Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Photo by Alan Taylor

Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Photo by Alan Taylor


In the South this is our last week of school for students. A parent commented to me, Aren’t you glad the school year is almost over, Jodi?

To which my response was something like….

It gets quite quiet around here without the students. Our entire purpose is them. No. I’m not glad it’s almost over. I get sad and miss them while I’m alone in the quiet building.

I think I caught her off guard. There are Facebook postings, Twitter captions, and on and on about teachers being off for the summer. What message are we sending? Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe that we all need time off. Time to re-charge. Time with our families. Time for some choice professional growth. Time to rest and recuperate.

I get it. I’ve never been one to count down until the end of school, though. I hear people starting in February. Fourteen more Mondays.

Being around students and teachers invigorates me. I allows me to learn, grow, and be who I am.

Soon the process of closing down and getting ready for the new school year will begin. And the building…

Well, it will be just a little too quiet for me!


What is our Impact?

MRCPL Children CC BY-SA2.0

As a classroom teacher I tried to bring the best of the models that I had. Some of those models were teachers I had growing up; others were teachers I admired as I went through my program in college. I have vivid and positive memories of sixth grade. At the end of each day, our teachers would have the students in all four classes –the entire grade level–moved into the team room and spent the last minutes of the day reading a novel aloud to us.

We would look forward to one teacher in particular because she would get so involved in reading the novels –the characters, the voices. I distinctly remember her reading The Westing Game to us….so much so that when I taught fifth grade, The Westing Game was one of the novels that I chose to read to my own class. I tried so hard to get the voices just as perfectly as she did. I am quite certain that I did not, and they were never consistent from day-to-day. It was no easy task as there are so many characters in that novel. It made what she did seem even more amazing all those years later.

How incredible, though, that fifteen years after-the-fact, the impact she had on me– therefore on so many classes of students and my wanting to carry on a tradition of reading a treasured novel and sharing that experience with my own students. Now that’s impact.


calcThere are so many resources out there claiming to be made for Common Core. I keep seeing them all over Pinterest, but when I look at them, they are often the same old worksheets or rote practice dressed up in something pretty. Often they are computer games that are just encouraging rote memorization which is everything that CC is not. I do have to say that the Georgia training webinars have done a nice job of explaining the purpose of CC as well as why it is so important for our students to get the conceptual knowledge, fluency, and understanding of numbers.

This link is to a Georgia math wiki that includes videos, conversations, and resources that are wonderful for deep math instruction that our students deserve –whether they live in Georgia or not!

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