It's almost over! Since we moved last summer, this year seems like it's just a continuation of last year! Needless to say, I'm ready for a break. We are ALL ready for a break! Which is why I wanted to write a quick post on how we can finish up the year strong. This is to help you AND hold myself accountable for practicing what I preach. 😉
The order of these tips might be different for you, choose what works best based on where you are now. If you have any tips that work for you, please share in the comments or tag me on your favorite social media platforms. I love getting ideas from my like-minded educators!
1. Pace Yourself
Your to-do list can get really long at the end of the year, so make sure to pace yourself.
Prioritize your list and put them on your calendar so you aren't running around like a crazy person the last week of school. You want to enjoy the excitement of the promise of summer with your students and coworkers, not just focusing on what I like to call the end of the year scavenger hunt.
Tools that can help you prioritize your to-do list:
2. Start Organizing Your Files
If you are leaving your district, you have to try Google Takeout so you can keep those files you've worked so hard on throughout the year(s). *Find out more about it here.
If you are a desktop saver (no judgement), I suggest creating a folder on your desktop called something like "Desktop items 20-21" so you can drag the entire folder into your personal Google Drive or onto a flash drive. I like to go through the files first and trash what I don't need, but if you don't have time right now, at least you know where it is even after you have to turn in your laptop or move to a new school.
3. Create a Summer Wishlist
We all need something to look forward to right now! I like to create a personal and professional summer bucket list and add to as things pop into my head while dreaming about those no alarm days of summer!
I'm a PD geek, so I also like to make a list of trainings or certifications I'd like to participate in to make the next year better. I'm finishing up year 23, and I still love learning new things!
Bucket List Tracker Ideas:
5. Make Self-Care a Priority
You are tired, all educators are tired. It's been a long year that might seem like it will never end, but like all things, it will. We have to take time to take care of ourselves to stay healthy and productive as we finish up the year. Here are some of the tips that have helped me, maybe they will help you too.
If you want more tips, I highly suggest Dan Tricarico's The Zen Teacher and Sanctuaries.
Summer PD for me! I will take a break here and there, but I'm a PD geek and I love using summer to brainstorm ideas. I don't know about you, but I don't have the mental capacity during the school year to really let me imagination go. I'm also going to spend time with friends and family, as well as going on our (postponed from last summer) trip to Nicaragua. I can't wait!
You'll see some pool or beachside #booksnaps soon!
I wish you all the best of luck with the end of the year and I hope you will take some time for yourself so you feel refreshed when you walk back into the school building next Fall! ~Pam
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2019 In Review!
I don't know about you, but I often forget all the great things that happen throughout the year. Luckily, I take pictures at almost all of the events I go to (expect family events... I need to get better at that)! So to start this post, I figured it would be easiest to make a video with all those photos so it would be easier to reflect on everything. If you want to try this, I use the Quik app by GoPro on my phone. It's super easy and FREE! You can find the mobile app on Google Play or the Apple App Store . This post is all about what was to accomplish this year, even if I didn't plan to. So let's travel back in time and see how it went!
1. 2019 Kick Off! #FETC
I'm really sad that I won't be going to FETC2020, but I'll make up for it by going to the conference hosted by Dave Burgess & friends, #dbcPIRATEcon in June (check it out here). It will be EPIC!
I've been in education for 23 years, and I've probably gone to FETC at least 15 of those years. It's still the best conference I've been to! Not only is it amazing, they treat their presenters SO well, even paying for their conference tuition. That goes a long way in an industry that doesn't usually have a big budget professional development opportunities! The best part of going to this conference has been the connections I've made over the years. Check out this blog post to find some EDURockStars to follow!
My friend Pam Inabinett hosts a monthly CoffeeEDU here in Charleston on a Saturday morning to gather educators from the tri-county area in one place. It's a great opportunity to get to know others in our local area to add some personal value to our #TeachSC chat that Jed Dearybury hosts on Tuesday nights at 8:00 pm EST every week. I'm thankful for Pam's friendship and commitment to help others connect!
Berkeley County School District hosts monthly professional development sessions for coaches, including part of the day for Coach Cohorts. I love our time together as a group to learn from each other, but I have especially enjoyed our cohort time together. A small group of coaches from different areas of the county can really help to strengthen our coaching tool kit as well as build relationships. It's so nice to have a group of educators to go to when you need support!
I haven't written a book...yet, but I did get to appear in two in the last year! I know it's not much, but I was honored to be included in Tech Request by Emily Davis and Brad Currie (#satchat) and Connect to Lead by my friend Jacie Maslyk (also pictured in the video above at FETC). I couldn't imagine ever having anything to contribute to a book before becoming a connected educator. Now, my goal is to write one myself!
As far as reading books, I have to give DBCInc. crediThanks for most of my inspriation! I seriously love their books! Here's a link to all of my book blog posts if you need some ideas for your professional reading list.
5. All Things Shake Up Learning!
Kasey Bell and her Shake Up Learning community have been a big part of my life in the last couple of years, but this year was huge!
