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All right, darn it, I didn’t get to the Genius Hour stuff this year as I wished. But I think with the help of my teammates we can pull it off for next year. In fact, there are quite a few things that fell by the wayside. But according to my student survey, there was a lot that got done, too! Their pleas of NO MORE CORNELL NOTES cracked me up –their informative reading test scores were through the roof, so like Flintstone vitamins and flossing their teeth, things that are good for them may not seem obvious in the moment.

Ideas for next year:

Genius Bar — ISTEĀ –Student-run ‘genius bar’ idea

Big Calendar of Awesome –so I don’t miss stuff like I did this year (still kicking myself). Earlier this year I worked with the registrar/grading point person on developing a calendar of when not only grading windows/quarters/semesters end but those mid-quarter progress report times that in some ways are more critical for academic recovery and ‘sail adjustment.’

Continue the writing challenges and reading road trip blogs — those were pretty good ideas

Make sure voices are heard:

There’s more coming to this list, but family’s here, and must sign off for now.


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Life boat.

Got a tiger in your boat?
Got a tiger in your boat?

When we first started teaching one of my best friends made a little ‘teacher emergency kit’ complete with ibuprofen, highlighters, emergency chocolate, etc. Its contents have long been depleted, and if I was to refill it now its metaphorical weight would sink a ship.

Now I am wondering: how do we educators truly support one another, and help us all get to safety? One thing that is beautiful about my life now is during holiday breaks my children are old enough to be independent, and we connect as a family when we choose. (Yes, I’m looking forward with hope to a day in the far, far future when I’m a grandmother, but today is not that day!) It’s wonderful to have the time to reflect on my craft, and organize my upcoming year as best I can.

Reasons I maintain social media connections are for the same fundamental reasons I always did: I get great ideas, and can share them, and share my (original) ideas, too. The days of the “one” may be outdated: by one I mean the ‘boss’ archetype in our worlds. The judge, the evaluator as jury, not as sage or wise curator. But that’s a discussion for another time, I suppose.

I wanted to share some inspirational media that I’ll take with me to the next half of the school year:

How to be heard

How to speak so that people want to listen

If he was giving this talk to teachers, it might include: stay out of the staff lounge. I do, but am questioning this. I am not sure I have the energy it takes to turn the culture around in our staff lounge.

Dr. Carol Dweck: Not Yet


Actively Learn

This is still glitchy on some of my students’ laptops, but other than that, it is phenomenal. If I were to design an interactive deeper reading format, this would be it, and that is high praise indeed.

Write About

This is almost a twin to Actively Learn in terms of its usability, accessibility, and easement into creativity.

On-going love affairs:

These are resources that continue to nourish:

New friends:

And always, celebrate my students: