• 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
Amy Heavin @AmyHeavin

Amy Heavin @AmyHeavin

Amy Heavin is the principal at Ryan Park Elementary School, MSD of Steuben County in Angola, IN. She has been a school administrator since 2010, and taught middle school English for 8 years prior. Passionate about curriculum and instruction, she pursues learning opportunities to blend 21st century essential skills instruction with best practices. As a moderator for the #INeLearn Twitter chat and contributor for EDWords and Fractus Learning, she promotes integration of strong pedagogy with technology in the classroom. Follow Amy on Twitter @AmyHeavin

Posted by on in Education Leadership

During a workshop a few years ago, it was shared that we, as educators, need to work smarter, not harder. I took this phrase to heart, because I always felt I was working so hard, spinning my wheels, and it was time for me to get smarter about the work I was doing with my students.


Flash forward to today, with reflection after reading Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess, his passion for teaching seeping through every page, and I’m beginning to think this phrase does not hold true for me. It sounds great, but the reality is, educators are working smarter and harder than ever before. We are doing both, simultaneously, because as Burgess says, “This is a tough business…” We are aiming for this magic bullet that will make everything easier, but in reality, there are no easy ways to reach all kids so that they can be successful. It is hard work, persistent work, but work that is so rewarding in the end. It takes smart work, building upon various strategies, techniques, and using multiple tools in order to help those students be successful. It is not one more than the other. We are all working smarter and harder for our kids to be successful.


From an educator’s perspective, this is time and not pay. Teachers did not get into this profession for the pay. If they did, they chose the wrong career. There is time to develop plans, to create the learning activities, to attend professional development to better themselves, to meet with team members to solve the issues of the day. Time to collaborate with colleagues on the data results and manipulate the curriculum so that skills can be addressed again. It is challenge daily. It is more than 180 days a year and more than 8 hours a day. For the enthusiastic educator, time is worth it. Their student’s success is payment enough.


To passionate educators, our smarter and harder living is the ultimate reward. It is uplifting to watch a child figure out the sounds of a word and light up when they read it for the first time correctly. Or when a child figures out how to manipulate the problem to find the answer. Or when a student who often struggled walks across the stage to receive his diploma. These are the moments we live for. These are the moments that all the smart and hard work pays off. We do this for our students, not for us. I am not in this field for the time on the clock or any kind of awards or compliments. Our students' success is our WHY we do what we do.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Education Leadership

I’m a workaholic. I admit it. Unfortunately, I’m not sure there is a course or a support group out there that would fit into my schedule! It is the summer, and while it is time to rest and get some much-needed projects completed around the house, I find this to be a fantastic time to rejuvenate another way - through my own learning and professional projects. For me, the summer is a mixture of great family time, home projects and cleaning, and my professional growth.


Professional learning is ongoing at all points in the year, but the summer is my time to read many books and reflect, while also exploring more research and ideas than I have time for during the school year. So, here is my to-do list.


  • Hang out with the boys & my husband (A LOT!!!)

  • Visit family from out of town

    ...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Education Leadership

 

I had it all figured out. Take the kids to daycare. Then, go work on cleaning up email. Post the new questions for the summer book studies. Write a blog post. Maybe even get through a Google module for certification.

 

It was all going so well until...the phone call from daycare. Argh! Who is sick? What happened? I answered apprehensively, because those phone calls are never good. My oldest has a spot on his forehead and it needs to be looked at. Bummer. I saw it this morning, but didn’t think much about it.

 

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Professional Development

 

Over a year ago, I began reading about this growing trend of professional development called the EdCamp. Educators created what they wanted to learn on the spot and shared amazing insights, tips, tricks, and ideas in a fabulous, collaborative environment.

 

So, last summer, I had to try it out. I attended the Google EdCamp held at Wayne Township in Indianapolis, and I walked away pumped up and full of ideas. It was fun to learn from others, share stories, and jump up and share some of my ideas too! I met new people and learned some very cool tips!

 

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Education Leadership

It was one year ago that I wrote this post, and I had to return to it, reflecting on my own thoughts, finding them still incredibly relevant today. As devices in our schools have increased, it is imperative we remained focused on WHY those devices are there. It is not about the device. It IS about building skills of creativity, collaboration, and thinking, along with being good digital citizens, using many different tools. The tools are constantly changing. And so, it is the instruction that matters. It is the pedagogy that matters. It is the skill-building that matters.  

My return to this post continues to clarify what I do and WHY I continue to strive to grow & learn to better meet the needs of my students and staff. 

Technology is NOT an add-on. Technology IS a means by which we attain 21st century instruction and skills in our schools.

 

Recently, I've been reading Digital Leadership by Eric Sheninger and attended a keynote address delivered by him as well.  His insight on essential skills instruction and technology integration is spot-on! I am continually reflecting on what I read, on the words from the educators I follow.  Often times, it stirs with me for a while, coming into focus to drive me, refuel my passion and vision.  My recent reading has brought this to the forefront for me.  We have been approaching technology as tools and devices instead of working on shifting our pedagogy.  

...
Last modified on