Conference Reflection

I regularly read the School Library Monthly blog that was previously maintained by Kristin Fontichiaro. This fall the blog has transitioned into the hands of the capable Rebecca Morris.

This fall was the AASL Fall Forum. After attending Rebecca wrote a post titled “Share the Wealth” about how we naturally bring ideas from conferences back to our teachers and students. She shared a quick document that can be easily filled out to keep track of what ideas you have, who it applies to, and what steps you will take to implement the ideas.

I encourage you to read the post and view her example. I have created a blank template that I’m going to use when I attend the state conference in Virginia this weekend. Each time I learn a great idea I’m going to fill in the chart. At the end I’ll have a quick snapshot of the great ideas, who they apply to, what I want to do, and what steps I can take to make it happen. I can then prioritize and choose a few to start with.

Download & Google Drive

For me, conference attendence is a very personal rejuvenation opportunity. The inspiration I gain connects me to my professional self and keeps me going. I want to be sure that my two days away from the building impact as many teachers and students as possible. I see this chart as a way to organize those thoughts and to do that. When someone asks me about the conference I will have a brief piece of documentation I can use. It’s great evidence for my professional portfolio as well.

Nobody Died

One. More. Week.

For many reasons, I am not ready to see the school year end. For others, I’m ready to have a break. After giving state tests for the last month I am really ready. No more sniffling, sneezing, coughing, snoring, and burping to listen to in an otherwise silent room. I think I tested the noisiest child in the school. The burping about did me in.

As the year comes to a close I start to think, what did I do this year? I think I tend to look at my failures more than my successes. I don’t even want to consider the failures at the moment despite the blog title. I don’t want to weigh them at this moment. I hope that the successes stack up higher, but I’m not positive they will.

This year I made a unit plan in advance and it worked. I mostly stuck to it, but made changes to work with and for teachers as needed.

During the last week of classes I had kids who were still saying “can we check out books now?” That’s a good thing….kind of hard to explain to Kinders what the ‘end of the school year’ means, but their teacher was working on it.

I was a good friend this year. Socially, this year was one that was more supportive than others and I grew some great bonds.

We got new computers in classrooms thanks, in part, to my vision.

Nobody died.

I ended the year with just barely enough funds to get what I wanted for next year.

I made improvements to my lessons for younger students to make them more engaging. I have some stronger strategies ready that I can build on.

I teach some of the most awesome kids with autism and I had an impact on their education.

I stepped down from PTA. (After 10 years this is a great thing!) I love our PTA, but it was time to relinquish duties to another.

(This list is getting harder to write…..I think I tend to look at ‘success’ as something HUGE and then nit-pick the failures).

I continued to provide resources to teachers that I guess is above and beyond. My AP seemed very surprised at how much I frequent the public library and my reasons for it.

I tried new things!

I wrote unit plans for most of the year. I wrote lesson plans for more lessons than I have the previous years.

This list isn’t very detailed or reflective. Maybe over the summer I’ll dig deeper into some of these topics and spend some time mulling them over. Ultimately though, as long as we all come out of it alive, we’re doing fine.

So I guess it was a great year.