Archive for February, 2016

Professional Learning at ICE 2016

Posted: February 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

The ICE Conference is in full swing in St. Charles, IL. It is always such a fun time. The learning is remarkable but there is also this perfect time where I get to reconnect with so many colleagues from former schools where I have worked.

I get these amazing hugs and usually I am not a hugger at ICE I LOVE them – Today I even had a double hugger!

And on Tuesday, I was honored to be joined by an incredible bunch of educators who are leading the charge to support and serve teachers in their learning. Daniela Fountain and I guided about 25 coaches and administrators through an experience in leading professional development.

The energy in the room was infectious and they were all smiles as we asked them to take a walk-about, draw pictures, share ideas, role play and even share stories. 🙂 It was great (I am still smiling about the Salisbury Steak story)

So a big thank you to…

  • Kristin who has so many opportunities for growth in Orland Park
  • Breann, Dawn, Gina and Stephanie who undoubtedly bring humor and fun to SD54
  • Courtney who leads her District with passion that is undeniable
  • Erica whose smile is contagious and watch out Huntley she has something big planned
  • Andrew who will be bringing some big questions back to his High School
  • Angel and Dana who will be amazing supports for each other
  • Jennifer who is determined to change mindset!
  • Martha who has such an adventure ahead of her, I can’t wait to hear about the greatness
  • Lynne who is helping teachers share their student’s work outside the classroom walls
  • Karen who nurtures new teachers in SD73 by being present for them in their classrooms and is a mad tweeter sharing out such great resources
  • Stacy and Gail who are looking for new and creative ways to reach their staff –  You are very lucky to have each other
  • Lindsay who connects the arts and learning and joy
  • Edith and Julie who work with patience and kindness engaging those who don’t feel comfortable with tech
  • Sandra so thoughtful in finding ways to streamline tech integration across large district to leverage student vertical articulation and experiences
  • Janet was so incredibly kind and willing to openly share! What a kind spirit.

Good Luck on all of you as your continue your journeys! Always reach out and Maintain that Momentum!


#besomeone on a Saturday

Posted: February 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

Buzzing about Saturday getting my ‘maintenance’ done for the ICE Conference. Waiting for my turn for my manicure, I was buzzing through Twitter…that is nothing too shocking, I still twitter a little before bed…there has to be some study that says that is terrible for you but frankly, Scarlet, I don’t give a darn.

Anywho…there I was when suddenly this string of events happened…

A reply comes in from a Tweet I sent last week:

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And I respond…. to which I get another reply…then I realize who is actually chatting with me. @recessduty was one of the first people I was influenced on Twitter.
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So now I have two choices. I could…

A. Let this just go as a regular interaction on Twitter
B. Tell this wonderful educator what a difference he made about 4 years ago

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To which I received a wonderful reply:

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It was a great day… and I have a really pretty manicure! Then today as I was grabbing my screenshots for this post, I discovered @Recessduty wrote this post about supporting educators on Twitter who have great ideas but maybe not have loads of followers.

The story of Dr. Voltz is one of my many that I have collected to share about people who are somebody’s #besomeone.

This is another story of two people I don’t even know… It is the story of Guy’s Grocery Game Tournament of Diners, Dine-In and Drives (yes… I do love the Food Network)

So I was watching the Finale of triple D comes to triple G and at the tail end of the tournament there is this quick soundbite of the winner….


To Carl Ruiz, a chef from New Jersey, it only took a few words of encouragement from Food Network Star, Guy Fieri and suddenly a #besomeone moment was born. Who knows what Carl will do next… cause it doesn’t take much to be a someone.


#besomeone on an Institute Day

Posted: February 16, 2016 in Uncategorized

Today, I had the great pleasure of being part of a learning day with Dr. Voltz. We did some deep diving into the Danielson Model, putting the teachers’ in the seat of an evaluators and hashed out some reflecting on our own teaching and learning. It was wonderful time to just explore and question each other in a safe environment as we move to building a District that is comfortable with authentic feedback.

I do hope the practice continues and continues.

Besides allowing us to do some digging, he also told lots of stories which frankly I appreciate. And yes.. he told a #besomeone story.

Dr. Voltz spoke of Coach/Social Studies teacher who was in one of his sessions. This gentleman was 50 years old and his District had recently moved to the Danielson Model. This teacher had received his evaluation and got 2’s across the board. According to the teacher this meant he would be riffed at the end of the year as his evaluation was the lowest in the school.

Dr. Voltz told us how the teacher came up to him on a break just after they had finished an activity. This activity which called for the participants to watch a video of a class and write down strategies that were observed to improve student engagement. This veteran teacher   was visibly upset as he recalled his evaluation story to Dr. Voltz and asked him to help.

This is how is played out –

Teacher: Can you help?

Dr. Voltz: Did you write down any of the strategies from the video?

Teacher: Yes. 15.

Dr. Voltz: That is a start. Also I would recommend you setting a video camera recording yourself implementing those strategies and then ask your administrator to revisit your class.

And the professional development day continued on…

The Dr. Voltz got a little side tracked about unknown cell phone numbers and a hit and run… (again, I totally loved his stories) but he circled back around to tell us how the Coach/Teacher had called him months later to thank him and tell him that he did implement the strategies.. the admin did come back… and he received a 3+ rating.

Now I don’t know if I love the idea of ‘rating’ or giving numbers to good teaching but I do understand how the Danielson Model can start and aide in setting the stage for good feedback.

What I do know… that story was Dr. Voltz being #besomeone and it made me smile.

So Thinking about #besomeone

Posted: February 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

So, of course, this whole process or any process of mine always makes me thinking about it in the car, in the shower, when I am walking… always. And this reflecting brought me to the point that I am someone.. I am someone to my parents, my friends, my kids, my husband, my dogs even…but these are people that I have chosen. So really it is not just about being someone.. it is about being someone to people you could chose to ignore or be an acquaintance and without an expectations.

We are all thrown into a pool of work colleagues. We just land there in a culture. Do we adapt to the culture or do we let ourselves be who we are within that culture?

We all are already #besomeone but now it is time to #besomeone to someone unsuspecting.