A look back, some time to reflect, and a look ahead...
Take Time To Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Teaching is HARD, especially when you are doing your job the way it needs to be done to truly support student learning. All of us at one time or another have talked about wanting/needing more time or the ability/power to stop time. The overwhelming feeling of having so much to do can sometimes prevent us from accomplishing anything at all. During times like these, what we need most, is to remember all of the amazing things that we have already done and are currently doing. Each of you have spent a lot of time reflecting on your past practices and have made modifications/adjustments to learning experiences for students that have made your classroom much more relevant for students who come to us needing to be equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in 2015 and beyond. While you may still have dozens of ideas bouncing around in your head about what still needs to be done, you should really take time to reflect on where you have been and the journey to where you are now, and let where you swirling ideas of where you want to be sit still for a moment. You need and deserve time to focus on your achievements and let everything else drift away. As I reflect, here are just a few things that came to my mind when thinking about all the things that I have observed over the past three years:
- Improved RtI and Intervention Programming Improvements (Schedule, Intervention Delivery Models, accountability for ALL students, collaborative/shared student approach)
- Improved PST process and student tracking/identification methods
- Strong PLC growth and improvements
- Utilizing Data to Make Decisions and improved data discussions through implementation of Collaborative Inquiry
- Mobile Devices at close to a 1:2 ratio in every classroom and how that has changed your instructional practices.
- Utilizing Google Applications for efficiency at work (Docs, Calendar, Forms, etc...)
- Utilizing Google Applications with students
- Student Learning Spaces vs. assigned desks in rows
- #theMESway and telling our story - changing perceptions of MES and the work we do
- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more at both the school and classroom level
- Our MES YouTube channel as a way to deliver our morning announcements, enhanced through greenscreen technology.
- Widespread Small Group Instructional Delivery
- Coding experiences with Kodable, Scratch Jr, Code.org, hour of code, @gosphero, unplugged coding, and more
- Makerspace Mornings and other opportunities to create, make, collaborate, and solve problems.
- Genius Hour experiences for students allowing them to explore their passions
- Genius Hour experiences for staff, allowing each of you to explore your passions as they relate to improved opportunities for student learning.
- PBIS initiative and implementation, celebration of student success, and an overall culture of recognizing each of our students for their positive attributes
- Outstanding Family Nights planned by staff each year
- Academic growth and success - Named a 2015 REWARD school by MDE
- Seesaw implementation for providing feedback for students about their work
- Checks for understanding with Kahoot and Plickers
- And more...
This list could really continue on and on. I want you all to know just how much I recognize these accomplishments. These things do not occur without staff like you who want to transform traditional educational experiences and help reengage students in their learning. We aim to keep kids excited about coming to school each day. So today, while it may feel like there is not enough of it, please make some TIME to reflect on your own growth and accomplishments. I think you will find it very rewarding.