Wednesday, March 14, 2018

It's Not Different, It's Just the Perspective: SOLSC Day 14

For the month of March, I'll be writing with all you in the Slice of Life community.  Disclaimer:  I'll be writing every day so the writing will be raw and a bit messy most days.

Maybe you've been teaching for years or maybe your new to the classroom.  Either way, you know the feeling of pride swelling up in you as you watch your students grab the lesson and lift it to a higher level and then beam in their own pride at what they've accomplished. 

This is what happened to me today.  You'll be surprised to know after 26 years of teaching; this was a first time for me.  Not because I've never experienced this with the students in our classroom because that is far from accurate.  I strive each day for this familiar intrinsic celebration. 

This year isn't any different.  I am still working to help my students grab the lessons, lift the purpose, effectiveness, and, then take ownership.

But today was the first time I realized this year is different.  This year I am working as an instructional technology coach.  This year I am working with teachers as colleagues and as learners. 

Today when I walked into a first-grade classroom to deliver a lesson on branding your blog, and the classroom teacher greeted me eagerly saying, "I was thinking, I'd like the students to make a poster or something after OUR lesson.  I want them to have something that they can use to remember what WE talked about in the lesson." 

 I knew I wasn't going to be simply "delivering a lesson."  She was grabbing the lesson and taking ownership.  She didn't ask my permission. She planned to be apart of the lesson. She owned the lesson.  As her coach, I was swelling with pride.  I saw the growth in "my student," and I couldn't be more proud! 

After WE finished the lesson, the first-graders went about creating posters to represent the brand of their blog.  The classroom teacher moved from student to student, smiling at the personalization her students gave their work.  Some students worked in sketchbooks, some worked in Pixie, and others worked in Pic Kids.  She marveled at the engagement and quality of work.  

I stood back and watched it all knowing it was the classroom teachers' ownership that lifted the lesson.  I realized these learners were creating, problem-solving, and owning their work.  I know this level of independence doesn't come from an occasional visit from me.  This teacher and these kids have been taking control of their learning all year long! 

Thank you first-grade for sharing your learning environment and creative powers with me today and for working so hard every day! 


  1. Deb, to learn along side you in a classroom sounds amazing. Just sharing the enthusiasm from the teacher you were learning with sounded glorious! What a lucky teacher this first grade teacher is. You truly painted the scene. I could see those kiddos all over the classroom, some on computers, some on the floor with markers and crayons and colored pencils. I was thinking, I want that to be MY classroom, too!

  2. It's so rewarding as a coach when you see signs of your new students (i.e., the adults you now coach) begin to take ownership and demonstrate independence. Your slice really exudes the pride and thrill you felt when this moment happened. Congratulations to all involved. And how cool is it that first graders are branding their blogs?!

  3. I can tell how proud you were, Deb. Congratulations! You're making a difference in the lives of your colleagues and for students!

  4. Thanks for sharing such a successful moment. Congratulations to both you and your learner! I love that she owned it.

  5. I know what a transition it is for you to be out of the classroom. As someone who taught across the hall for years, I know you worked magic with your students. I was always learning from your expertise. I'm sure the year has felt different, but what an amazing gift to be in classrooms every day learning alongside others. You have always been about your classroom community and look how your classroom community has grown! I enjoyed your celebration of learning.