Saturday, October 12, 2013

Let's Celebrate

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres is starting a weekly celebration on her blog. On Saturdays she invites you to share something, or things, from your week that you could celebrate. I love this idea. I love that I will be looking my entire week for the positive. The positive moments, celebrations, events, etc. This has been my focus this year, to dwell on the positive and not the negative. So thanks, Ruth, for making this a weekly event.

I know I have am embarrassment of riches that I could pick from – but I am going to just choose one item to celebrate. My time is short – two young children are anxiously awaiting some pancakes to be made.

Yesterday I had the chance to present to a group of teachers in my district. Public speaking is tough for me. Anytime I have any rush of emotions whatsoever, I always get a red face. I’m not necessarily embarrassed, just excited, but it is still tough. My voice used to quaver and my heart would race. I was please to find that I didn’t have that reaction this time, just excitement. (And a red face, but we’ll go with that.)

I spoke about the different ways I use technology in the classroom. The reason I want to celebrate this is not that what I do is earth shattering – or even that I made it through a presentation without having a panic attack. What I want to celebrate is two separate events.

First, I have to celebrate the audience. If you’ve spoken to a group before you know that you get feedback from them without a word even being said. Their body language, eyes, faces, and more say so much. Teachers are notorious for being a hard group to speak to. Yesterdays group was wonderful. Smiles, laughs, eye contact, and more – I can’t say how much I appreciated it. I’ve always said it is harder for me to present in my own district than to strangers, but that group I had yesterday rocked. If any of them are reading – thanks so much! You made me day start off on the right foot – and my weekend too.

Second, as I spoke about what I have been doing with my students this year I came to an important realization – we’ve done a lot. I think the nature of teaching is that we never feel caught up, never feel like we've done enough. I always feel like I have failed – that I haven’t had enough explicit lessons on comprehension. I haven’t conferenced enough. I haven’t had enough time for them to write. I haven’t had enough time for them to read. Standing in front of a group and sharing my class, I had to pause. Holy crap. We’ve gotten Twitter off and running, ditto to Kidblog and a Classroom blog. We’ve had a whole unit on monitoring comprehension through think alouds. We’ve had five writing mini-units. The list goes on.

Yesterday was a great reminder to me that I look for the positive in life, in my students, in everyone else. However, I don’t tend to look for the positive in myself. I am my own worst critic. So I think part of my celebrations need to be recognizing that sometimes, I’m a bit hard on myself and I need to let that go.

If you’d like to see the slides I made for my district presentation you can find them HERE.

Thanks, Ruth, for starting this great new weekend writing idea. Have a great weekend everyone!