Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Motivators!

Our family has had an enormous amount of grief in 2013, with the most recent event occurring just this weekend, so it's hard to be really chipper and bubbly and Monday Motivate-y. While I am exceedingly grateful for the blessings I have, the people I love around me and the richness of my life, it's still difficult to muster up a lot of false cheer, knowing people I love are in pain.

So, this Monday, while it is still necessary to stay motivated, to stay positive and to stay focused on what is important and good, I'll defer to my work. Work that I love and work that I'm proud of.

I am the director of our charter network's preschool programs. This includes both the state-level paperwork (aka boring) end to keep up with program compliance and instructional coaching. This means that I spend a great deal of time observing classrooms, working with the students and the teachers, ensuring that the best possible teaching and learning is taking place.

Once a month, all 12 teachers and their co-teachers come together for a cohort professional development session. This time is spent discussing preK-related issues, trends in instruction, program requirements and celebrations of student success. The second half of each cohort meeting is spent in a book study.

We just completed this book, which discusses how the things teachers say (and don't say) have incredible influences and consequences for the literate lives of students. 

At our most recent session where we did some vision writing as a way to wrap up our book study, the teachers I work with crafted some amazing statements that synthesized the ideas and shifts in mindset developed as a result of reading the book. 

"Our vision is to foster empathetic  collaborators, critical thinkers, social imaginers, justice-seekers, perseverant questioners, and empowered learners."

"Our goal is to foster learners who are critical thinkers, active problem solvers, and who explore their curiosities."

"We want to create a classroom that fosters teamwork & collaboration, curiosity, a growth mindset, process-based thinking and resilience...we want to do this by modeling and providing process-based feedback & praise, offering exposure to multiple perspectives, enabling students to have a heavy voice w/ heavy ideas & opinions...we'll reinforce all of this through a variety of books and activities and by recognizing and celebrating ALL types of goals."

These statements are what will motivate me this week. No matter how sad our personal lives are, there will always be children who need to learn & grow. Making sure that happens is my job on this earth, and that is a pretty motivating feeling.

Happy Monday, everyone...go make a difference in something this week!  

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