Thursday, January 29, 2015

10 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers

Hello everyone!  I had originally planned to start the new year off with this linky, but decided that I wanted let my 'habits' ferment for a bit so that I could really make a plan for myself.  I am looking at these as not really New Years Resolutions, but as ways to let my talents shine.

What are your talents? Can you walk and chew gum at the same time?  I love to lead professional developments with my district.  At one time my goal was to go nation-wide and help teach other teachers what I had learned and what I had found helpful in my classroom.  But that all changed when our 2 little bundles of joys arrived on the scene.  We had waited and waited and wanted and wanted children so when the opportunity came for us to adopt our 2 kids we jumped at it and signed on to adopt them without even laying eyes on them.  My 'golden opportunity' to become a mom was much ore important than the opportunity to leave professional development.

Today, like most moms that teach, I struggle to balance my workload that comes home with me and spending quality time with my family.

So what is my goal?  My goal is to become a better mom.  My job as a Christian wife and mom is much more important than my job as a teacher.

Did you ever stop to think that every teacher that blogs and/or sells materials on Teachers Pay Teachers are Grade A Problem Solvers???  It's true!  Every lesson that is born inside the mind of these teachers blooms because there is a problem <such as lack of materials> to solve.

So what is my goal?  I have many <probably about 80 or 90> 'half baked' lessons that I need to finish.  If you follow my life at all you know it is filled with 'Trauma and Drama'.  So, I would get half way through with a project and use what I got finished in my classroom with the intent that I would finish it as soon as I could 'find the time'.  So, my goal is go through my hard drive and get those babies finished.  There may be someone else out there with the same need.

Do you ever get caught in the middle of something and you wonder just why you are where you are?  Kind of confusing, I know!  Sometimes I just have to sit and watch to figure out what lesson life is trying to teacher me.

What is my goal?  To remember that life should never be written in pen.  The chewed up #2 pencil and the half used eraser may be much more powerful and more important than you think.  In fact, I think this is my new motto!

I have to admit, this is one I need to work on. My poor husband hears it all.  But, since my goal is to NEVER EVER COMPLAIN I am not even going to get into one of my stories here!  My sister has a saying that she got from a GREAT BOOK:

When my mother passed away, I got very frustrated with God for allowing her to suffer for so long.  I was actually asking Him to take my mama into his arms.  After several days, HE did, and then I was frustrated with HIM because she was gone.  My sister told me then that I need to just Be Still and Glory in all that God had given us.  He gave us a wonderful mom for many years and now it was HIS turn to spend time with her.  Every night I pray to God that he will let my mom come and visit me in my dreams.  And sometimes she does.

The easiest way to do this is to learn from mistakes.  I think my biggest talent is MAKING MISTAKES!  I am one of the biggest goofballs around so I am always messing something up.  When I was younger I would cringe whenever I goofed up but now, at the ripe old age of 42, I have learned to embrace my mistakes and use them as life lessons.

My biggest talent is that I am an 'idea' person.  I can come up with great ideas but struggle to get started or better yet, finish strong. This talent has always brought me to #6!

So what is my goal here?  To get some sidekicks to help me put my ideas into motion!

Throughout my career I have always had an instinct that carried me to the most positive, selfless people in the world.  I have learned so much from them!  These days as I look at the blogging world I can honestly say that I am friends with some of the best bloggers in the world.  We may not physically know each other but as far as our work goes, we are very in tune.  I hesitate to name names right now because I don't want to forget anyone, but many of the most successful bloggers I know and admire are found on our blog, Owlways Be Inspired.  This blog is authored by some of the most humble, yet super creative ladies.  I am in awe of them.

What is my goal here?  To continue to work with these lades professionally and learn from them as I go.

I would say that I have that one knocked out.  I am probably TOO ambitious because I get too many irons in the fire.  Someone asked me the other day if I had a 'bucket list' written up.  I thought that one over for a few seconds and told her that I am pretty ok with where I am not.  There are things in my life that I am not totally enthused about  but I am getting there.  Before you can be ambitious you have to honestly understand who you are and where you are.  

So what is my goal?  To just make it through today!

If you have followed me long you know that this is my 3rd, but best, blog.  I started out as 

and switched to

and now I am here at 

and I feel like this is home!

I've always heard that you can't teach an old dog new tricks.  I used to thnk that wasn't true at all.  Now I'm not sure at all.  After 20 years of teaching my district has thrown several new endeavors at us in the last 2 years.....First there were Habits of Mind and Habits of Interaction and then we were off to include Number Talks and then there is the 'yes we do anchor charts in math' and the 'no, we only do public records in math'.  So now we are off to literacy where Jan Richardson is Queen of Guided Reading while Fountas and Pinnell have been moved to the back of the bus.  And, I can't forget Lucy Calkins.  I'm sure she is a really nice lady, but each of her lessons are like reading a thesis.  I simply don't have time to perfect all of these at one time, but I can work on them at my own pace.  I have found that I can be 'sneaky' in my learning and watch some Jan Richardson videos or take part in the number talk book study over at Adventures in Guided Math.  And--Hint Hint Hint--these 2 books below come with their own DVDs and believe me, I watch them.  Over and Over.  Why?  Because...

What is my goal here?  To Never Stop Learning!

These Jan Richardson videos are saving my life--and my evaluation since we have gone full fledge 'Jan' at my school.  Even if you don't go page by page with her method, these videos will help you with guided reading!

I just bought this book on number talks. I am excited there is a DVD that comes with it.  I think it will help me a lot!

I have been in school for 37 years in some way, shape, or form.  I have 3 degrees which I am still paying for.  The last of which was designed to help me land an administrative position.  But, I soon saw that I didn't want to be an administrator so I became a blogger instead.  It is much more fun!!  Do I regret working so hard on that last degree in supervision and administration?  Not at all.  It takes me back to #1, #2, #3, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, and #10.  I ave to confess that #4 was a pretty hard one because I know without a doubt I complained about the work or the endless thesis revisions, but hey, nobody is perfect!!

I hope that you will take the chance to link up with me!  I'd love to see what you have going on in your life that makes you a Highly Functioning Teacher!

Here's how to play!
1.  Follow this blog.
2.  Link up!  Be sure to link back.
3.  Visit at least 3 other blogs
4.  Leave the 3 blogs some comments.
5.  Share the love!  Post on FB, Twitter, etc.

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