Saturday, November 28, 2015

Advocating for Gifted Learners

Over the past 6 months I've been working towards earning my gifted education certificate. I have enjoyed learning new information about a population of students who I know I have unintentionally overlooked in the past. As I've gained knowledge of these types of learners and their special educational needs, I realize that now I have a responsibility to share what I've learned with others. These students deserve an advocate!

As I've been trying to think of ways I could share what I've learned, I realized that I need to utilize what I already have created. What better way to share than through my blog? Previously, I've shared a few of the projects I've created during my journey. As I'm teaching a classroom of highly able learners, I want to continue by sharing my real life experiences. 

I have also updated my website to include a resource page where I've shared links for educators and parents. My goal is to update these often to keep them relevant. 


Through sharing this information, I hope to be a stronger advocate for highly able learners so they may receive the best education possible!


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Is my classroom a thinking classroom?

In my previous post, I shared what I had learned about developing a "thinking classroom." At the end of the post I shared the three steps for creating this desired environment:
  1. Create a structured learning environment,
  2. Teach the thinking processes and allow practice, remembering to differentiate to meet all your students needs, and
  3. Provide effective feedback.
Before thinking about where I am going, I realize I must first reflect on where I am. 
So where am I on my journey of creating a thinking classroom?

Building a positive classroom community is something I work hard to establish every year. I take the time to get to know my students and for them to get to know each other. We develop our classroom rules together based upon each persons goal for the year. We discuss how we can work together to ensure all students are successful and can meet their goals by the end of the year. Through these discussions, we establish a learning environment where students feel safe and willing to take risks. I teach accountable talk strategies for effective communication, especially focusing on developing listening skills and being an active listener. Students are encouraged to share their ideas and beliefs and I work hard to teach and model respect for all. 

I feel that my classroom is student-centered with my role being more a facilitator rather than knowledge giver. Students are encouraged to explore, investigate, and discuss. I provide many opportunities for collaboration, but also provide time for students to think independently. Scaffolding is an instructional practice I implement, providing students with support so they may be successful in their learning.

When considering the level of my learner's critical thinking in the classroom, I feel that I could improve on encouraging students to use more advanced vocabulary to express their thinking processes. I do not hear students referring to the thinking process they are participating in and do not feel that they would even understand the thinking process. I will need to explicitly teach them these process, including the language, and then provide them with multiple and ongoing practice. I also feel that I need to do a better job of modeling the language through my conversations in the classroom.

While I feel that I provide clear and specific feedback, I do need to work on providing it in a quicker manner.  If my feedback is not immediate then it will loose its effectiveness. I do make a conscious effort to take on a positive tone, praising my students for a job well done and encouraging them when needed. One area of feedback that I would like to grow in, is adjusting my feedback based upon a students response. 

A teacher's ability to motivate a student is the key to that student's success. When students know that the teacher cares about them, as an individual, they are more likely to put forth effort to succeed. Of course, as teachers, we also want our students to develop intrinsic motivation where they want to please themselves as well. By creating a positive learning environment, students will feel more inclined to take a risk in their thinking and learning. In our classroom, we talk a lot about the growth mindset and how true learning comes from failure. When students understand that it is okay to make mistakes or even fail, they will be more motivated to think critically or be creative.  Helping students set short and long term SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) goals will also help them stay motivated. As students experience success they will be motivated to set new goals to keep them moving forward.

I would like to think that in the past I have incorporated critical thinking skills within my lessons, but I must confess that it would not have been done intentionally. According to King, Goodson, and Rohani (2009), "careful lesson planning is essential" considering factors such as "organization of activities, clarity of explanations, modeling of thinking skills in action, examples of applied thinking, feedback on student thinking processes, instructional alignment of objectives and activities, and adaptations for diverse student needs." While I do believe lesson planning is a strength especially in the area of organization and alignment, there are definite areas I need to improve. The biggest area of planning I must focus on is to be more aware of how my plans are incorporating critical thinking skills rather than just focusing on the content of the lesson.

Designing questions that promote critical thinking is, as you will see below, one of my major goals for the upcoming year. I have participated in numerous professional development opportunities focusing on using questioning that promote higher level thinking. I believe that in the back of my mind I do refer to what I have learned when asking questions, but I do not record my questions in any manner. I need to make this more of a priority, planning my questions ahead of time rather than just "winging it." I want to ensure that I am asking a variety of questions, but especially hitting those requiring more critical thinking. I hope to incorporate more of Bloom's Taxonomy questions this year, recording the specific type of question within my lessons.

