Realizing as I plugged this blog at a recent conference that it would probably be good to actually have some new content to plug. Gulp! I blame my real life. It’s been busy. Good, but busy.
Let me fill you in on all that’s transpired since January 1.
January was a month of many new beginnings. I began a year-long blogging contract with PSESD for the Corelaborate site. I get to explore different aspects of teaching and be part of another group of inspirational folks. Check out the profiles to learn more about these Teacher Leaders in Washington. So far, I’ve written posts about student voice, an epic teacher fail, a new and improved TEDnesday, and most recently, about media literacy. I will continue to write a monthly post through the rest of 2017, and am looking forward to continuing to explore this wild and wonderful world of teaching. Get on it with me!
My next excuse for why I’ve been neglecting this blog is that in January I also began a 15 month fellowship program through The Russell Family Foundation. As a Jane’s Fellow, I get the incredible honor to work with twelve other human beings that give me hope, life, inspiration, and motivation. We fellows are a group of grassroots leaders working to affect positive change in Pierce County. Read more about Jane’s Fellowship & check out the profiles of my cohort if you want to be inspired and need a good dose of “Heck yes, there are still good people doing good in the world” like I do in the midst of all of this ugliness. This is a group of people helping people, loving people, and building community by serving others. It’s my jam.
In February I was invited by The Seattle Times’ Education Lab to present an ignite talk at Town Hall. Deciding to give this talk was a no-brainer for me. I love to talk. I love an audience. I was still scared shitless to actually do it. But, the important thing is that I did it. And I loved it. Here is the video if you are interested in learning more of my story: From Bad Kid to Badass Teacher. The talk was inspired by a project I took part in earlier this year as well called Roll Call, a project of a fellow Teacher Leader Kristin Leong.
According to the website: “ROLL CALL is Kristin Leong’s 2017 TED-Ed Innovation Project. Through portrait photography and two simple questions, ROLL CALL is humanizing the gaps separating students and teachers and celebrating the connections happening in our schools despite these divides. The two questions guiding ROLL CALL: What do you have in common with your students/teachers? Does it matter that students and teachers have things in common?”
In asking, and attempting to answer these questions, I have been inspired to create the Ignite speech, and to begin working on a memoir of the same title. Teaching is all about relationships. These questions asked me to begin digging deeper and exploring further the connections that we create with students and the WHY.
Finally, I continue to navigate the challenges of working in a new school district. I will write about the experience when the school year is over. Until then, just know that this has been one of the most professionally challenging year of my life. It’s been real. It’s been rough. It’s taught me many important lessons. I’m making it through (relatively unscathed and only slightly traumatized). I’m also finishing my National Board Certification this week. So there’s that. NBD.
I hope this year has been as full of growth, inspiration, and learning for you as it has been so far for me. My commitment to you, reader, (which is really just a commitment to myself) is to find more time to explore my own thoughts and ideas concerning education, life, and the wild adventures therein.