Kevin the Complainer it is!

The results of my survey are in. I surveyed 90 5th graders and 30 6th graders:

I love using the survey feature in Google Classroom and the students appreciate being able to “vote” on everything from what kind of assessment to complete (quiz, diorama, paper, etc.) to helping me choose my next book title.

Good Company

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Photo from Everson Mayer

I’m in a room of about 100 teachers from all over Arizona. I feel blessed to be here. We’re all pursuing National Board Certification. Sure, we get a (small) financial award, but the biggest reason that we’ve shown up is that each of us will deepen our teaching practice and bring more to each of our 30 – 180 students each day.

The great majority of teachers are exceptional people.

 

And then there are these bigots (who ought to lose their jobs):

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13% of their student body is Latin-American. Idaho needs to do better for the children.

 

 

Truth of the Day

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One of my sixth graders told me, “I feel like the older I get, the faster time goes.”

 

All: I didn’t catch the beautiful essence of this woman. Anyone with tips – I welcome constructive criticism.  🙂

Interval

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I sit with a few girls during lunch recess

we all like to doodle

Tomorrow (September 22) is the first day of autumn (!)

But it’s Arizona – 96 degrees and humid from a recent storm

 

Laura’s drawing pretty ladies shopping

Julia is sketching fashion (dresses, skirts, shirts)

and I draw ferns, acorns and other accoutrements of Nature

kids are shouting and running around us – we remain composed

Sunday Suggestion

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This week’s suggestion is an overall recommendation to “go for it.” Stretch yourself. Take a risk. Invest money and time in yourself to be better.

I’ve been teaching for over 11 years and the subject of pursuing “National Board Certification” has come up multiple times. Each time, I dismissed it immediately, based on what I had heard as simply “extra work” for an empty title. But the people who have been saying that are people who did not pursue the NBCT. 

Recently, a colleague (who IS certified) spoke highly of the program. I attended two meetings this week and I’m now completely ALL IN. I’m going for it. I don’t even care about the title or the actual certification. It’s the process….the four modules will require me to create, re-create, and reflect on my teaching process with students and their parents. I have discovered a renewed sense of respect of the profession. Teachers create the certification process for NBCT. How refreshing: Teachers having control of an education program.

Yes, it it will require a huge time commitment. But it will be worth every minute to gain a heightened awareness of my teaching process: be the best teacher I’ve ever been, be able to mentor others, gain confidence and forge new friendships on district, state and national levels!

If there is something you’ve been considering, but worry about the time or expense, ask yourself, “What is the cost if I don’t do it?”

 

Some trivia: Did you know that although Arizona is often in the bottom 3 in terms of investment toward public schools, we rank anywhere from 12th to 16th in number of National Board Certified teachers in the nation? Teachers in AZ are working hard in their profession – despite the bum rap – for our students.

 

Student Council Elections

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Unsplash Photo

I say this every year during Student Council election time: Adults could take a cue from these 4th – 8th graders when it comes to running a campaign.

This is what they do:

  • Stick to positive actions they want to actuate;
  • Talk only about what THEY stand for and how receptive they will be to help the community;
  • Give heartfelt speeches despite their fear of public speaking

…and candidates who lose tearfully congratulate the winners.

It’s an endless source of inspiration and hope for me. I feel optimistic and happy about our future because these kids have huge hearts and really put themselves out there.

We adults just need to be better role models for them.