I'm one of the Community Managers for Kasey's Facebook groups, including for her online book studies. If you are reading the book Shake Up Learning, you need to check it out! It's a great way to read the book and connect with others for ideas. You can join the Facebook book study that starts in February 13th and runs through March 19th today! I also had my school bring Kasey to our school for her Dynamic Learning Workshop last October. It was great to have her in town and get the chance to hang out as well! The final treat of the year was getting to be on her podcast to talk about how I use #PottyPD. Here's the post and podcast if you want to check it out. I'm inspired by all that Kasey does for educators and value her friendship! If you aren't already connected with her, don't wait any longer!
This was one of my goals for 2019...present more! Besides holding Google trainings at my school, I got to present at quite a few conferences (local and national). It's my favorite thing to do in education! My long-term goal is to provide professional development to teachers full time!
7. EdCamp #EDUCoachSC
This was an amazing experience I got to be a part of with my friends Allison Walker and
Jen Shuffler! EdCamps can be an amazing PD opportunity and it's FREE! If you want to find an EdCamp by you, check out the organization site. You can also check out our site for our last event, and I'll let y'all know when we hold our next one! We hope you'll connect with us on Twitter.
8. #PD4uandme Twitter Chats
I can't say enough about this community! My friend Teresa Gross created #PD4uandme and asked if Emily Francis and I wanted to help out, because keeping up with a weekly Twitter chat by yourself is not easy! We hold this chat every Saturday (occasional Saturdays off during holidays and such) from 8:30-9:00 am EST. You can see the archives of all our chats in the Wakelet collection below. It's like a #CoffeeEDU on Twitter, so join us this weekend if you want to check it out!
I apologize for such a long post, but this is what motivates me to do more each year (I hope it inspired someone out there too)! As a classroom teacher for a long time, I never thought this would be what a year would look like. I would love to hear what your stellar year looked like! Connect with me today on Twitter or comment below to keep the conversation going!
Be REAL - Education from the Heart
I have read many of Dave Burgess Consulting books, but this one is in my top 5 at this point!
The older I get the more I agree with the idea of just being REAL, so I HAD to get Tara Martin's Book!
As I read this book... I cried, laughed, got awesome ideas, and was completely inspired and assured that being REAL was the only way to be, the only way to change the world around you for the better.
Do I have a false sense of power because of it? No way... but there are some things I can change, and that's where I want to spend my time an energy. Life is short, make it the best life you can! Or as Tara would say, "Cannonball In"!
Reflection is an amazing way to process what went well this year and what you want to change for next year. I use these questions from a Passion Planner I've used in the past. I may not follow it exactly, but it helps me with the reflection process. There are tons of reflection templates online as well.
Questions you can start with...
1. What went well?
2. What didn't go well?
3. What are my next steps?
4. What resources will I need to help me accomplish my goal(s).
I find it helpful to write answer these in a journal so I can look back at my responses. Look for "Bullet Journal" layouts and ideas if this sound like something you'd be interested in starting.
You'll have to act fast for the best deal, enrollment closes at midnight CST on June 10th.
Click the button below to join today!
- Cult of Pedagogy's Jennifer Gonzalez has an amazing blog, podcast and has courses available.
- Kasey Bell and Matt Miller have a podcast together called Google Teacher Tribe. If you haven't listened yet, go ahead and catch up this summer! It will be worth your time! They have kept me company every Monday morning on the way to work for a while now. #gttribe @gteachertribe
- Matt Miller has Teachable course called Tech to Learn. You can sign up here.
If I wasn't already signed up for 3 of Kasey's courses, one virtual course through College of Charleston, and one week of being a counselor for Engaging Creative Minds... then I'd sign up for one of these for sure!
Reading is one of my favorite ways to relax, rejuvenate, and stay relevant all at once. My stack is a little out of control, but there are so many good books out there for educators!
This stack is missing some my newest additions...
The Zen Teacher (mentioned above)
Shake Up Learning by Kasey Bell - Obviously, she's one of my favorite #edurockstars!
Ditch That Homework by Matt Miller and Alice Keeler
Onward by Elena Aguilar
Culturize by Jimmy Casas * This one is literally on the way thanks to my Amazon Prime addiction.
What's on your Summer Agenda?
I'll be working on some new resources including planning tools, Google PD, Hyperdocs for classroom use and more! Check back soon.
As always, thanks for reading!
Social Media... A Love Hate Relationship
Social Media can be a time sucker, but it can also be the best way to reach an audience in a positive way. It's out there, we can't fight it, so we may as well use it to benefit our school communities.
I've been reading Lead Like A Pirate by Shelley Burgess @burgess_shelley and Beth Houf @bethhouf. Really, If it has PIRATE in the title, I'm going to read it. I'm not an administrator, but all educational stakeholders can play a leadership role if they are passionate about making their schools amazing, right?!
I'm an Innovative Learning Coordinator in Berkeley County South Carolina and a Google Certified Trainer.
I have 25 years of experience teaching K-8 special ed., General Ed., and instructional & technology coaching.
Since I enjoy technology more than some, I started this blog for educators who love it too. Thanks for visiting!
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