It was absolutely AMAZING! I got to meet so many talented, dedicated, passionate teachers, learn new ideas and strategies, and meet some of the wonderful teacher bloggers that I follow.
I was even invited to participate in a luncheon led by SDE with 11 other kindergarten teachers from diverse backgrounds. They asked us some questions that are important to kindergarten teachers today, and we had a rich discussion about the qualities of an outstanding teacher, the resources needed to be successful, issues that are pertinent to kindergarten teachers today that weren't relevant in the past, and how well college prepared us for teaching.
I was so energized after the discussion, and my eyes were opened to some different points of view and ways of thinking. I wish we could continue to meet on a regular basis because I feel that I would really grow as an educator through these thought-provoking conversations. One of the teachers said something that really stuck with me. We were talking about the qualities of an outstanding teacher and she said "An outstanding teacher has an attitude of gratitude. She realizes how lucky she is to be in this profession, to shape young lives." I hadn't thought about things that way before, and I really like that outlook. If we as teachers wants our society to respect us as professionals and believe that we are DIFFERENCE MAKERS, then we need to be GRATEFUL that we are doing one of the MOST IMPORTANT jobs in the world, and take on the responsibility with great care.
Here are a few pictures from my trip:
I met a new teacher friend from California while at the blogger meet-up!
My beautiful mother at the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium :-)
We visited The Wynn on our last night and it was decorated so nicely inside.
While in Vegas, I managed to have some fun with my mom, who came along for the trip! We saw Cirque Du Soleil, which was a phenomenal show! I highly recommend it to anyone. We played some slots (and video poker, which was my favorite) and checked out a bunch of the other hotels. All in all, it was a great trip, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to go! I'm already crossing my fingers that I can attend next year because my idol, Ron Clark, will be speaking!! I would LOVE to meet him!
Now that summer school is over, and I'm home from my trip, I'm working on my long list of things to accomplish before this next school year begins! I always have such a long list of goals for myself to accomplish, and I have a hard time just picking a few goals to focus on, so I end up dabbling a little bit in each one. We shall see how many of them I can accomplish in the next three weeks! Here is my list:
- Create my own classroom website- any tips from those who already have one? Is there a particular website you recommend to create it?
- Read The Nuts & Bolts of Teaching Writing by Lucy Calkins, in order to be most prepared to implement the writing workshop model in my classroom this year.
- Watch the DVD that came with the Lucy Calkins writing program
- Organize and de-clutter my classroom- this is a huge goal, and I have a lot of subgoals in this category
- Read Developing Number Concepts by Kathy Richardson, and create developmentally-appropriate math lessons and centers based on her strategies
- Organize my pins into more boards on Pinterest and create some of the ideas I have found
- Create a new behavior management system in my class based on Rick Morris' Clip Chart Behavior Management System
- Learn the songs and movements for Heidi Butkus's Sight Word Songs- so excited to try these with my students this year!
Okay, I could keep going...but I'm going to stop here before I get too crazy! I'll update with some of the changes I'm making in my classroom for this year!