Saturday, June 27, 2015

#Celebrate - June 27

Thanks to Ruth for having a spot where we can celebrate life together. Please check out the other celebrations as well.

I am celebrating 2 weeks of life that couldn't have been more different than the other, yet I cherish both of them!

A week ago, I headed to Nashville with my youngest daughter and my dear friend to explore the city. There were multiple reasons to celebrate our time there. First, I had reserved lodging through a new site (to me) - This is a site very similar to (vacation rental by owner). We stayed in a lovely high-rise condo right in the middle of town. We couldn't have been more perfectly located had I actually tried, but since I had never been to Nashville before, it was pure beginners' luck. We spent time exploring the city - if you've been to Nashville, you will understand my next statement - you can't walk anywhere without knowing there will be hills going UP at some point; that made walking quite different than the flat terrain that I usually walk. But, even with hills, one didn't have to walk far to get to a fascinating area, or great view.

We spent time doing the touristy thing on the main drag, Broadway, where bar after bar was packed with singing, usually someone different on each floor of the bar. We even made sure to stop at Country Music Hall of Fame. My daughter knew several people in Nashville so it was fun to meet them and to visit less touristy places as well. And we had some great southern food while in Nashville. Getting away for a girls' trip like this was fun and a true celebration.

My other celebration actually encompassed multiple days of this past week. Each day was full of learning and collaborating with others. Two mornings, teachers with whom I collaborate and coach gathered in my family room, and we spent time reflecting back on a year of writing instruction/learning, and looking forward to next year and what instruction might look like then. These were educators looking to refine their art of teaching. A huge celebration!

At one of those meetings, 3 new teachers to our district were in attendance. They stayed for yet another hour after others had left, asking smart questions, and setting dates with me to meet again. I'm excited about the conversations that are happening now, before they begin the set-up of their classrooms. The thinking we are doing together will help them be even more thoughtful as they design the learning environments in their new classrooms. Another huge celebration!

Then, on Thursday, I led a summer literacy chat for our district around the topic of independent reading in the workshop model. 27 educators showed up and we talked about our beliefs surrounding children and learning, and also had good conversations about how to document student growth during this block of time. How lucky I am to work in a district that not only promotes professional development, but where many teachers have a huge buy-in to it as well. It was rainy and dreary, and would have been a good day to stay at home doing something else more leisurely, but they came, we talked, and we learned together. My final celebration!


  1. I've always wanted to go to Nashville. It sounds like you had a wonderful time!

  2. Love that you had your grand trip to Nashville & it sounds like you made the most of it. I've never been & it sounds like fun, Karen. The educator-getting-together week sounds wonderful, too. You are fortunate to have so many ready to talk and plan for good starts to the next year. Have a good weekend too!

  3. What wonderful celebrations! Many blessings!

  4. Sounds like a wonderful week - travel with friends and family, and days of learning and collaborating!