I Matter....You Matter...We Matter

I Matter....You Matter...We Matter

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Anyone else feel as if they blinked and now the holiday season is upon us?  We live in a society of perpetual busyness, but how often do we stop, slow down, and thank those who support us and help us grow? Giving thanks shouldn't be reserved for one time a year. It should be embedded into our lives daily.  We all matter and need to make leading with gratitude a priority through our words and actions. 

As I reflect on successes and challenges, there is much to be thankful for both personally and professionally.  Thankfulness can come in all forms, but today I take the time to say THANK YOU to all those experiences and individuals who have contributed to who I am today. Today, I form my thanks around one word...FAMILY. Now, we all have our own notions about family, but expand your thinking and watch how your "branches" can grow.

Family doesn't always mean someone who is related to us. My FAMILY extends far and wide. Of course, without the love, support, and guidance of my immediate family I wouldn't be half the individual I am today. Friends are family. Colleagues are family. Complete strangers can become family.  Family can encompass a much larger scale and with the addition of each "branch", comes gratefulness and growth. 

  • Colleagues
These individuals support, challenge, and grow me as a learner and educator. Over my time in education, I've had the pleasure to work alongside some amazing and passionate people both at building and district level.  These individuals have encouraged me, stretched my thinking, and at times, pushed me outside of my comfort zone. We've laughed, cried, and even had some hard conversations, but ultimately they've made me a better educator and person for it. They're more than just colleagues-they're my family.
  • School Community
There's something to be said about a strong school community.  When you see all stakeholders invested in collective efforts towards seeking and taking action on what is best for all learners, you know you have a strong school community.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to be both an educator and parent in our school community.  There are thankless and tireless efforts being done everyday to keep our school community strong.  It's more than just a school community-it's family.

  • Students
Yes, these individuals make up a large part of our school community, but we couldn't do what we do without them. You'd be surprised how much I've learned and grown from these little minds.  Seeing the world through their perspectives is inspiring.  They're matter of fact, speak truth, and can lift your spirits on a rough day. They're unpredictable, yet some of the most growth-minded individuals I've ever seen. They look to us to support their growth as learners, love and support them unconditionally, and lead by example. They're more than just kids-they're family. 
  • PLN
My PLN is an ongoing evolvement of awe-inspiring individuals, some of whom I may never even meet in person.  I've met these individuals from friends of friends, Twitter, colleagues, and the list goes on.  My PLN expands globally and provides such a wealth of knowledge.  These connections have been invaluable to my growth as an ongoing learner. These individuals are more than just connections-they're family.  

Although our "branches" of FAMILY may look different, they are the root of who we are as individuals.  As we enter into a time of thanks, I challenge you to lead with gratitude not only today but everyday.  How will you continue to lead with a grateful heart?

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Be Somebody's Somebody

As a new school year approaches, we experience a myriad of emotions.  For many of us, we are feeling excited, renewed, and optimistic about possibilities that await us. Our spark has been rejuvenated from a summer of flexible schedules, relaxation, and maybe even some vacationing. Although some will attest summer goes by way too quickly, nonetheless, we are ready to catch up with our colleagues and conquer new goals. 

As I'm sure most would say about their respective buildings and district, I love our school and more importantly, I love the staff, students, and families that make up our school community.  I view my colleagues within my building my second family and school is often my home away from home.  I consider myself blessed to work and grow alongside such passionate educators on a daily basis. We truly are like a family.

We, as a school, create our culture and our school identity. As I reflected on the previous and upcoming school year for our own building, I kept coming back to the same idea that, in my opinion, truly is the core of education...it's all about RELATIONSHIPS.

Without trusting relationships, we will never progress beyond the surface level of actionable change within our schools.  It takes a village to make an impact on student learning, and it all stems back to building and fostering those relationships with all stakeholders.

"Where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came."

Lyrics taken straight from the Cheers theme song, but holds so much meaning and truth behind the words. Our job is a collective effort and while there are highs and lows throughout a school year, there is a sense of comfort knowing the people you surround yourself with all share the vision and goals for your school community. We want to work where everybody knows our name, so to speak.

As we, as educators, head back into our respective schools and classrooms for the upcoming school year, I would challenge you to focus in on the heart of relationships with your students and colleagues. They will provide your foundation to support the building blocks of learning and achievement.

How will you be somebody's somebody this year? 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Embracing a Work In Progress

Hello, it's me...

I'm an ongoing learner, plain and simple. This past school year presented so many opportunities for me to grow alongside my colleagues (which I hope to elaborate further on in future posts).  This isn't to say we didn't have our fair share of highs and some lows, but we grew and most importantly, we grew together!

To say I've been on a blogging hiatus is an understatement.  At first glance, it appears I've been absent from my blog for some time,  but this isn't to say that my learning stopped. This isn't to say that there aren't several posts still currently in DRAFT mode from months ago as well as new ideas currently swirling just waiting for the green light to post. This isn't to say that my learning will cease to continue moving forward. What it is saying is that I'm ready to dust off the keyboard and get back into business with new goals and aspirations for both my colleagues and myself as we continue our growth together.

Some background...

Simply stated, I like to write.  OK, actually I LOVE to write! While I was in the classroom, my students used blogging as a means of connecting their writing with an authentic audience, but it also gave them a sense of empowerment and purpose within their writing. It amazed me to watch excitement flourish as each student found their writing voice.

After stepping into my role as an instructional coach, that same excitement that I had seen in my students led me to seeking my own writing voice.  For me, blogging has served as a means of reflection as an educator but over time, has also served as a possibility of instilling empowerment and inspiration to others.  My goal and my "why" is that I use one of my passions to not only provide insights into instructional coaching, but to also inspire others to see themselves as ongoing learners who can always grow.

In what ways do you embrace being a work in progress?