As I look ahead to this coming year in my classroom of accelerated learners, I hope to accomplish a three goals on my journey to creating a thinking classroom. 
  1. Goal #1 Ask thinking questions. I am guilty of "winging it" with many of my questions and this year I want to plan some questions ahead of time. By considering the questions ahead of time, I can ensure that I am asking a variety of questions requiring lower to higher level thinking skills. By thinking about questions more often, I will also become better skilled with questioning techniques making the times when I must "wing it" more conducive for thinking and learning. 
    • I will be able to self-assess as I will be using a blooms taxonomy checklist to track the variety of questions I will be incorporating in my lesson.  I will also label the questions within my lesson plan to make it easy to see the levels I have included for myself and others who may be reviewing my lessons.
  2. Goal #2 Teach Specific Thinking Processes. After reflecting on the idea of a thinking classroom, I came to realization that I may be so focused on the content that I am overlooking the need to teach my students how to think. Next year, I want to explicitly teach the thinking processes and provide my students with practice for each. It would be amazing if, by the end of the year, the students would define their learning based upon the thinking processes they utilized to accomplish tasks. 
    • I will self-assess this goal through observation, listening to student conversations to see if they are using the language. By creating a "thinking" wall, I'm hoping to include anchor charts for each process so this should also be a wall of progress to show the processes that have been taught throughout the year.
  3. Goal #3 Create Student Teams-Achievement Divisions (STADs). In King, Goodson, and Rohani's (2009) guide, they share that STADs are groups of students who work in teams and subteams as study groups. These study groups are then subdivided into pairs or trios to study and master basic skills and topics. Next year, I will have a class of 4th and 5th grade student for reading and math and the use of STADs will allow me to better differentiate within the classroom.
    • I will self-assess my progress through reflection and using student feedback. 
How will I know how I'm progressing on my goals?
The great thing about a blog is that it, as well as your readers, can hold you accountable!
I hope to share my journey of creating a thinking classroom here on the blog so stay tuned...


References

King, F.J., Goodson, L. & Rohani, F. (2009). Higher order thinking skills: Definition,
     teaching strategies, and assessment. Retrieved from

Elder, L. & Paul, R. (2010)The elements of reasoning and intellectual standards. Retrieved

National Association of Gifted and Talented Children (2013) NAGC – CEC Teacher
     Preparation Standards in Gifted and Talented Education. Washington, DC: Author.

Creating a Thinking Classroom

Photo Credit
Most teachers desire thinking students. Those who persevere, think critically, problem solve, self-reflect, and are flexible learners. Today's classrooms are preparing students for jobs that have not yet been created, therefore we have to teach our students these skills so they will be prepared for their futures. 

In order to produce these "thinking" students, teachers must promote a culture of thinking and engage students in the practice by being diligent in the structuring of the learning environment and experiences. The learning environment and experiences that occur within the classroom must encourage learners to act like a 'community of thinkers', sharing their strategies and ideas. In order to promote thinking, classrooms must be student-centered. According to King, Goodson, & Rohani (2009), the student-centered environment "supports the open expression of ideas, provides active modeling of thinking processes, develops thinking skills, and motivates students to learn." For this environment to develop the teacher must be aware of the affect that student motivation has on student achievement.  Of course, "great expectations lead to greater achievement" (King, Goodson, and Rohani, 2009) so it is vital that teachers maintain high expectation while also expressing positive interactions. To ensure that high expectations are being developed, SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) instructional goals should be set for both short and long term.  Always remember that "there is not busywork in this student-centered, thinking classroom, and student progress is monitored using several methods - not just tests" (King, Goodson, and Rohani, 2009). 

