Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Life Lessons

I am 37 years old and I learn something new just about everyday.  At the end of my day I try to think back on my interactions with people and reflect...could I have done things better?  Did I say the wrong things?  Did I make the right choices?  I try not to over analyze... that would just make me go crazy!!  However I feel that its important to reflect and review the events in your day and make necessary changes.  I am formatively assessing myself...the same way a teacher does with her students and then makes calculated adjustments based on her findings.  Nobody is perfect and I have definitely made some mistakes in the past and always try to learn from them.  Sometimes I feel that we are defined by our mistakes more often than our successes.  Why do mistakes out way our successes?  Why are mistakes never forgotten and successes hard to remember?  Maybe at the end of the day I should be reflecting on what went right in my day and how I can continue to make it better!!  I started searching for inspiration and came across this quote...Many times what we perceive as an error or failure is actually a gift. And eventually we find that lessons learned from that discouraging experience prove to be of great worth.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich.  I think she says it perfectly!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New beginnings!

I love the start to a new school year and it always reminds me of the Staples' commercials with the reset button...starting over!  When August rolls around each year I start reflecting back on my school year and write down things I will change, tweak, or do again but just do them better! Being a teacher, I put a lot of pressure to do my best and be my best and now being a Math Coach this pressure is more least for me.  I want each interaction with a teacher to be meaningful....for both parties.  The biggest action step I have for myself is to enhance my listening skills. Really listen to people and have interest in what they are saying not just waiting til they finish to add my two sense to the conversation...what I contribute to the conversation should value what the teacher is saying or trying to say.  Isn't that what everyone wants...just to be valued.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The choice to blog

I created my blog last year during the Encompass Summer Institute in June 2013.    I have not posted since then:(  This past year I have experience a lot of changes...moving with a family of 4...ugh!, leaving my position at one building as a coach to work for my school district as an instructional coach and servicing a variety of teachers, working on different projects, creating and implementing professional development and completing other tasks.  With all this change I feel the need to capture it and use it as a reflection tool.  I have learned and come to appreciate reflection, both personally and professionally   This week I am again attending Encompass's Summer Institute and have made a decision....I will start blogging on a regular basis!!  I feel a sense of relief...after talking to many Encompass fellows about their experiences and their own personal choice to blog,  I'm not scared to write about my thoughts.  I am choosing to blog for myself and use it as a reflection tool.  I want to better myself personally and professionally and I know that I will make mistakes along the way...I just hate to make mistakes a second time.  So I am hoping that by blogging and capturing my thoughts and experiences that I learn and grow.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Student Work

WOW...I am so overwhelmed!!!  My brain is exploding in so many directions.  What is the purpose of student work?  For teachers? for students?

How can teachers look at student work and get an understanding of what they (students) clearly understand, meaning conceptual understanding!!  What is their level of ability and how do I push them forward with purposeful feedback.

After many conversations today with other teachers/professionals I have come to a conclusion...everything starts with your students.  Find out what they know first, then facilitate their with rich experiences filled with constantly and consistently wondering!!!  The same is true with teachers and their journey through their own learning.  Students, teachers, people in general must make up their own minds to job as a math coach is to create opportunities for them to ask themselves questions about their beliefs and to encourage change.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Encompass: 1st day in review

Today left me with a lot of questions.  What was the purpose of all the activities?  How are all the activities connected?  I asked these questions not to seek answers from someone else but to ask myself. I keep thinking about how the day started talking a reflecting on the pre-institute activities and am wondering how I channel those conversations about risk-taking and cultural building into what tomorrow will bring.  I am very excited about the work we are doing and it continues to leave me wondering...

How can I capture this idea of constantly wondering about the world around you and get students to do the same??  Maybe thats the goal.  Finding ways to create opportunities for people to engage in activities that allow our minds to wonder in directions that we would normally not venture into by ourselves but in this environment feel at ease and comfortable to do so.


Today is my first day at the summer institute with Encompass. Very interesting meeting an array of teachers from across the United States.  


  • looking at pre-institute activities: what worked and what didn't?
  • looking at rubrics
  • taking risks: if we (members of encompass are hesitant, then how can we model this behavior for our students)
Here are a couple of questions from the morning:

What can we do better?

What type of assessments to give students? With standards based grading, how can I accurate give a grade to students to assess what they know?

Getting students to communicate their thinking and how to put that on a rubric?  Shift from answer to the process.  Get the students to value the process!

How assessment is used to see what students know and drive the learning process.

Students having a clear vision and that they trust their work because they have ownership.

How can help teachers see the process of assessing student work and that it is important to collaborate with other teachers.