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General

Voices from the BAM Radio Community sharing their thoughts, insights and teaching strategies.

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How do you decide which sessions to attend when you go to a conference? Especially one that has amazing session at every time slot. It’s not easy and until last week, I had no plan. It’s not as if this is tragedy, but I can tell you that I left the most recent conference I attended, National Principal’s Conference 2019, feeling as if I had gotten everything I wanted out of the 3-day experience. To be honest, I have attended many wonderful conferences in the past, and I had never felt the way I feel today and it’s not any fault of the conferences. It was because I did not have a plan.

I do now.

Pick Great Presenters

I know some of you may be thinking, “Jon, I enjoy attending conferences, but I don’t have any desire to ever present at one of these things.” Okay, I hear you. But, don’t forget that you present all the time. Whether you are a teacher presenting to your students, a principal presenting to your staff or a supervisor presenting to your department; you are a presenter.

Therefore, it only makes sense to choose a session or two in which you know you will be observing a master presenter. Maybe you are interested in what they are talking about. Maybe you’re not.

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Posted by on in General

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Sometimes it doesn’t take much.

Hours of heavy lifting can be negated by a letter (eval rating), a look or an unmet expectation.

A sculptor sees hourly progress. A writer, daily. But a teacher?

Weeks may pass without even the hint of a step forward.

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One afternoon, a week before the end of the past school year, I was washing my hands at the classroom sink.  When I was finished, I turned to walk to my desk.  Instead, I slipped on a pile of student backpacks left sprawled about on the floor and soon found myself sprawled out next to them.  

I tried to play off the pain that was shooting from my right hand to my elbow and all the way up to my shoulder.  It was bad enough that my ego was bruised and on display for thirty seventh graders to see.  I really didn’t want to admit any other bruising that may be emerging as well. 

Workman’s compensation papers completed, I headed to the assigned clinic where I was quickly examined and then prescribed several sessions of physical therapy.

A few days later, I arrived for my first session.  The therapist walked into the lobby and called my name.  He asked, “Do you remember me?”

I am embarrassed to admit: I remembered his face, but my brain could not quickly supply his name.  It turns out that my physical therapist, Dr. Brandon Olson, was once a student in my fifth-grade class – twenty-four years ago!  Ten-year-olds grow up!  They change!

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Summer Learning Slide! What's Up? or Down?

What Do You Think? Is summer learning loss real? Yes, no, maybe so, depending. 

Is summer learning loss like walking up the slide?     

For a couple of years now, always the same. I'm on the preschool play area and I spot one or two kiddos walking up the slide. I gently remind to slide down the slide, not walk up. Also, not to slide down backwards or push another kid down. Other weird things seem to pop up, like licking the slide, going up and down the stairs, then not sliding, watching a toy go down the slide, etc. Even though we are in summer, our preschool still serves kids. The slide gets a lot of action. So there is no summer learning loss, or slide for these lucky littles.

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Moving Day, Saturday June 8, 2019. Boxes and Teachers wearing Jeans, what a combo. 

Let me say this, about that.

Should Teachers wear jeans every day? Hmmm. Hot topic. Never thought much about it.

I never knew this is such a big topic for teachers. I read a great We Are Teachers article by Kristy Louden on June 6, 2019, posted by 'We Are Teachers' on Twitter. "Teachers Should Be Allowed to Wear Jeans Every Day & Here's Why". I thought it was an interesting read, so I shared it. That tweet now, as I conclude my thoughts, has nearly 65,000 impressions (hits), (update, Sunday morning, 84,000 impressions) so I am honored and grateful to have the opportunity to write for us.

The common thread for me, my takeaway goes right back to school culture, and likely, Maslow, basic needs, personal self-care needs being met. Perhaps we can go no further than to recognize a whole lot of teachers want to self-determine what they wear to school every day to perform at their best. Perhaps this whole discussion is really all about teacher autonomy and need for trust in our professionalism and decision making, I'm really not sure.

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