Just as we take time to teach specific content, we, as teachers, must take the time to teach specific thinking processes. Thinking processes include: context, metacognition, procedural knowledge, comprehension, creativity, insight, intelligence, problem solving, and critical thinking (King, Goodson, and Rohani, 2009). Each of these processes or strategies must be demonstrated and modeled with ample time allotted for students to practice them. Below are examples of how strategies may be taught within the classroom:
  • Metacognition is thinking about one's thinking. This strategy of thinking includes being aware of your thinking processes, self-monitoring, and application of the steps for thinking. "One's success with metacognition depends, in part, on a belief in one's ability to get smarter as well as the beliefs of others, such as teachers, in one's ability" (King, Goodson, and Rohani, 2009). Lesson plans should teach self-reflection and self-evaluation and students may practice these skills by tracking their thinking and learning independently. Students should also be encouraged to reflect upon new information, responding in writing or through discussion
  • Creativity "involves divergent and convergent thinking to produce new ideas" (King, Goodson, and Rohani, 2009). Creativity requires thinking beyond the box to produce new solutions to problems. Not only is it about finding the solutions though, but often it is about discovering the problems as well.  In order for creativity to prosper, students must feel safe in their environment so they may take risks in their thinking and learning. Teachers should share examples of creative thinking. They may offer students choices within their learning so that students may choose how to demonstrate their thinking or learning. These choices may also include a variety of tasks that incorporate multiple intelligences. Providing students with hands on situation also allows them to play while investigating new information. It is also beneficial to assign tasks that are open-ended and may involve several "correct" solutions. 
  • Critical Thinking is "goal directed, reflective, and reasonable thinking" in which "analysis, inference, interpretation, explanation, and self-regulation" occur (King, Goodson, and Rohani, 2009). Collaboration and communication play an important role in critical thinking as students provide evidence of their reasoning to support conclusions, while listening to others share theirs, which may result in a change in one's views. Students must be taught how to communicate, and more importantly listen when participating in collaborative groups. To foster critical thinking, teachers should provide opportunities for students to collaborate often. Once again, it is also important that teachers have created a safe learning environment where students are free to express their ideas and beliefs and open to listening to others express theirs.

Our classrooms contain diverse populations so when providing instruction and practice, teachers must remain cognizant of the ways students differ in their prior knowledge, or schema. Be aware of the cultural background of each individual when providing support in developing thinking skills. Scaffolding is a way to differentiate instruction as it provide support throughout the lesson. At the beginning, the teacher may take on a dominant role to get the learning rolling, but then gradually removes themselves allowing students to take the lead on their learning. It is often helpful to provide visual representations and break problems into steps to foster success. To meet all students needs, be sure to check often for understanding and provide additional examples or explanations when necessary (King, Goodson, and Rohani, 2009). 

Feedback is critical in the thinking classroom as it helps to promote self-awareness, self-assess, and self-regulate student thinking. Teachers must constantly be assessing student learning using a variety of formative assessments. When providing feedback, it must be "immediate, specific, and corrective information, using a positive emotional tone" (King, Goodson, and Rohani, 2009). Take the time to adjust the feedback based on the response. For quick and correct responses the feedback can be short and general, for correct, but hesitant feedback make be more encouraging, and incorrect answers may require additional explanation or questioning.  Prompting students who are unable to respond provides better feedback to the child, rather than calling on a peer to answer the question. Be careful not to provide excessive praise as, according to King, Goodson, and Rohani (2009), "praise is effective only when students believe they have earned it." 

So when creating a thinking classroom, be sure to follow the three steps:
  1. Create a structured learning environment,
  2. Teach the thinking processes and allow practice, remembering to differentiate to meet all your students needs, and
  3. Provide effective feedback.
Do you already have a thinking classroom? Or in the process of creating one?
I'm reflecting on where I am in developing a thinking classroom and setting some goals to help me strive to make it better in my post, "Is my classroom a thinking classroom"?

References

King, F.J., Goodson, L. & Rohani, F. (2009). Higher order thinking skills: Definition,
     teaching strategies, and assessment. Retrieved from

Elder, L. & Paul, R. (2010). The elements of reasoning and intellectual standards. Retrieved

National Association of Gifted and Talented Children (2013).  NAGC – CEC Teacher
     Preparation Standards in Gifted and Talented Education. Washington, DC: Author.

Friday, May 22, 2015

I could have died. But I didn't. So let's enjoy the weekend!

Last weekend, I wrote my post about making learning count during the last few weeks of school. I was determined to not countdown the year, but instead focus on making the last three weeks of school something my 3rd graders would remember.

