Be the change, reflection

Random Lessons That Could Be Blog Posts But Aren’t

image from icanread

You never know when you will have one of those weeks that is worth looking back upon, they mostly sneak up on you.  This was one of those weeks and although I should blog about every single one of these things, well most of them anyway, I won’t.  I would, for once, rather just get to the point so you can too.

  • Ask someone what they are really into right now and see what happens.  I have been asking colleagues virtually and face to face what they are really digging and cannot believe what I have been learning.  From great new picture books to awesome doodads (who doesn’t love doodads) and all it took was asking them.
  • Get yourself into an intimidating situation.  I am an extroverted introvert so when John Pederson asked me to join him, Will Richardson, Diana Laufenberg, Curt Rees and Stuart Ciske for dinner my immediate thought was, “No way!”  I tend to shy away from meeting people I admire on Twitter because they are just way out of my coolness range.  With some pushing from my husband, who even set up a sitter so I could go, I took the plunge and had a very interesting evening.  I didn’t add much to the conversation but I was there just listening and that in itself was enlightening.
  • Unfollow everyone.  I thank John Pederson for this idea after I explained I felt like I was in a Twitter rut not really following new people or making new connections.  He told me to unfollow everyone and start over, so I did, and was he ever right.  I am already making new connections and branching out into more conversations.  And by the way if I unfollowed you and haven’t yet followed you, reach out, I am sleep deprived and can only recall so many Twitter names.
  • Toot your horn.  Today wraps up The Global Read Aloud which this year boasted more than 30,000 students participating on 6 continents.  No one from my district would know that if I didn’t speak up, so I did, and it’s ok.  Because this project is my passion and gosh darn it others like it too.
  • Toot the horn’s of others.  Professional development in my district has been a mixed bag of failures, lameness and all around insanely boring times, except for the one this week.  My district finally nailed it when they had teachers present and allowed us to sign up for what we wanted to go to.  So I took to Facebook and Twitter to share the love for the presenters who finally gave us something worthwhile to do.
  • Trust your gut.  My kids started a new daycare this week and although the provider is full of love, it is just not the right fit for us.  So instead of sucking it up, I have spent the last two days frantically trying to find new care for them, not an easy task in Madison if you want quality care. However, I cannot with a good conscience send my kids somewhere where they don’t have a great learning environment, right now I can control that, so I will.
  • Celebrate but realize what you are celebrating. With the Wisconsin report cards being released for all schools, I was thrilled to see my school, West Middleton Elementary  ranked 31st in the state.  Ironic since my school is also a Title 1 focus school for our achievement gap.  So at first I thought of how great an accomplishment this was, until I realized that most of that ranking are based on things I have nothing to do with;  student financial situation, housing, food, sleep, and just being a school in a suburban district.  We are still failing to reach all student but do a good job with most, I can take credit for the most but I have to focus on the few.
  • Take a risk even if it is small.  I was approached to be a monthly contributor to a big blog this week and at first I was really excited, but then decided against it.  When you let your self-doubt control your actions that is often what happens.  Upon further consideration, I realized that perhaps I could do this after all, and that my voice matters.  So take a chance, believe in yourself, like we believe in our students, and do something just a little bit out of your comfort zone.  (And look for my upcoming monthly guest blog on starting in November).


3 thoughts on “Random Lessons That Could Be Blog Posts But Aren’t”

  1. I was wondering why I received an email that you were following me. I thought you were. I'm glad to stay connected with you. By the way, don't listen to everything John tells you to do. 🙂

  2. Pernille,Awesome that you went for the dinner! Why not? We must always challenge ourselves to push dents outward from our comfort zone. It is what helps us grow.I very much empathize with your child care situation. We had to change care providers on the fly multiple times and sometimes had to accept less than what we desired simply for lack of other options. Those times I would race home as soon as I could leave to get them as soon as possible (and I don't like being a time-to-leave teacher, so it was stressful). Best wishes getting that straightened out.I appreciate and respect your sincerity and honesty in your posts (I have admittedly lurked here and there, seldom taking time to comment or start a conversation.)As an added thought, I don't know all the factors that the state report cards are based upon, but I would offer in addition to realizing what you are celebrating, if state tests make up a good portion of them, I always am careful to celebrate the "positives" of said results as much as I challenge what the "negatives" supposedly tell about a school.Peace to you,Shawn

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