Saturday, November 16, 2013

CELEBRATE! - Nov. 16

When Ruth started this Saturday tradition of celebrations, her thinking struck a chord with me.  In this time of high stakes tests and more and more demands on teacher time, it would be easy to lose sight of the reasons we all became educators.

This week, I had several reminders of why I want to celebrate working with teachers and students:
  1.  Twice within this past week, I gathered with colleagues outside of the school setting just to have fun.  It certainly helps reduce stress when you can eat, drink, and laugh with the people you see on a daily basis.  And I think it's even better when we get away from our work environment and see each other in different surroundings.  Both opportunities allowed me to appreciate my colleagues in more personal ways.
  2.  I am co-mentoring the 3rd year teachers in our school district this year.  I spent Wednesday morning meeting and collaborating with several of them, as they work on refining their own practices as teachers.  I loved our conversations as they shared with me about their students, their assessments, and their teaching.   So incredibly reflective.  We are lucky to have these teachers moving from the "Resident Educator" status here in Ohio to being fully licensed.  I'm very fortunate to be a part of this journey they are on.
  3. This week was the end of the trimester, and time to have students fill out reading reflections for their growth as readers the past 12 weeks.  Here are just a few of the comments or thinking that help me celebrate:
  • when talking about his comments to other classmates on reading response letters: "I've gotten a lot better at commenting to others.  I'm paying attention to what they say before I comment."
  • when talking about what specifically she wanted to celebrate as a reader this trimester: "I read more books this trimester than in all of 4th grade."
  • another student sharing what they wanted to celebrate: "I started giving better book recommendations when I know books others might like."
  • when sharing how many books they completed in first trimester: A prolific reader recorded finishing 35 books so far while a reader that struggled to find a book and to complete it recorded finishing 5 books.  Both of these numbers and all the other numbers in between are huge celebrations because it means we have a community of readers who understand that time to read is valuable.
There are others, but I will stop here for now.  I look forward to sharing some celebrations from NCTE next week!  In the meantime, stop by Ruth's blog to see what others are celebrating this week!


  1. I love the students' reflections, they know that reading is good for the soul. Spending time out of school with friends from school is always worthy of celebrating, it needs to be done more often. It's great when we can take time to reflect on why we are here in the first place.

  2. My students and I had big discussions over your last point this week. We all are celebrating our reading - whether it is 2 books or 20, it is reason to celebrate. See you soon!

  3. I love your reading reflections. It is so fun to watch them become aware of their reading lives. Hooray for your struggling reader and finishing 5 books. I am sure that was an accomplishment him/her!

  4. Hi Karen, I hope we'll get to meet again at NCTE! These celebrations sound wonderful. I especially enjoyed seeing the reading comments, and also know that seeing colleagues "outside" is always refreshing. FYI-you might want to re-link-some of the links were lost on Ruth's post today!

  5. "I read more books this trimester than in all of 4th grade." This sentence stayed with me. There is something happening in a classroom where this is the result. How can I duplicate this in my classroom?

  6. Glad you had time to enjoy friendship outside the school day. Support grows through laughter. Yeah for your student who had trouble finishing a book and also the one who pushed herself to read more.

  7. So looking forward to seeing you at NCTE! We too are finding the idea of celebration a much needed aspect of our profession. We need to take time to remember all the things that are going well. Thanks for sharing.
    Clare and Tammy