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Monday, May 29, 2017

Continue the Path to Good Work and Effort: May/June 2017

The end of the year means following the path that's been laid out, and following it with care and attention to students. That path includes completing final math units/tests, engaging in a number of STEAM activities, completing biography presentations, going on field studies, signature performances, final portfolio efforts, and end-year celebrations. Teachers' presence, support, good energy, and positivity are as important now as ever since we want to support positive, productive final weeks of school.

Seeking Avenues of Support and Collaboration

A good colleague encouraged me to seek greater collaboration in spheres were voice and choice seemed unwelcome. I reached out but was met with further walls that prevent good communication and share. What's a teacher to do?

I think that after many attempts to coordinate effort, it's time to take a break from that situation. If others demonstrate little will or effort to collaborate, work together, or find common ground, then you have to take a giant step away from the situation unless that situation has potential to harm or hurt people, then you have to persist.

In my situation, children will not be harmed or hurt, and I will be able to support them more by stepping away from the situation at this time. It's unfortunate that this is the way it has to be, but it's the best that I can figure out given the situation details, efforts, and story.

On the other hand, terrific avenues of support and collaboration exist. The Parent Teacher Organization sets aside money to support teacher-driven efforts. The local grant source, WPSF, also is able to provide financial support if the grants are crafted in a way that they will be forwarded. The union has recently agreed on language to support teacher voice and choice with regard to new initiatives, and the grade-level teaching team is similarly willing to work in collaboration to create, analyze, and forward good ideas. Further, there are many, many educational professionals eager and willing to offer consult and ideas all over the world who lend good consult, support, and sometimes financing too.

Knowing who and where your supports lie in specific areas of life is critical. It's not a good idea to seek support and consult in arenas that do not support your work and effort as that steals time away from the good work possible.

Sometimes it's difficult to understand why some would not be willing to work together, see it from your side, or use good process to make advantageous change and development, however it appears that this does occur, and we have to be mindful of that so we don't spend lots of wasted time in areas of little to no support, and instead look to those who will work with us to make promising change and growth. Onward.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Seek Inspiration In Order to Teach Well

Yesterday I took a trip to the beautiful Clark Art Museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The beautiful museum is well set in a bountiful landscape of hills, trees, and forests. It was magnificent.

As I wandered the well-lit halls of the Museum, I was once again struck by how visiting places of beauty and art lift the soul and enrich the heart with regard to the work we do as educators. Educators have to regularly renew their energy and spirit to do our work well, and that renewal can occur in museums, nature preserves, parks, and historic sites. These magnificent places remind us of the potential humans hold for wonderful innovation, creation, and change, and these reminders will help us to spur our students on with promise.