Friday, June 29, 2012

Kinderchat Summer Blogging Challenge

Stumbled onto this today and felt like, "why not another challenge?!" Teachers Write,  #kinderchat‘s Summer Blogging Challenge, reading and writing goals, hey, this is all good!

At Kinderchat, every Friday a question or topic is posted to offer a prompt for reflection on the previous school year. 
The question for today is:
What did you learn this past (or, for our southern hemisphere friends, what ARE you learning this current) school year that you couldn’t have learned any other year, from any other students or colleagues or administrators or parents? What lessons did this particular year, this particular setting, these particular children bring into your life?

I can easily say that this year was my best. The most learning I have ever done came from this year because I see myself as a writer and that has been the best professional development (and free at that). I have been pushed to read more because I have wanted to write more and through all of this has come much learning. I have connected to other educators like me who want to write, read and learn. I've been welcomed into their communities through blogging and twitter. I feel more connected to the kind of teacher I have wanted to be.
I have always felt that relationships are the core of good teaching but this year I went further with those relationships. My patience was tested and it paid off. I connected more deeply to this class because I invested more individual time with them through conferencing for both writing and reading. This one on one time made a tremendous difference in my relationships with students. From there, I was able to make whole group teaching more connected for all students, pulling them in as mentors and always having time for sharing what we were reading and writing. They got more of me and I learned more from them. It was the kind of year that makes a great springboard into the next. I feel ready to tackle new things, new challenges and to continue the work that I have started--developing young writers--my biggest challenge and goal.

Things that have helped me along the way:
Best professional book I read this past school year: Talking, Drawing, Writing by Giacobbe and Horn
Best personal reading I did: Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Most supportive blogs that have guided me through: Two Writing Teachers, Teacherdance, A Year of Reading, Teach Mentor Texts, The Poem Farm
Best conference I went to this year: All Write in Warsaw, Indiana
Best bud to cheer me on: R-dog (you can find her here, and her real name is even revealed)!


Linda B said...

Great reflection, Betsy. I am honored that you included me. It's been a nice year to get to know each other, hasn't it? I like that you felt so good about your year with your class. What a bonus to work through the challenges, & then feel so good about the choices you made. (I guess that's what we want our students to feel too.) Thanks!

Robin said...

This is refreshing Betsy! Partly because I know some about those kids you spoke of and partly because I got to watch it unfold before me. I appreciate the shout out too! It's fun to work beside you, learn with you and challenge together. Next year? Bring it on B-dog!

Kinderchat said...

Loved reading your reflection! Thanks for sharing!!

K Lirenman said...

How exciting to be pushed so far and to see the benefits of your efforts. I can only being to imagine what next year has in store for you. :-) K