Saturday, March 9, 2013

Tooting My Own Horn

I need your help.  

As many of you know, I am working through the National Board Certification process.  It is a humbling experience.  Just when you think you are an accomplished teacher, you read the standards, watch your videos, and realize you have so much more to hone your craft.  Or is that just me?

I'm actually ok with the "humbling" part.  I get that. I get the fact that teachers can work a lifetime and still have areas to improve upon.  In fact, after ten years in the classroom, I actually see more "areas of potential growth" as opposed to "perfection".  

But, here's the hard part for me: tooting my own horn.  We have been taught since childhood to not brag and to not be proud.  In college, we were taught to write in the third person.  In the workplace, we learned to give credit where credit is due and highlight the accomplishments of our colleagues.  However, in National Board, you need to document the evidence that you are an accomplished teacher, i.e. toot your own horn.  

Entry 4 requires that candidates list their accomplishments as a partner with parents and community, learner, and leader/collaborator. I had no problem listing the classes, conferences, and books I read as a "learner".  I am even having fun with the parent/community piece, listing all the local field trips and all the Academic Game Nights I have had.  However, I need "evidence" of being a leader/collaborator with other teachers in the form of letters.

That's where you come in.  Hopefully.  

I need letters from other teachers in the state (or nation) that documents that I have shared teaching tips and techniques with you and it has had an impact on your students' learning.  I know, right?  

Basically, I need an email from you, sent to and include my first name (Susan) and be signed with your first name.  Please indicate which city (if in Arizona) or state.

Here are some sentence frames I took from Bobbie Faulkner's Book "What Works" that would be simple to fill in the blanks.

National Board Candidate's Name: Susan (no last names)

Date of Presentation: your choice which one has the biggest impact on your child

Describe how the presentation impacted your teaching of the skill/concept:

In Susan's presentation, I learned that I can help my child to _______________ in a new way.
Learning ___________________ the way Susan showed in her presentation changed the way I help my child at home (or teach my students) to practice that skill.

I saw the impact of what I learned at Susan's presentation when my child ( or students) _____________.  Before I attended Susan's presentation, my child (or students) would __________, but now they ___________.


In past years my child would ___________, but after this presentation they _____________, which helps them ________.

This impacted my child's learning by ____________.

I will try to list the presentations I have given here, but seriously, I have given so many over the years and my mind feels so fried right now, I might have forgotten some.  You might remember something that I have forgotten.  Or, you might have gleaned some nugget from a previous post.  Feel free to scroll back through my blog posts to ones about my classroom.  

Parent Presentations this year:
8/17 Parent Day meeting: I taught Math Fluency Games with a deck of cards.  I provided you with a new deck.
10/24 Academic Parent Teacher Team Meeting: I taught you how to time your student reading fluency passages for one minute.
11/7 Academic Game Night meeting: I provided you with dice and Math Fluency Games and a nice Reading Response Journal and asked that you encourage your child to write in it daily to enhance their reading comprehension and their writing skills.
1/16 Academic Parent Teacher Team Meeting: I shared Vocabulary games with you and you made a game board out of stickers and construction paper.

Teacher Presentations over the years:
Academic Parent Teacher Team Meetings, when I brought that new idea to our school and shared a new way to involve parents in their child's learning.
Literature Units, when I created a PowerPoint to guide the students deeper into the novels.  
Free Walking Field Trips, when I shared free field trip ideas.  
Literacy Stations, when I shared what I learned from a conference about Literacy Stations and Menu Boards.  
Vocabulary Routine, where you have observed me doing the Vocabulary Routine and making it interactive with the kiddos.  
DonorsChoose, where I have showed you how to write a project on DC for your own classroom.
Social Studies WebQuest, where I have showed you a WebQuest to use in your classroom.
Literature Circle, where I shared my passion and organization for Lit Circles to help the students talk about the reading and share their opinions.

Technology Training over the years:
Mimio Training on how to use the Mimio software in your classroom.
Publisher Training, when I showed you how to access graphic organizers to use in your classroom.
Wiki Training, where I showed you the free resource of creating your own wiki for your classroom.
Again, thank you so much.  I know that no teacher works in isolation.  I have gleaned so much from other teachers as well over the years.  

where Glory meets my suffering