Saturday, February 21, 2015

Ram For A Week #SHNerd

I'm sad to be leaving the awesome South Haven community. Some might view the back to back snow days as a bad omen, but they really stood out to me as fine examples of the type of dedicated educators any school district would want to have in their schools.

I spent the first 3 days of this week visiting classrooms and teaching model lessons that infuse technology into ELA units. I was able to teach in a 6th and 8th grade class and it was so much fun. The students were great and the units went very well. I learned so much from talking "shop" with the teacher at Baseline Middle School. There are so many passionate learners there with so much to share. We shared reading and writing strategies and classroom management techniques. It was 3 days of 1:1 professional development that teachers really need once in a while. I was able to address specific questions and work with teachers on improving instruction. Along the way, I learned a few things about myself and how I approach instruction in the classroom. It was a great experience.

During the snow days, I was trapped in my hotel room. It was freezing cold, it was snowing, and the wind was blowing all over the place. Despite the opportunity to stay at home and relax, multiple teachers took the time to reach out and chat with me via email and Google Hangouts. One conversation lasted well over an hour and we talked all things language arts. It was a great conversation to have with teachers dedicated to learning something new to support their students. It was a great time. I also received emails from admins and was able to review curriculum that they have online to better support teachers interested in adding technology to the lessons to get the most out of the Chromebooks that are being rolled out.

It was such a great week in an awesome community. The administrators were wonderfully supportive and the teachers were on board to make some changes. Change is not easy, but I see some great things happening in South Haven and I can't wait for my next visit to see how far they have moved forward. Hopefully it will be a bit warmer next time.

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