Reflections on the School Year: What's Your Story?
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Reflections on the School Year: What’s Your Story?

Written by 17 June 2010

If there is one thing I know how to do best, it’s telling stories. To be honest, it’s probably one of my most favorite things to do. =) Why you might ask? Well, aside from the entertainment factor, I believe stories help us learn, grow, and understand things better.  You get to hear and paint a picture of something that happened to another individual. And sometimes these stories help us shine light on our own lives or situations we might be facing. I know school has wrapped up for most (if not all) of you, and through all my posts here at SimpleK12, I’ve shared a lot of stories with you (which I’m hoping helped you learn, grow, and understand things a little better)! So, now…I’m hoping you’ll return the favor. =)

Reflections on the School Year: Whats Your Story?When certain things come to a close in my life, I like to reflect. To look back and think about what worked, what didn’t work, and why. There is always room for improvement in my book. And with such a fantastic network of friends and educators here, I thought maybe you could share a short story or two of something that happened to you this year.

Maybe you used a new resource or tool in your classroom this year and it was a success/failure. Tell us!

Maybe your district overcame some major barriers which lead to improved classrooms. Tell us!

Maybe your growth on social networking sites enhanced your professional development more than you could have ever imagined. Tell us!

You just never really know how your own personal stories can help others learn, grow, and understand things better. So please, share!

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Reflections on the School Year: Whats Your Story?


  • Wm Chamberlain said:

    I changed positions in my building last year moving from a 5th grade classroom where I taught science, comm arts, and reading into the junior high computer lab. I had a lot of plans to help move the building forward using technology. Unfortunately there were a lot of problems with our infrastructure; old computers, very low bandwidth, and new server software. Needless to say I was very frustrated.

    I spent way too much time focusing on hardware and software issues, coupled with teaching keyboarding classes which are pretty dull. Honestly, I forgot that my focus needed to be on student learning and not the other extraneous things.

    Next year I will be teaching only one semester of keyboarding and I pick up two remedial math classes. I am very excited to be able to “teach” again! The building has also made progress with our 4-8 grades now having “computer” classes daily. Thankfully the admin and other teachers involved have “bought in” to my vision of using technology to enhance the students learning in the content areas. They won’t be spending all their time teaching tools.

    evelyn wrobel Reply:


    May years ago I developed a one-week keyboarding course which I extended to 2 weeks when I left grade 5 and became the technology resource teacher. My course works only if the kids buy in – bribery works (you can go online…etc.) If you would like the full course, please email me.

    Good luck with your new venture. Technology has recently been scrapped in Andover and I am back in the classroom I feel your frustration as I had planned a super year of curriculum integration using Web 2.0 tools. MCAS demands and having to train myself in the many new curriculum-delivery systems (DRA, BL, OR, Everyday Math, John Collins, Open Circle…) that had crept in during my 14 year hiatus devoured every bit of my time. Keep plugging!

  • Ron Peck said:

    In my 20 years of teaching I have always looked to new ways of exciting my students to learn. Workshops, resources, books that I could use to be a better teacher were all on my list this school year. We are after all life long learners. Bringing more technology into my classroom had progressed well as I had a connection to the district network and had successfully fought to unlock many sites. But this school year would be different.

    Last year I had signed up for a Twitter account just to see what it was that a friend of mine was excited about. I started out following a few friends and celebrities but didn’t really check it much. Over time I started following more and more educators and I would see who they followed and began to build my PLN which at the time I had no clue about. The moment things changed is when I was trying to figure out a different way to present and teach the Constitution. Sitting at my desk before school I took a chance and put a request out to Twitter, “Does anyone have any good ideas on how to teach the Constitution?”

    Within a minute two wonderful teachers gave me links to sites that were valuable tools and I had a great unit to share with students. Since then I have worked to build my PLN with Twitter and Diigo as my main formats. Twitter has changed the way I teach in that I never have to worry about using the same methods or content. My PLN helps me to grow as an educator and as an individual. Thank you to all the amazing educators out there who want to make a difference and have for me and so many others.

  • Nancy Weber said:

    My year was an interesting one… I was hospitalized mid September and didn’t return to school until Jan. 4. I experienced the support of our staff and 600 middle school students while in the hospital and since. Facebook was a mode my husband used to update others and for them to offer me support. Upon returning to my middle school, I was asked to speak to small groups of girls that are part of “Lunch Bunch,” a support system for at risk female students. I talked about the support of others… if family is not our primary support, who are those that may be? Having them witness their assistant principal in a new light changed the remainder of the school year. One student, in particular, connected in a remarkable way. She shared how worried she’d been about me. Previously, (as a seventh grader and early in the eighth grade year) she had frequented my office with behavior issues. From that moment on, she started inviting me to events in her life. She ended the year as her team’s most improved student. My lesson learned… take time to get to know my students on a personal level, and more importantly let them see me on a personal level. While I’ve always felt that was a strength for me, this year made me even more aware of the relationship piece, for teachers and administrators.