Reflections and Insights About the Week
"Exciting, relevant, invigorating! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!"
"The integration of arts and content was fabulous!"
"I enjoyed working with teachers from other grades and schools. It gave me the opportunity to get ideas from different perspectives."
"The passion! We built such a community of educators."
"All of the visual arts projects bring power to the texts."
"I really truly loved it all. It was very insightful being “the student” and actually having the time to do the work and walk through the process."
"Loved taking time for reflection."
"[Keep the] hands on tasks that relate to standards."
"You made us all feel empowered, valued and safe."
"Visual art can truly deepen understanding."
"I loved the collaboration with colleagues."
"It was all amazing. Keep pushing us! We can rise to the occasion!"
I was surprised by...
The caliber, professionalism and on‐taskness (new word) of The Learning Alliance and my fellow educators.
The experience was really powerful - not just the strategies and information, but the sense of community and safety to try new things and “step outside” our safe zones.
How much more I can do and learn!
Thank you again for igniting the passion in our teachers again. I cannot wait to see and experience this year’s journey with them and our students!
How much I learned, how much I can take back. I am also surprised about the level of renewed connection being a part of this gave me.
I was worried I would not get the things that would be applicable in my classroom, but I have a wealth of strategies to use!!
How professional I feel after having a week to examine my practice.
The connections I made with others.
I expected a few takeaway nuggets but I need a suitcase to haul all of my takeaways.
I Used to Think . . . Now I Think: A Thinking Routine
I used to think students have to sit and look at me to learn.
Now I think their learning will be much deeper and more rewarding if they are in charge of their learning.
I used to think reflection touched on the surface of understanding.
Now I think it is a deeper connection to the whole child.
I used to think I could not integrate the arts in my teaching.
Now I think if I/students can think it, it is possible in so many ways.
I used to think I was pretty creative,
Now I think with collaboration, more creative minds – there is nothing we can’t teach children.
I used to think unit planning was hard, if not impossible.
Now I think I know that it can be done. There are countless ways to integrate subjects without neglecting the standards. I also learned how to do it in a fun and meaningful way.
I used to think art and music, etc., were enhancements to instruction.
Now I think they are essential components.
I used to think I could do it alone.
Now I think it’s more valuable, more meaningful, better for kids (my students and my personal children) when I make time for authentic collaborative planning.
I used to think math curriculum had no room for creativity.
Now I think I can make it happen!
I used to think I was the only one with a broken past and alone on this journey.
Now I think others have been where I was and are willing and enthusiastic partners to continue this journey by my side.
I used to think students would learn if there were more interesting activities and teachers were naturally great.
Now I think students will understand so much deeper with purposeful engagement, supportive reflection and with an educator that yearns to always improve his or her practice.
I used to think it was too difficult to incorporate music, arts, movement into all aspects AND give enough time for reflection.
Now I think the reflection is the piece that connects all of it together and it needs to flow as part of the natural learning environment.
I used to think all schools and all teachers in those schools educated in isolation.
Now I think there is power in numbers when educators of many schools unite under one crucial goal – children!