Thursday, May 28, 2015

Suzanne's Final Blog

Wow!  I can’t believe this experience has ended!  And I really wished I had utilized   the blogging piece better this year (but I was trying to keep my head above water with all of the other school obligations)!  I am so grateful to Dana for pushing me to do this (and yes, she really did need to push a bit due to my apprehension about presenting in April)!  
Dana, I have learned more this year than I have learned in any other year of teaching!  I not only learned how to utilize technology more (my professional goal), I met some amazing colleagues in the district that I will always seek out, I read some thought provoking articles that have shifted my thinking and delivery of instruction, and I have found a gear within myself to push through challenges which seem daunting!  
I honestly feel like my students were more inspired this year watching the learner in me become more confident in technology.  Thank you, Randy and Maria B., for helping with Google Classroom!  I am going to utilize it more now!  
I read the article on “Starting with Empathy” as the first tool for Back to School.  I copied a great poster from the website, and am going to share it with the school, as we are a PBIS building, and always strive to promote empathy.  I completely agree how we need to be much more intentional and explicit about teaching empathy to students.  I am going to make sure our classroom feels like a “safe space”  for learning.  I will refer to it as such early and often.  I like that there are activities to engage students in empathy with storytelling (we have Read Alouds), group activities, and problem solving.  In this process there is a third step where you need to reflect and act by identifying shared values and differences, instill courage, and enable action.  I’m excited to read more about this process and to become more proactive about promoting and producing more empathy in my classroom and in our school.  I strongly believe that my learners are more productive and supportive when they are behaving in a way that has a greater understanding of not just their own situation - but that of others in their classroom community.
Thanks again to everyone in this Inspired Writing Cohort!  I really enjoyed this experience so much!  And I am so grateful for your willingness to share your knowledge with me!  Look forward to future collaborations!

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