In April my amazing colleague introduced me to a very cool Facebook group called Talks with Teachers. Basically this group, lead by two amazing educators (Brian and Jessica Sztabnik), send out weekly challenges with inspirational articles and videos and a small assignment for us to complete to help reflect, refine and remember why we teach. I participated in pieces last month. I made it through all the challenges, but man was it slow going for me. I really appreciated that there was no pressure to keep up or participate and that everyone was so supportive. I also loved how it sparked something in me to stop sucking at my job and actually pick up the pace and rock through the final push of the year.
So here are my challenges from each week:
Week 1: Organization.
The goal here being to model organization for our students as well as just the general purge and relaxation of a clean work space. The picture below is my desk prior to the purge. I have no clue where my after picture went on my phone. I highly suspect the tiny baby accidentally deleted it, but I will tell you that my after picture is much more organized and cleaner!
Week 2: Write a letter to your former teachers
I did not photograph these as they were extremely personal, but I did contact a couple of my former teachers and I felt amazing talking to them. I know as an educator it feels amazing when kids tell you what a difference you have made. I was so happy to give that gift to a couple of some fantastic educators!
Week 3: Creativity
This challenge took me a couple weeks to figure out. Seriously, I feel creative but then again I have been sucking at life lately. It took my evaluation to really focus me. I have had serious ADD and the kids have been easily getting me off subject. Although the questions are awesome, they really stall my lessons and we hardly get through the meat of the lesson sometimes. So I thought about technology and the fact that everything we need to save for later is stored “In the Cloud”. So I created this cloud and am adding the text “Your Thoughts In The Cloud.” When a student is asking a question that is not directly related to what we are talking about, I will simply hand them a sticky note and have them write it down and place it in the cloud. My hope is then that I will bring in our laptop cart and have a day where the kids research the answers to their questions and present them at a later more appropriate date.
Week 4: Spirit
Simply we were just supposed to show our spirit. I am a big fan of spirit Fridays and try to wear a school shirt every Friday. In addition I have been participating in our staff dances for pep assemblies, I did try to organize department wars (which is such a cool idea but would take 2 years to explain here), and I have attended a few of the extracurricular activities that our awesome students compete in.
If you are are educator you REALLY need to check out Talks with Teachers. I am also completing the May challenges. Jump on in and let me know in the comments below if you want to be added to our FB group.