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I taught for several years at a residential school for children with emotional disabilities before staying home after the birth of my second daughter. I returned to teaching, finished my Educational Leadership program in May of 2012, and now work as our district's Writing and Social Studies Coordinator. I have always loved writing and find constant inspiration from my family. Maybe someday, I will get to see my name on the cover of a book!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#SOL15 4 of 31: Taking TIme to Revisit and Reflect


Slow Down and Reflect- an Idea Worth Remembering

This month, I have committed to writing every day through the community at Two Writing Teachers. All are welcome to the March Slice of Life Challenge! It's not too late to join in or comment or just read... Many of my posts will be at my personal blog, Just Write, Melanie, but the posts that relate explicitly to learning will be on both blogs. 

We are incredibly fortunate in our district to have Teachers College Staff Developers come and work with us a few times a year. Since I have been in my position of Writing Coordinator, Kate Roberts has worked with our sixth-grade teachers. This year, Maggie Beattie Roberts has taken over this role, and I met her face to face for the first time yesterday. 

I'm going to pause and take a minute to give Twitter a plug. When Maggie walked into the building, I felt like I knew her because I have been in twitterchats and I have tweeted with her back and forth. I have read her blog, and I have tweeted favorite posts (all of them, actually, I think). I would not have believed that I would write this a couple of years ago when I was new on Twitter, but we hugged each other like old friends yesterday morning. If you are debating twitter, if you are on the fence...join. It really is an incredible forum for learning and developing friendships with like-minded people. 

Maggie said so much that inspired me yesterday, but the first share I will offer on this blog is an idea that she shared from Kylene Beers

"We're always so busy moving forward that we don't have a time to reflect."
I think that in context, Kylene was talking about notetaking, but the shared comment from Maggie made me think and reflect on many aspects of teaching and learning. When do we take the time to ask ourselves and our students:

  • What did I learn today?
  • What helped me learn?
  • Why did it matter?
Additionally, when do we take the time to reflecting on the learning that has happened over a longer period of time, both for ourselves as educators and for our students, asking ourselves and our students"

  • How does the work I'm doing now compare to the work I was doing at a different point in my learning path?
  • What knowledge/understandings do I have from past units or experiences that can help me with new challenges?
  • What tools, lessons, or other experiences helped my learning?
  • How can I learn from the other members of my community? 
  • What has been hard or held me back and how can I overcome similar obstacles?
I tried this with a group of third-graders, and the conversation we had amazed me. I will share their reflections tomorrow. 

Happy Slicing,

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