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Monday, June 11, 2012

Reflecting...


Job update:
Just thinking about how the year is ending...4 days to go!  Although the senior level directors wanted to continue to have me as a coach, there is just not enough money to pay for the position.  So, I'll be back in the classroom in the Fall!

Inspired by Ruth's post on reflecting...all the way back in May...
I learned, was stretched by, am excited about and now realize...

This year, especially, I learned the value of asking for what I am seeking...There were occasions this year, where I thought to myself, I'll just ask and see what happens.  I often noticed that I got just what I asked for when I took the time to ask.  So, this taught me to know what I really want and then ask for it...the worst that can happen is nothing. 
I was stretched by my colleagues with whom I worked as coaches and I will miss them dearly.  Some are continuing on as coaches, and others are heading back to the classroom.  We often pushed each other for clarity of thinking and felt comfortable asking deeper questions.  This was great because it added another layer of bark, growing experience.  Our way of working together and asking better questions helped me to ask better clarifying questions of teachers and students.  It also made me a better listener and thinker about questions we asked each other and questions we asked our students.  Were they open or closed, 1 right answer or more than one possibility?  Did the questions prompt extended thinking beyond just giving an answer and did they seek evidence to support the reasoning?
I am excited to learn more about writing this summer as I participate in the virtual writing camp for teachers, Teachers Write! I am learning a lot more about becoming an author, what authors do and how I can be a better teacher of writing.  Yay for summer camp!  I am also thrilled that I will be taking this learning directly to the classroom with me-now this will be interesting!

I have realized that reflecting on what I do leads to valuing what I have done.  The next time I try something, I have these previous experiences to guide me to do better.  Also, writing things down gives a point of reference to go back to as I reflect.  I think I am becoming better at reflecting which is a key part of learning.  It's also important because the over-arching goal for my district is "creating a culture of examining our professional practice".

15 comments:

  1. Reflecting is valuable not just for the one who does it, but also for others who read it. I hope that you will have a writing filled summer and wonder filled back-to-classroom year. You don't know where you will move from there.

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    1. Thanks, Terje,
      I am looking forward to the summer.

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  2. Asking for what you are seeking seems such a simple, obvious sort of thing to do, doesn't it...and yet I think it's the hardest...especially for us as teachers. Thank you for this thoughtful post, Amy, urging us to reflect on this practice and reap the benefits sure to follow.

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    1. Thanks, Tara,
      Yes, you never know until you ask...
      Amy

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  3. Great reflection, Amy. I like the image you created to start us off.

    Four more days and then... summer! Enjoy!

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  4. I love the way you began this with your poem. That alone would have made me sit back and ponder, but no, you had so much more to say. Ask for what you want, so simple but yet important. Reflect on the questions we ask, that is so hard for some. They can only see the one right answer. Great reflection Amy!

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    1. Yes, reflecting helps to imagine the possibilities!

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  5. I too love the poem, the best of a concrete look at what you are doing. I enjoyed every bit of what you said & could mirror most of it. But my favorite part is "I have realized that reflecting on what I do leads to valuing what I have done." I know this is true & watched many students over the years be so pleased with their learning & accomplishments when they prepare their portfolios. Makes me proud, too. Thanks Amy!

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    1. Yes, I think sometimes we run out of time, and the reflecting gets pushed aside...consequently, two things happen-no valuing takes place and no opportunities to further the learning occur...we have to reflect!

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  6. I saw your poem early this AM but did not have time to write - but it wtayed with me all day. Perhaps it was the poem or the way you made your thinking so concrete and clear. I know I did not see the REAL deep life long value of reflection when I was young. It is so good that we talk and do reflectino portfolios now on everylevel of learning.

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    1. Yes, those portfolios are very helpful!

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  7. Love this!

    It can be hard to be forced to change, but it's exciting that you'll be able to use your Teachers Write! experience directly with kids next year.

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    1. Thanks Maria,
      It is exciting to think about the possibilities

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  8. The poem is so creative and eye-catching. What you said about asking for what you are seeking is food for thought. I guess we don't often believe we will actually get what we ask for, yet your experience shows we can! The connection of reflecting and valuing is thought-proking, too.

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