Showing posts from December, 2017

18 for 2018

I've been listening to podcasts a lot lately (I know, right??), and I loved this idea from Gretchen Rubin's "Happier" podcast.  She and her sister suggested making a list of 18 things you want to do in 2018 to increase happiness (but not letting it turn into a laundry list of resolutions). I'm shifting it a bit for this post, but I want to make my overall list of 18 for 2018 more like the original suggestion.

Today, however, I want to share a list of 18 things I want to improve/focus on during 2018, specific to grad school. In 2018, I'll begin my second semester, and in the fall, I'll also start my second year (with an eye toward comps), so 2018 has a lot of possibility and opportunity for me to tweak and change and refocus, especially now that I've got the first semester under my belt.

A further challenge I'm setting for myself: to simply offer the list here, without qualifiers, apologies, or explanations. I know I can get really long winded when…

When You Don't Realize What You're Missing

Yesterday, I had a great chat over coffee with one of the professors in my faculty. We were going back and forth about our research interests and teaching experiences, and I must have sounded more enthusiastic when I mentioned my last experience as a high school teacher, because she smiled and said, "I bet you miss them."

In that moment, I didn't; I told her I'd loved every age I'd taught, but I was enjoying my B.Ed students here, and I was so fully immersed in my studies that I hadn't stopped to miss them. And in that moment, it was true.

But today, when I was in the middle of revising an article I'm working on, I got an email, and then another, from my former students. They sent group pictures and snippets of information about their class and their semester, and I emailed right back, eager to engage with students who I taught for two years.

And now, after a flurry of email exchanges and silly group photos, after sharing a bit of my campus and my work wi…

Poetry in the Classroom

I just handed in my last assignment for the first semester of my PhD (hooray!), and I also had my last class for the semester with the teacher candidates I've been privileged enough to work with. They are working on their statement of beliefs for their portfolio (and eventual job search), and today, instead of asking them for a rough draft, I decided to explore something I've had in mind for a long time.

I asked them to write me a poem.

I shared George Ella Lyon's "Where I'm From" with my students, which I first encountered over a decade ago in my own teacher training program, in the Christensen text Reading, Writing, and Rising Up, and then I shared my own poem, inspired be hers, orienting my experiences as a teacher.

And then...I asked them to step out of their comfort zones and use Lyon's poetic example to orient their own statement of beliefs.

They've emailed them to me, so I have no idea what anyone wrote, but the constructive discomfort of the l…