But that time allowed us to connect and share our ideas, struggles, and excitement. Second, nothing goes the way you plan it out in your head, and this proved true once again in our planning. One of teachers accidentally locked another teacher's directional lock and had forgotten the combination to open it. Things happen, and I am glad this did happen. It allowed us to troubleshoot and problem solve together. It allowed us to come up with a solution so things like this don't happen again. Sounds eerily like a real-world situation and in school, no less! So now, when we share out Breakout EDU experience with other teachers, we can give them some preventative measures so they don't end up making the same mistakes. 

...
Last modified on