Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Win/Win Situation

It's been a great year teaching first grade. The students, families, and coworkers made coming to work a joy everyday. Looking out at 6 and 7-year old faces in my classroom made me very happy. 

This summer my principal and I discussed the possibility of me leaving the classroom and returning to coaching. The position wasn't in the budget but I told her if it did materialize, then I would love to return to coaching. If the position wasn't funded, then I would love to stay in 1st grade, teaching our young learners how to read. 

It was a win/win situation. 

I am happy to say this week I returned to coaching, with a focus on reading. I plan on updating this blog with ideas and thoughts as we move into fully implementing the Common Core State Standards and go deeper into best literacy practices. 

It's nice to be back.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

...and on to something new: Teaching with Design!

This past year of blogging has been a wonderful adventure. My reason for starting this blog was to give me a way to differentiate my coaching. For me, at least, it was a way to highlight and coach on topics that I saw in my own school. Some of my posts have resonated with a larger audience outside my school, town, and state. Thank you to everyone for reading.

September 2011 I left coaching to return to the classroom. I am teaching 1st grade and loving every minute! I hope you will join me at my new blog Teaching with Design.

Design has been defined as follows.

(noun) a specification of an object, manifested by an agent, intended to accomplish goals, in a particular environment, using a set of primitive components, satisfying a set of requirements, subject to constraints;
(verb, transitive) to create a design, in an environment (where the designer operates)[3]
Design has always been important to me. Artists, architects, chefs and many other professions use design to create new products. Teaching, like these other professions, require practitioners to be the artists as they design new lessons, create new units, and build the foundations to structure new learning. I think it is the very purposeful manner, the design, a teacher uses that makes the difference in student learning. The planning and prep done beforehand all make the delivery of the lesson successful.

I can't help walking into my own classroom and view it with a coaches eye. I see what has been accomplished over the past months to create a positive learning community but I also see what still needs to be done. Starting a new class 5 weeks into the school year was a challenge. Weekends were filled with prepping for the next week's learning. Each week, however, is got easily as I got to know my students better as learners.

I truly enjoyed my years as a coach and enjoyed working with adults to improve student learning. Now I am in the position to walk the walk, instead of just talking the talk. I am looking forward to the challenge and hope you will join me at my new blog!