My Biggest Lesson Yet

I started this blog  with a need to reflect on everything I was doing wrong in my classroom.  I needed to process how I had gotten so lost on my journey to become a better teacher.  I needed a space where I could put it all out there so that my poor husband didn’t have to listen to any more of my long rambling talks about everything that was wrong in education and everything that was wrong in my own classroom.  I wasn’t connected at that time so this blog became my lifeline.

Much like this blog I have grown, I have tried, failed, created, invented, and certainly put it all out there, the good and the bad.  So this morning, when I woke up and realized that this little blog celebrates 5 years today, I had to check my math.  5 years?  Really?  How did that happen?  And how have I had that much to write?

It used to be that I would go to professional development and leave so inspired, I couldn’t wait to try all of these new ideas on my students.  Those experts that taught us knew so much and surely knew how I would become better.  And they did, and I did, but I never grew as much as when I started to learn from my own students.

5 years ago I asked myself if I would want to be a student in my own classroom?  When my answer was no, I knew I had to change.  Now, I spend most of my days asking my students how to change the way we learn, how to change way I teach.  These small check-ins along the way means that I get a new chance to become better all the time.  So the biggest lesson I have learned is that you have to ask the students.  You have to ask them how to teach them better, what you should change, how they would like to grow.

So if I can pass on any wisdom that I have learned in the past 5 years, it is to ask your students.  I know I have said it before, but they are right there.  They are waiting to tell you how to change.  All you have to do is ask.  And then listen.  And then do.  That is the best professional development one could ever ask for.

Happy 5 years to this blog and than k you for being a part of my journey.

5 years ago, I had one child but other than that I look a lot like I do now.  Crazy to think how much has changed, even if my looks haven't.

5 years ago, I had one child but other than that I look a lot like I do now. Crazy to think how much has changed, even if my looks haven’t.

I am a passionate teacher in Oregon, Wisconsin, USA but originally from Denmark,  who has taught 4th, 5th, and 7th grade.  Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children.  The second edition of my first book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students” is available for pre-order now.   Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” is out now from Corwin Press.  Join our Passionate Learners community on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.

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3 thoughts on “My Biggest Lesson Yet

  1. I love this advice and it is so simple and easy. Their the “customers” in a sense, and we should look to them for what they need and like. I plan to work on this this year! I loved your book and I am so excited to start this new school year! Thanks!

  2. Fabulous reflection! I too reflect on whether or not if want to be in my class, and judging by the number of times we’ve been shocked by the ringing of the bell or the time to clean up, I think that’s a good sign! I also reflect on some of my friends who have children that tragically have short life expectancies and part of my mindset is that if their child was in my classroom, how do I make it relevant and meaningful for them. How do we focus on the learning, not just the tasks. Keep up the blogging! Love reading your thoughts!!

  3. I love your blog. I’ve been following you for a year and you’ve inspired me to explore the idea of blogging. I also bought your first book and it’s on my summer reading list. Can’t wait to dig in.

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