Monday, January 11, 2016

#D100bloggerPD: What Inspires You?

For my first post of the new year, I am kicking off a new adventure by the #d100bloggerPD crew- a short "What Inspires You?" month of posts, videos, tweets, and more. In wanting to keep the awesome momentum of our #d100bloggerPD hashtag going, we wanted to do something that would be quick and easy to kick off the new year- and what better way to do it than with a positive and inspirational start!

Here's how it will work:
On every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from January 11 to January 29 (9 total), a member of the #d100bloggerPD crew will be posting something that inspires them. The post might be on a blog, on twitter, on google +, or elsewhere- but you will always get a heads up as to where to find the next post from the current one. So for example, I am starting today, and at the end of my post, I will link you or direct you to who is coming next on Wednesday. All you need to do then is follow the path through the posts. You could read them as they get posted, or wait until the end and follow all 9 at once. At the end, I will update this post at the bottom with links to all the inspirational posts. Be sure to comment and add what inspires you, because remember, we are all learning from each other here!

So without further ado, here is what inspires me as I begin this new year and new study!

My 2016 Inspiration is this quote:

This quote also goes hand in hand with this quote- which I couldn't help but include:

As you can see, my inspiration is all about teaching students to reach their full potential- while fully getting to know and understand that student in order to facilitate that learning. 

I was lucky enough to see Dave Burgess (Teach Like a Pirate) speak live at the Illinois Reading Council Conference earlier this school year. In my opinion, it's impossible to sit in his audience and not be inspired. I tweeted out that first quote immediately when I heard it (after making it pretty with the WordSwag app) and it's still, to this day, one of my most popular tweets. It's totally easy to see why. Today's teacher's didn't decide to follow the profession when they were little because they wanted to rock the PARCC test. They became teachers to change lives and make the world a better place. So why then, as grown up teachers, does "teaching to the test" have to be the main focus? We cannot ever lose sight of our first love. Teaching kids. Not for test scores, but for the love of teaching and learning. This task, this unending journey, is what inspires me to come to work everyday and give my very best. Our students need us. 

That's where that second quote comes in. Sometimes I get so caught up in the pedagogy (I can't help it, it's so exciting!) that I forget about the very simple building blocks of my students. I love, and I mean love, using Bloom's Taxonomy and the Digital Bloom's Taxonomy in my teaching. In fact, I love it so much that I wrote one of my favorite blog posts about it. (Read it here if you'd like.) But even I need to remember that none of that matters if we don't show our students that we care about them as humans. When I saw this quote from Alan Beck it sent me rushing back to my Educational Psychology class at Illinois State and made me instantly appreciate that teacher/course for making me learn about all the famous educational psychologists- Maslow included. There's something really vital about remembering that our students have lives outside our classroom walls and sadly, they are sometimes are not as pretty as we'd like them to be. Sometimes there are burdens bigger than getting homework done and challenges mightier than getting their silent reading done every night. Let's all make a resolution to think before we speak and contemplate before we make any judgements this year. Let's give our students the benefit of the doubt a little more and the harsh pang of disappointment a little less. Let's be the one person our student's know for a fact they can rely on. Imagine how much more you would've tried in a class if you had a teacher who you knew cared about you and wanted you to succeed above all else. 

We can't control their lives outside our classroom walls. 
But we can make what happens inside our walls magical. 

If you enjoyed reading about what inspires me then you will love the next post- coming this Wednesday 1/13- from Marilyn on her Pershing Principal Blog. I can guarantee that you will learn something wonderful from this post. After you read that, be sure to follow along every MWF for a new #whatinspiresyou post from the #D100bloggerPD crew! Also, starting February 1, our new book study begins! We will be reading Ron Clark's Move Your Bus! I hope you can join us for that, as well. First post will be from Colleen at Literacy Loving Gals on 2/1/16!

Thanks for reading and happy new year!

#D100bloggerPD #whatinspiresyou Posts:

Marilyn at Pershing Principal Blog: Learning to Dare Greatly
Annie at Show Your Thinking Math: Math TwitterBlogosphere #MTBoS
Colleen at Literacy Loving Gals: What Inspires You?
Felicia at Literacy Lights: What Inspires You?
Courtney at @Literacy4Life1: Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Christine guest blogging at Responsive Literacy: The Teacher Mom 
Nancy at @TeamHealyK-2: Heatwave Fitness
Leah at Responsive Literacy:  Voices of Inspiration


  1. Great post! Thanks for starting us off. :)

    1. Thanks so much! And thanks for joining the #D100bloggerPD crew!

  2. Thank you! I totally agree! Sadly, even students with supportive families can be "UNinspired" by "the school routine." I watched my sons come home from school with either a seed for learning planted or a despairing weed blocking their enthusiasm for learning. I could tell which teachers "really knew" my sons and who appreciated their strengths. Those were the years I saw both of my sons learning grow! If we could just work on finding that "magic ball" that would help us really "see" our students for who they are, maybe then, we would begin to see their growth mindset really succeeded!

    1. Thanks for sharing your personal experiences- you're so right- so many factors need to come together for this "perfect storm" of education and the more we keep trying to find the recipe, the better! Thanks for reading!

  3. Kristin, I think this is one of the most important jobs as a teacher! We need to show them what being a human means because often times, they don't get to see that at home. Welcoming students everyday with respect and showing them you care is the most powerful way to helping them reach their full potential.

    1. I couldn't agree more. Thanks for reading along with us! Can't wait to hear what inspires you tomorrow!!