Sunday, August 10, 2014

Five Things I Learned This Summer

To learn is to grow and to move forward with new experiences that shape your life. 

This summer I learned and experienced many things that helped me grow. I definitely look forward to the official start to school staff inservice this week and the first student day next week. Here are 5 concepts that I learned more about this summer.

1. BElieve IN YOUrself
          It can be easy to doubt yourself when it comes to your teaching skills, depth of knowledge, expertise in certain subjects, accuracy of solving problems, and ability to inspire others. However, if you don't believe in yourself first, it will be hard to teach others to believe the best in themselves.
          This summer I learned a lot about myself, where I've been, and what I would still like to do personally, and professionally.

Wooden letters highlighting "BE YOU" that I added to my
classroom wall yesterday.
2.  Learning is SOCIAL
          In an earlier blog post I explained how learning for students is social and collaborative. This summer, I've learned the same for myself. I learn best from others and enjoy sharing what I've learned by passing it on. Yes, I'm fully capable of learning things myself and doing things independently. But, the social aspect of learning and interacting makes the concepts even more memorable.

3.  Having a PLN is AMAZING.
          Building a PLN (as in Personalized Learning Network, or professional/personal) is something new to me. Being connected with educators from my own state as well as many more from all over the country and around the world gives me a multitude of perspectives, opinions, and collective knowledge that I can use to help make me an even better educator. I've collected a great deal of resources through Twitter connections, blogs, articles, and projects. 
          I've even been encouraged to start my own blog this summer and it has helped me to share my story and my thoughts. It's been exciting as well to start meeting a few of my online PLN friends face to face. Now, it's my hope to take this concept back to school with me to strengthen the relationships already in place.

4.  Leading is SERVING.
          In any position of leadership, serving others is important. The hard work and the important work is usually done behind the scenes. It may not be recognized, rewarded, or realized but is important nonetheless. This summer, I've discovered that I'm the type of leader that is a servant, giver, and empathetic listener. I'm inclined to help others and support them while staying as positive as possible. 
          While being a listener often means that I tend to be quiet at first, it doesn't mean that I don't have strong opinions about what I feel is right, realistic, and essential in helping students learn. I often ask myself, "How can I help?" and "What can I do to make a difference?"

5.  I don't want to go BACK to SCHOOL.
          Wait? I thought you just mentioned you're a positive person? YES, and that's why I'm stealing a phrase from an amazing educator I had the opportunity to meet this summer and say that I'm looking "FORWARD to school" this year. I don't want to go "BACK" to old habits, "BACK" to negative thinking, or "BACK" to regret. "Positive Change" is a key theme in what I'm wanting to do this year. My team is looking forward to doing some new things, dropping some old things, and having a great year.

Even though I may just have one more day of "summer" I have learned a lot and look forward to the great things that are going to happen inside and outside my classroom walls. 


  1. Thanks for inspiring me with your reflections! so honored to learn with and from you!

  2. I especially appreciate point #1: Be you! Believe in yourself. We all have our different personalities and teaching styles, and mine does not have to match anyone else's. And just as I don't want to judged or compared, it's important for me not to judge or compare the work of others. Thank you for this thoughtful post!