My Tenure as a Teacher

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Here I go... Day 2!
bigtimeliteracy.blogspot.com

Day 2:
How long and in what capacities have you been in education?



     I feel like I have been in education since I was seven.  I used to have all my stuffed animals spread all over the floor in front of my little chalkboard, teaching them whatever it was that I taught them.  Back then, I thought that teaching meant wearing long floral skirts and writing with those double sided red and blue pens.  Oh how I longed for a grade book.  The picture above I drew in 5th Grade for an autobiography.  I suppose I thought I could be an artist, too.  That didn't happen.  Also, don't judge me because I save everything.  :)  I am a sentimental sap.

     I suppose my real teaching career began in 1999 when I graduated from the University of Illinois. I was a part of their year long program, so I had student taught in kindergarten, a 3/4 split, and then 2nd grade.  That was always the grade I wanted to teach, so imagine how happy I was when Berwyn hired me during spring break of my senior year to teach 2nd grade at Hiawatha!

     This is my 16th year teaching at Hiawatha.  I spent 14 of those years teaching 2nd grade, and I am now on my second year as a literacy coach.

     What capacities have I served?  Well, being in the same room for 14 years makes that list a little short.  Teacher.  But if I think of the roles I have had while teaching 2nd and as a literacy coach, here they are:



     I made teacher and Literacy Coach the largest, because those are my actual roles.

     I made mentor, National Board Certified, and CoTeacher the second largest in font, because those are the roles that I am most proud of as a teacher.  Those three things have made me the teacher I am today.  All the other things I listed are the opportunities I have had along the way.

Mentor
I have worked with +Marilyn McManus as a coordinator for the New Teacher Mentor Program for the last few years.  However, I have been a mentor in the district for probably ten or more years now.  Working with new teachers has really helped me not only clarify my own process as a teacher, but it also helped me learn that I learn from new teachers just as much (if not more) than they can learn from me.  

NBCT 2016
National Board Certification taught me the importance of reflection and assessment, always based on my students.  I always knew that, but didn't actually do it with fidelity until I went through the NBCT process.  That process turned on my ability to reflect, and I haven't figured out how to turn it off since.  :)

Co-Teacher
Being a co-teacher changed my perspective of not only how I collaborate with my fellow staff, but how I look at my students to see what they really need.   It changed my idea of what differentiation really is, and isn't.  It made me see things from a whole new perspective, of which I can't even begin to describe.  If you really want to hear my thoughts about it, invite +Amy Lazzeretti and I out to a cup of coffee.  We'll catch you up on why full inclusion is the only way to go.  :)

     What are you most proud of as a teacher?  Write a comment and let me know!

10 comments:

  1. Wow, this is inspiring to me! You are amazing! So far, I am most proud of being a co-teacher and guiding those students in the right direction of learning in their LRE. I love to monitor behavior in the beginning of the year and share my findings with them so that we can, as a team, make personal goals together!

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    1. You sound pretty amazing yourself. I bet you are very important to your students. It sounds like you really care about their success.

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  2. I couldn't agree more, Leah, full inclusion is the ONLY way. Not to mention how rewarding co-teaching can be, especially when the teacher you are working with is willing to take risks, make mistakes and LAUGH! I'd be happy to sit down to talk about co-teaching but a cup of coffee won't cut it. It'll have to be a full meal-there's SO much to talk about!

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    1. You are right. A meal would be needed.

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  3. I used to teach my stuffed animals too! And my little sisters! Once I made my sister sit in the hall outside my room and write "I will not talk back to the teacher." 100 times. (And she actually did it! I wish I still had it.) I am very proud that I have never used the punishment in the real world of teaching! :)

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    1. That's too funny! They would probably type it now. :)

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  4. When I was little I played school with my cousins and sister. Complete with extra worksheets that I brought home from school. (Maybe they were dittos?) The horror! :-)

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    1. DITTOS?!?!?!? You just showed your age. :)

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  5. I'm so glad to see your drawing in the digital world. That's one of my favorite images ever! Talk about a picture telling a story! I'll have to get Erin Bracco onto this challenge. She has a photo of herself bossing her dolls around in the attic. Priceless! I actually wanted to be an investigative journalist- that was post reading "Harriet the Spy" in 3rd grade. I've used my powers of asking questions, especially when leading adult learners.

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    1. The sad thing it, there were 3 or 4 of these images to choose from. I was a one trick pony it seems.

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