Then came Monday.
I had some chest pains on Sunday that were quite intense through Sunday night. I decided that on Monday morning I would run into a walk-in clinic before heading into school. I thought I had pulled a muscle and figured some type of medication would clear it up. When I got to the clinic, I was first diagnosed with some type of inflammation and was going to be prescribed a steroid and higher dosage of ibuprofen. For some reason the diagnosis just wasn't sitting well with me, which I stated in a text to my husband. Then the doctor came back into my room, asking me about our plane trip to Spain and some other questions. I shared with her some strange bruising I had on my leg and asked her if she thought they could be related. Her face immediately changed into concern. She then told me she thought I actually had a blood clot in my lung and I needed to proceed immediately to the ER because I could die.

Yes. On Monday, I was told that I could die.

Needless to say, I was rushed to the ER where every blood test, CT scan, x-ray, heart echo, and other tests were conducted with a diagnosis of a pulmonary embolism. I had a blood clot in my lung. I ended up being admitted to the hospital where I have spent the past four days.

Four days of laying in a hospital bed gives you a lot of time to think.
I thought about my life.
My family.
My friends.
My students.
My career.
My priorities.

I'm ecstatic to share that today, I came home. As I'm typing this, I'm sitting in my front yard enjoying the warm sunshine and soft breeze as my daughter plays and my dog lays in the grass next to me. I can hear my son playing his piano through his window.

On Monday, I could have died.
But, today, I'm happy to say I'm alive.
And I won't be wasting tomorrow!

It's okay to have plans. I will admit that I am one that always has a backup plan for the backup plan. But, remember that sometimes life doesn't necessarily follow a plan. Sometimes we just have to go with the flow. Take time to just be. Enjoy the important things like friends and family. Stop and smell that flower. Walk on the beach. Relish the quiet moments.

This weekend is a long weekend for many of us. I encourage you to make sure to take time to do something unplanned with the people who mean the most to you. Because remember that life is not a guarantee and you never know when you may be told that you could die.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Don't countdown, but make the learning count!

The days leading up to summer vacation can be some of the most challenging in classrooms. It is critical that teachers have a survival plan in place. Oh and there is not any place in that survival plan to share a countdown with students. Well maybe in the last 5 days, but not before then.

Instead of focusing on the countdown, focus on making the learning count!

One thing I do to end the year with a bang is to use one of my favorite books for reading. We do a unit on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that includes painting with chocolate pudding, creating character puppets, using recycled materials to create a new candy making invention, taking a virtual field trip to Hershey's chocolate factory and so much more. We end the unit by inviting parents to the classroom to see Mrs. Tuttle's Chocolate Factory where kids show their parents all the activities they have completed over the past two weeks. When I see my previous students, this the first thing they will talk about, our Chocolate Factory Unit, and when my students come in for meet the teacher, inevitably one, two, or a few will mention how they can't wait to do it at the end of the year.

So pick a book that you enjoy and want to share with the students. Then decide how you can go beyond the book and use activities to engage your learners. Think about ways you may be able to mesh subject areas too. Don't reinvent the wheel! Chances are if your book has been around then you can find Pinterest boards, Teachers Pay Teachers resources, or just do a search on Google to find already planned activities. You will be excited because you chose something you enjoy and your students will love it, too!

Usually at the end of the year, the testing is finished and most of the content has been covered so take some time to introduce your students to something new. What is something you wanted to learn more about? Something you want to use in your classroom next year? Let your students be the guinea pigs. Give them the tool, app, game, activity, whatever...and let them explore. Chances are they will be able to teach you something new and you will discover how you can successfully implement it next year.

Some activities I'm doing to wrap up the year:

  • Incorporating games! After a fabulous #satchat on Twitter, I realized that I under utilize games in my classroom. Games can teach life lessons (problem solving, risk taking, perseverance, sportsmanship, collaboration, etc) so why not incorporate them more. I would like to do a few game periods where students just play and learn. So far I'm thinking Battleship, Scattegories, Set, Blokus, Scrabble, Monopoly...what would you add?
  • Exploring and reviewing apps! I am lucky enough to have accessible iPads and I want to find new ways that students can use them to create products. There are so many apps available that I know I'm missing many useful ones that could enrich my students learning. I also know that my students probably use some already that they could share with me. I plan to spend some time letting my students find and review apps. Part of their assignment will be writing a convincing review of why I should download it and use it next year.  
  • Genius Hour! This year was the first year I implemented Genius Hour and my students LOVED it. They would ask every day if it was Genius Hour day. If you are not familiar with Genius Hour, it is simply providing students with time to learn about what they want to learn about. Some of the projects from my class included learning about sea glass, finger knitting, solar system, creating a Lego animation, coding, wolves, school gardens, using a Smartboard as a green screen, tornadoes...the possibilities are endless. Give students the time to learn what they want to learn and trust me you will learn too!
Whatever you do, I encourage you to stay structured, planned, and keep the focus on learning. Make the last days you have with your students count. These days could be the ones that the students end up remembering the most!




Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It's OK to Argue

I am all about discussion in the classroom. I enjoy hearing the students talk back and forth and participate in meaningful conversations. Learning how to effectively communicate is a life skill and I want to help my 3rd graders develop this skill.

The other day the students were participating in a number talk, where they share strategies they used to solve a math problem. While we have talk moves that help foster positive interactions, we don't always follow the "raise your hand before you speak" rule, but instead will banter back and forth. I see this as more real life application since we don't go around raising our hand every time we want to talk to somebody in the real world. During this particular number talk, a student shared a strategy that many did not agree with and they were quick to say so. The student shared that they almost felt attacked by all who were quick to comment about what was wrong with his idea. 

This led to a teachable moment as we discussed how it is okay to argue, but it is all about how you go about doing it. Some students related this to arguing with their parents and how they would get in trouble for talking back to them. But then others pointed out that if perhaps the students talked to their parents calmly, asked questions, or shared how they felt about something, that their parents may not think they were arguing. We discussed different ways we could express that we disagree with somebody without being disrespectful or hurting the other person's feelings. The students had some great ideas as far as watching how loud their voice was, choosing their words carefully, and even talked about body language. I was impressed!

It is important that we teach our students that it is okay to disagree and argue a point. We want them to critically think, make judgements, and stand up for themselves and what they believe. How will they learn these skills if we never give them an opportunity to question?


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Forget Superworman, I'm a TeacherMom!

Mom's have a tough job. They take on so many roles to meet their family's needs and keep their households running smoothly.

Teacher's have a tough job, too. They take on so many roles to meet their student's needs and keep their classrooms running smoothly.

TeacherMom's??!! Well they deserves capes all of their own.

I've been a TeacherMom for 14 years now. While each job has it's own challenges and rewards, I believe each helps me be better at the other. 

 I often find myself asking myself in the classroom, how would I want my own child's teacher to react in a situation. What would I want them to say to my child? How would I want them to make my own child feel?  

Being a teacher also allows me to be a working mom and have a career where I'm not known as mom, but just Melissa...an educator. I've always known I would be a working mom and being a teacher has allowed me the career I desired while allowing me (most of the time) to put my family first. Best of two worlds! With a 14 and 10 year old with busy lives, our schedules can be quite crazy, but the time we get to spend together is treasured. 

But, being a teacher mom can have it's downfalls as well. After answering 500 questions all day, I don't want to answer another 500 at night. After using all my patience on other children, I can get short quickly with my own. And after correcting misbehaviors and poor manners, I have high expectations for my own children's actions. While I think homework projects are great as a teacher, I loathe them as a parent. I speak about being involved, checking the bookbags, and signing papers only to miss most activities that occur during the school day (thankfully others always step in!) since I have a class of students counting on me, glance in the bag once a month when papers start falling out, and have been that parent sending the paper back on the last day it's due. 

As all working moms, it's a challenge making it all work. Being the best in both worlds. But, we try! and as we tell our kids and students, that's all we can ask for!

Happy Mother's Day to all the TeacherMom's out there saving the world, one family and one classroom at a time!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Spring Renewal

Spring is finally in the air! It seems that with the warm weather and everything blossoming, there is a reawakening in the world around me.  I have found myself reflecting a lot lately about where I am and where I'm going professionally.

Lately I've been reading much about growth mindset. The idea that with persistence, effort, and hard work you can accomplish whatever you choose. I truly believe this! So then, the question becomes, what do I want to accomplish??

I know that I will be an administrator within the school system at some point in my career. I don't know when, but I know it will happen. I know after that I want to delve into a curriculum position. I have even thought about the after that, as my 2nd profession would be work in a university with pre-serivce teachers. So where does that leave me now?

My current goal: To continue learning and growing in my profession and being a teacher leader.

