Listening to New Teachers #cpchat

Each year our district hosts an event where new teachers from across the grades and disciplines connect to share experiences, learning and goals for the future.  It’s powerful in that supporting new teachers is such a big and important part of what schools need to be doing.  It’s a tremendously difficult job and through that work teachers grow and reach further than they ever knew they could…and we get to be a part of that!  In this podcast episode you get to listen in just a bit on that celebration and sharing.

When Student Voice Knocks, Drop Everything! #cpchat #dearmrpresident

Last week a teacher approached me with an idea…her students had a strong opinion about something and they wanted to share with the world.  I had a ton of stuff on the list…master schedule, hiring, etc.  It all disappeared for a bit cause something this awesome needs to be celebrated!  We set up a camera, I “borrowed” a really tall chair, found some lights and set everything up in my office to totally get behind the scholars and the teacher…it’s what should happen (in my humble opinion) when our students and teachers are ready to share!

It’s One Thing When I’m Proud of My Kid, But When She’s Proud of Herself…Well, That’s Something

Today was a big day…started very early.  At about 4:30 a.m. I heard some rustling in the hallway.  I usually wake up that early so it didn’t bother me, but since it was Saturday I kind of ignored it and stayed in bed a bit longer.  When I finally got up and opened my door my daughter was standing there…completely dressed and ready for her first 5k race.  She said, “I’m sorry…I tried to sleep but I’m just too excited!”  All morning we prepped, talked, planned…everything.  I don’t get to do everything with my gals, so when I do I relish it.  And this was a relishable day.

We were the first or second people to arrive for registration. Grace got her number and got to experience that moment before the race…that energy that I’ve experienced before but was a first for her.  The whole time I was totally focussed on her…so proud, so happy.  I ran beside her the whole way documenting her race for her mom and sister who couldn’t be there (admittedly I’d likely have done it anyway).  At the end of the race I knew I would be full of pride, but it was the moment after she got her medal that got me.  She simply said, “I’m really proud of myself” and she smiled a smile I don’t always see.  Best part of my week by far.

Visit to a Classroom Full of STEAM – Video #stem #steam

As part of our podcast work we’re also working to provide video of our experiences.  Each time I visit a space I learn so much that helps me as an educational leader.  I bring back ideas and understanding that I wouldn’t otherwise experience.  Our use of video and podcasting is an attempt to share a small glimpse of those experiences so we can connect experiences and continue to grow.  Here’s a video from our visit with @davebschool:

STEAM…or STEM…or Makerspace…or Just Dive In?!

I had the great opportunity to visit @davebschool in his classroom at Jericho Elementary recently and chat about STEAM, STEM and Makerspace and how it applies to education and learning.  It was an amazing experience from start to finish.  Students were designing and programming robotic vehicles, helping them navigate a track and pick up objects at the end.  It was truly awesome to see students thrive and persevere through the trials and challenges of the work.  Amazing stuff.