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Reflections and Resolutions

Aron Early

I’m proud to share that a couple weeks ago I graduated with a Master of Education degree. I’m excited to see what new doors may be open through continuing my education. As I sat listening to the graduation speaker, it got me thinking about the hope and promise of graduation speeches. We look back on the efforts that were put in, the knowledge gained, and the support we received to be able to reach this point (shout out to my family). Sprinkle in some words of wisdom and a commission to go and do great things and you have yourself a commencement speech.

 I don’t have an end-of-year graduation speech, but as we approach 2020, similar thoughts and feelings surface in my mind. Like a good graduation speech, I want to look back and reflect on the wisdom I’ve heard from teachers this year and think about resolutions based on that learning. To that end, I’ve compiled my favorite posts from the past year, one from each month. I’ll discuss what I loved about it and what resolution it stirred in me. Forgive the post full of links, but whether you’re reading them for the first time or reading them again, it’s worth it.

graduation celebration

January

Author/Post: Erin Lark, Teach Science, Teach Literacy

Reflection: If you’re looking for one cross-curricular connection to make with other disciplines, start here. Reading and writing is a skill that all disciplines need to address and easy connections can be made with other departments even when natural content connections may not be immediately clear.

Resolution: I’ll be working this year in a PLC looking to address and establish common reading and writing skills across departments at my school.

 

February

Author/Post: Al Fischer, Fewer Than Five

Reflection: Chronic absenteeism is a widespread problem. What I love about the story Al shares is that it emphasizes that positive rather than the negative.

Resolution: Teachers want consequences for students appearing late to class and absences – or else why take attendance? As Al mentions, there’s not one solution that fits all schools. I want to explore ways my school can make that shift away from “you’ve been absent so many days” to “you’ve been here so many days!”  

 

March

Author/Post:  Jodi Crimmins, Growing Student Engagement Through School Gardens

Reflection: The work that Oak Harbor Schools has done to be a National Green Ribbon District is amazing and should inspire us all to do more. I’m thankful that she shared this work with us this year.

Resolution: I may not have my own school garden, but I resolve to get students outside more.

 

April

Author/Post: Camille Jones, Equity & Excellence: Using Multiple Measures to Identify Students for Highly Capable Services

Reflection: Camille outlines the process of identifying students for highly capable services, but what I really love about this post is how she shifts the focus away from “gifted students” to “gifted services.” There should be no barrier to entry for these services.

Resolution: Within my scope, make sure that excellent teaching is provided to all students that I serve.

 

May

Author/Post: Irene Smith, The Love U Get

Reflection: In this post Irene shared a personal story about her father’s early years as she explored the places he grew up. One thing that really stood out to me was the impact of the adults, for good and for bad, in his life and how those relationships shaped him.

Resolution: Keep individual student needs in mind. Be the smile they need that day.

 

June

Author/Post: Anjuli Johnston, Teaching on the Run

Reflection: I love the thoughts on running in this post and the connections to education. It’s not a sprint, stay in the moment, and find the crew that’s going to support you.

Resolution: This might be a purely physical resolution, but – start running more. Some of my best ideas come to me when I’m outside running.

 

July

Author/Post: Swan Eaton, High School and Beyond

Reflection: I love Swan’s reflection on what it means to be ready for college - whether it’s having the skills, or being prepared to understand the financial impact of the decision they make. Students need to be exposed to as much as possible.

Resolution: Be straight and real with students when they ask questions about the future.  

 

August

Author/Post: Mary Moser, Start the School Year with Community

Reflection: I love how Mary is always learning and in this post she shares three tips for breaking down barriers and building community through an equity lens. These tips are great and would not only help with creating connections with your students but limiting disruptions as well.

Resolution: Remember that every day is a chance to build classroom community.

 

September

Author/Post: Erin Lark, Thank You For Reading

Reflection: You know I love when Erin talks about literacy within a science classroom – but this one is focused on the power of “thank you.” Beginning as a way to bring a class back to attention, the power of these two words is shown through acts of service, daily gratitude, and mindfulness.

Resolution: Say “thank you” as much as possible.

 

October

Author/Post: Ali Reykdal, Camp Careers: Let's All Pitch In

Reflection: I love the way Ali introduces young learners to different career options, through action and accomplishment, rather than just reading about them in a book. This post challenges us to think about how we introduce careers for different disciplines to our students.

Resolution: Expose students at our Student Help Desk to different careers that would appreciate the experience and expertise they are gaining at school.

 

November

Author/Post: Steph Codorniz, Partnering with Paraeducators

Reflection: I’ve been a paraeducator, I’ve worked as a teacher with paraeducators, and I love the advice that Steph shares in this post to help use all work better together.

Resolution: Use modeling and appreciation more often when working with paraeducators.

 

December

Author/Post: Dyan Fast, Go For a Walk

Reflection: I love the multiple ways Dyan shows us the power of talking a walk. Like Anjuli’s June post about running I appreciate the reminder that my brain needs that increased blood flow for productivity as well.

Resolution: As someone who works in a building to support other teachers, I’m going to add one: Walk to connect.

 

All things end. The year ends, grad programs end, but endings create space for new growth and opportunities. What are you looking forward to in 2020 and what are you going to bring with you from 2019?

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The opinions expressed by the CORElaborate Bloggers, guest bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD), Ready Washington or any employee thereof. PSESD is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Washington State Teacher Leader or Guest Bloggers.

Aron Early Board

I currently serve as a Research Technology Specialist for the Bellevue School District. I am focused on working with teachers and students to improve research and information literacy skills. I believe the ability to find, evaluate, and synthesize information is a defining life skill of our digital age. I'm also passionate about using technology as an enhancement of good instruction. Let's talk about how we can work and grow together! Connect with me on twitter.

Twitter: @earlyest

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