Next year, I will be taking on a new role within my school. I will be teaching accelerated students in a brand new program being offered in my district. There is SO much for me to learn so that I can excel in this position. To be qualified, I had to begin working towards earning my certificate as a Teacher of Gifted and Talented Students. I have completed 2 out of my 5 classes so far and will be completing 2 more over the summer. I have LEARNED so much. It has been so exciting to take what I'm learning and turn around and apply it immediately in my current classroom. I found that as a teacher I was not best meeting the needs of a group of my students. Now I am more cognizant of these learners and thoughtful when planning so that I can better meet their needs as well as others.

With my new position, I will have the opportunity to not only impact students within my classroom, but I will also be given the chance to work with more of my colleagues.  I am looking forward to sharing strategies they can use to provide enrichment within their classrooms as well. 

So that is where I am today.

Which brings me to the actual intention of this post...my blog redesign!
As part of my goal to continue learning, growing, and being a leader, I want to take the time to use this space to reflect on and share my learning. My hope is that through sharing what I'm learning, I may be able to impact people beyond my school, district, state. As a social media enthusiast, I thrive in making connections and building my PLN. Technology makes the world smaller and opens so many possibilities. It would be foolish not to utilize it to help me reach my goals. 

So I've cleaned up my blog, bought the domain, and connected all the profiles.
I'm ready.
This learner and leader is ready to tackle 21st education!
Will you join me on my journey??

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Professional Learning and Ethical Practices Project

Next year, I will be taking on a new role within my classroom as the teacher for an accelerated program. In order to be qualified, I am currently working on earning my certificate as a Gifted and Talented Teacher. If you don't know, I absolutely LOVE learning new things and just completing two classes this semester have learned so much about highly able learners and how I must alter my instruction to meet their needs.

I created this video as part of a project in which I was to present my understanding of the professional learning and ethical practice as a gifted and talented educator. After much research and reflection this is what I created...





Sunday, April 12, 2015

All Good Things Must Come to an End

This spring break was pretty much the best spring break EVER! My family was blessed to be able to take a European vacation, visiting Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. My brother and his family have been stationed in Rota, Spain for the past 3 years and we've been meaning to visit every since they left. They are scheduled to come back stateside this year so it was now or never. Every day was action packed with adventures. Oh the memories that have been made!

Usually at the end of vacations, I feel somewhat depressed. Not that I don't love my job, but I get sad that the fun, rest, relaxation, and hanging out with my family every day must come to an end. But, this year I'm ready to go back to school and get back to the grind!

I think the difference is that this year, unlike other vacations, I went totally off the grid. No school work (college or 3rd grade), no twitter, no email. It was glorious!  I didn't realize how much giving myself that break has made me feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle the world.

I'm thinking I need to give myself a break more often!
So how many days until summer vacation?? 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Teachers have bad days too!






It was one of those weeks.

If you are not a believer in astrology, or at least how the natural world impacts life, please feel free to come visit my classroom, or pretty much any classroom, during a full moon. You will believe!

Between the full moon, report cards, new standardized assessments, evening trainings, teaching college class, being told you just weren't good enough, family drama, and the heater at home dying, let's just say it was not my week.

From early college days, teachers are ingrained with the mentality of "fake it until you make it". You can't let the kids see your emotions. Whatever happens in your life, it stays outside the classroom door.

Usually, I'd say that I'm pretty good at doing this. I'm pretty good at putting on a game face. I'm pretty good at smiling and staying positive on the outside while the inside is frowning and discouraged.

That was not the case this week.
I failed at the faking.
I was boring.
I was impatient.
I was sarcastic.
I was unkind.

I was discouraged on the inside and it showed on the outside.

As I've been writing this post, I've went back and forth if I will hit the "publish" button. I like to keep it positive on my blog, sharing my passion for teaching and education. But, I also want to be real and the truth is that teachers are real people too. Real people who sometimes have bad days weeks.

This morning, I participated in #satchat, an educational twitter chat that takes place on Saturday morning. As I was chatting with people in my PLN (personal learning network) I could feel myself becoming inspired. These are people who "get" what I do. As I listened to all the amazing things that were happening in classrooms/schools around the country and the world, I became encouraged. I started sharing the positive of what happened in my classroom this week (because even though there were some doozies, there were also some awesome things that happened in room 1201) and felt like a weight was being lifted.

So this week I'm ready to go back in.
I will be enthusiastic.
I will be positive.
I will be patient.
I will share my love for teaching and learning!

Because teaching is my passion!