Archive for the ‘Thought Fulls.’ Category

I am back from #iste18.

I met lots of people, I reconnected with lots of people, I laughed a lot which of course I loved. I took away a few nuggets but here was “my moment”.

As Rabbi Michael @TheTechRabbi spoke at the Keynote he said this:

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This was it. This is what I am working towards this summer with my #passionproject of #creativities.

My hope is that by posting small experiences every day this summer that teachers will be able to exercise creativity with their learners. These can be your brain breaks, your moments to inspire, your time to build community and relationships through creativity.

Thank you @thetechrabbi, thank you.


About this time every year, I write a letter to the teachers whom I have worked with over the past year. Here is the 2017-2018 version…

Dear Friends,

It is this time of the year that I reflect on the time I have been lucky enough to spend with each of you at Old Quarry. And this year when I think back… it has been busy!

Reading Unit Work…lots of it.
Advisory changed… a lot.
Science Summatives were in depth…by lots.
Social Studies revisited, restructured, redesigned…lots.
Math. Carnegie. Other Programs … Lots of %&@#&
Encore taught…lots and lots…of students.
Writing…well, we wrote…a whole lotta.
Computers… we got looooots of them.

I almost feel like we were all living that phrase “If you need something done give it to a busy person.” Cause golly gee, it has been busy and you all have got it done!

But amongst that busyness and all the “lots”, I have never…

Laughed as much.
Appreciated as often.
Learned as deeply.
Respected with such regard.
Felt such camaraderie.
Observed as much support.
Noted so much patience.

Every day on my drive home, I reflect on the day. And without fail, I think about one of the interactions, lessons, activities, or conversations involving one of you. And, without a doubt, I will never be able to describe how often I am impressed by one or another of you. Everyday.


P.S. There are popsicles in the freezers to help us get through the next couple days.

Like many of my fellow chirpers I am regularly amazed at what I learn on Twitter, connects me to educators all over and every so often I am led to a video which illicits a lil giggle. But here is a story I was not expecting.

Last year I landed upon a Tweet by @mskbordner – aka – Katie Bordner giving an all call to let us know that she had signed up for free conference: #edcampchicago at East Leyden High School. Should I join here? Well.. what could it hurt so I signed up.  Still didn’t know if I would have the time or gumption to go and back then I had no idea what the heck an edcamp was anyway. But heck, as my husband says “everything is better when it is free.”

In the end I do attend #edcampchicago put on by folks like @jmarkeyAP – aka- Jason Markey and @mrsebiology – aka – Terie Englebretch and it just about ruined me for all other conference experiences. I sat down in the East Leyden library waiting to figure out what the heck I was to do next, occasionally I glanced up and looked for @mskbordner or another tweeter @@KarynTeaches – aka – Karyn Keenan. Would I recognize them? Would they recognize me? How do you approach someone you only met on Twitter? Golly Gee! Just as @jmarkeyAP started speaking someone plopped down next to me and holy mackerel it is @MsLaidler – aka – Autumn Laidler. I follow her on Twitter and I observed in her classroom…so I sat there for a bit before I actually told her about our connections and how odd it was that she plopped right down next to me! Crazy!

I did meet other Twitter friends later in the day and I wanted to hug them without even thinking about it. But here comes the weird part.. I mean the more weird part.

In about 4 days I am starting my shiny new job @cathcookschool as a technology specialist.(Uh-huh I am counting down. ) A day or two ago I get this:

What the?! And there you have it, I was meeting folks from Catherine Cook School before even starting. @klhellerman – aka – Katie Hellerman and I have chatted and now I can’t wait to meet her. She is reason number 73 I am bubbling to start my new job. Wowza!

Once again, the power of Twitter reveals itself.

Ditch the Desk

Posted: June 22, 2013 in Thought Fulls., Uncategorized


Much like the historical tale of women of the 1960’s burning their bras for equal rights, I am challenging the teachers within my District to “Ditch the Desk”. Removing one of the very familiar icons which said “I am your teacher, I am in charge, I am the leader,  do not question, do what I say,  watch me and repeat.”

Brave teachers who remove the iconic desk say “Let’s work together, I am ready to collaborate, I want my students to take charge of their learning, I am ready to allow you to discover, I will not hang on to piles of busy work papers and traditional means of assessment! I am ready to redefine!”

It is much more than just a piece of furniture, it could be the start of a change!

Human Connection

Posted: June 21, 2013 in Thought Fulls., Uncategorized

So my new job has me in the District Office and it is relatively more quiet over the summer. One of the goals I have set for myself is to reflect and blog more often.

This past year has been a year of change for the Darche Household, new house, new job, thankfully no new pets, so what better time to reflect.

Throughout my teaching career I have been blessed with the opportunity to make a connection with so many people but one gentleman whom I worked with for short time, the connection I had with him made an impression. Good ole Mr. Kruse.

At Mr. Kruse’s school when you wanted to meet with someone you “set a meeting” and tried to squeeze connecting, exchanging, collaboration and general niceties into that lil meeting. So I “set a meeting” with many teachers but Mr. Kruse was one of the last ones, I can’t say why really, but he was none the less. (And of course as he reads this he is most likely saying ‘well you saved the best for last Darche’ )

Time for our meeting came and there was Mr. Kruse longer hair, funny tie and wearing a college polo of a college he did not attend, needless to say I did not know what to expect.

When we talked the first thing we did was exchange the stories. First he told me his.. his history both in school and out of school and how he came to teach. Then he did something particularly memorable he said “Now tell me yours” and he never looked at the clock once.

To this day I don’t think I have had a better first meeting. Mr. Kruse connected with me on a level deeper than just exchanging ideas.  He worked to connect with me. And that connection has stuck cause I miss him. Now and again when I see him, he gives me a hug and the connection immediately feels fresh and tended to.

Making that connection is one of the things I have brought to my new place of innovation. It is this sense of connection that I can make with teachers and in turn the teachers will make with their students, parents and colleagues.

In a great TED Talk given by a very wise lady, Rita Pierson discusses the value and importance of human connection. She states “kids dont learn from people they don’t like” and I know Mr. Kruse’s kids learn from him cause he works to make the connection and his students like him as much as I do.