Friday, July 13, 2012

What is "teaching.learning.growing" all about anyway?

I was one of those little girls that would line up my dolls and "play school". This was no ordinary school. I would read stories aloud to these "students" of mine, have class discussions about them, and plan field trips - to my back yard! I had a grade book in which I kept their grades for the assignments that I created and they completed. In other words, I would write 10+ essays in different handwriting and with a variety of effort to represent the different learners in my classroom - for FUN! Teaching has been and always will be part of what defines me.

As my graduate school semester was winding down last spring, I found myself having bitter sweet moments. Although I was feeling a sense of accomplishment in soon receiving my Master's in Reading, I was also feeling a sense of loss. As a result, I found myself registering to become a National Board Certified Teacher...before graduation. I unpacked my kit and began diving in to the entries already. Needless to say, learning is a verb that is within me.

Which leads me to that next verb within the title of my blog...growing. In my opinion, reflection should be a huge part of what we do as educators. I love the beginning of the school year because I am able to begin with a fresh start. I look back at what worked, what needs to be tweaked, and what could change completely. I am consistently looking for ways to improve myself personally, spiritually, and professionally. If we do not reflect upon what we have done and push ourselves, then will we ever reach our fullest potential?

I have been teaching for 12 years. Why blog now?

I just returned from a fabulous Leadership Retreat by Illinois Reading Council. I am serving as President for our local council, MID-State. I was inspired by the literacy leaders in the room, and began thinking about my vision as President of MID-State. What would I accomplish in this position? How would I implement this vision? As these questions came to mind, I discovered it was BECAUSE of my surroundings that I was inspired. The energy in the room was buzzing! The love of literacy was contagious! The encouragement from others was amazing! It was then that I decided I needed to stay connected; I needed to share all of the wonderful ideas and resources I was so lucky to experience!

I needed to create an environment that would nourish this need to learn and grow as I taught.

Therefore, I created this blog to share, reflect, and potentionally have that environment year round. So, I invite you to share your experiences, what you have learned, and ways you have grown. Let's spread the passion for teaching, learning, and growing together.


Rexie Lanier said...

Janel, I am so excited to follow you on this journey! I learn so much from you!

Jen + Jeff said...

Did you decide to complete your National Board Certification? Sounds like a big task! Congrats on all your accomplishments.