Thursday, May 27, 2021

THANK YOU...not goodbye, but see you later...

 Today was a bittersweet experience as I had lunch with my CAPS colleagues...something that happens on a regular basis, but today they made me feel very special with a nice send off with gifts and cards reflective of my retirement.

How can I ever thank each and every one of them for the hours of support, collaboration, reflection, and dreaming that we have shared over the last several years.  As I looked around at the faces of my CAPS friends, memories surfaced in my mind that I realized would become the true mementos I would take from this place.  

 I don't see this as an "end" but rather a moving on, there is certainly a sense of finality as I look around my stark classroom that over the weeks has become less and less mine.  Many of the small items that meant so much to me have been given away, discarded, or saved, but never again will they be placed in their CAPS home in quite the same way.

This has not hit me seems still like I'm wrapping up for the summer.  I don't think that the impact will really be upon me until the Fall, when I see the scurry and excitement of the new school year and will not be a part of it as I have been in the past.

THANK YOU to all of my CAPS friends.  I could not have asked for a better place nor a better group of people with which to end my K-12 career.

Hugs.  This isn't goodbye...just see you later...

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Bidding A Goodbye and Expressing Pride and Promise

 I will be retiring from the Blue Valley School District at the end of this school year.  While I am excited each year to see what our future educators might develop, this year I am especially proud. 
The students dealt with many challenges and obstacles as they drifted from virtual to hybrid to in-person learning and teaching platforms.  This year's CAPS Teacher Ed students have acquired skills very revised from  those of our normal program protocol, and they have handled it with class, with poise, and with a great attitude.  Long gone is my fear that I would have a difficult time "personalizing" activities this year and getting to know my students.  I feel close to them all and am so very proud of everything they have attempted, dreamed, and accomplished!

As a highlight, it is with a bittersweet feeling in my heart that I share some of the things the students have encountered and accomplished this year, and with it, bid goodbye to this portion of my life and look forward to another personal and professional chapter in my life.

Twitter @wevegotclass 
Instagram @capsteachered 

A few of this year's projects:
  • Simschool-an online simulation in which students could "teach" avatars and receive a culminating report giving them information about their strategies used and their effectiveness.  Simschool is a program well-researched and normally used by university programs.  We were the first high school program included.  Now...they have other high school programs wanting to become subscribers. 
  • Virtual Teacher Academy-our students completed units of study in educational history and philosophies.  All work was submitted, and students received certifications from the Mary Lou Fulton School of Education at Arizona State University
  • Kids' Konference-our students created and executed an entire conference for elementary students.  Our students did this all virtually, over Zoom, from their homes, while they were remote  Video from the event: 

  • Virtual Teaching-during the school year, we had a group of students who met twice weekly with the virtual classes of Ms. Catherine Healy.  Our CAPS Teacher Ed students conducted tutoring sessions and breakout room study sessions and presentation sessions
  • Students have spent 3-6 weeks in virtual and f2f classrooms.  During this time, students blogged regularly on their experiences and completed other assignments such as "what would you do" scenarios in which they discussed strategies they would use in classroom situations
  • Portfolios--students again completed portfolios.  Those can be viewed in the link below or by going to our website and clicking on "portfolios"
  • Twitter-students reached out to Will Richardson and others after watching their TED Talks and created real-world network connections to take their learning beyond the typical classroom
Teacher Ed Portfolios and Senior Slideshow (some students are still revising this week)

I am sad to leave Teacher Ed this year, but I'm excited about my next steps.  Thanks for allowing us to share just a glimpse of some of the work our students do in our program!