ARTICLES

Category: Professional Development

Are you happy in life? Are you happy in your job? Do you even know the things that should make you happy? As a renewal of motivation in our school, I met with all of my school teams recently to discuss this very thing. To be effective with students, I have come to realize that teachers and administrators need to be happy at school! Not giddy, but truly happy in our work. If we want our students to be happy and want to be in school, then we must make sure we are doing things that make ourselves happy and want to be in school as well!

When inspiration, reflection, and engagement comes together with your staff, this is an example of what you can accomplish. At our 1st staff meeting in January, we asked teachers to write what they believed for their students and then show it on video. The twist is that we played the video back in reverse! This was quick to make and didn’t take much time in the staff meeting, but the visuals are powerful.

I was recently tasked in one of my graduate classes at Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) to write a statement about my beliefs in the form of “This I Believe.” This style was founded through NPR as a series that is pretty similar to what Ted Talks have now become. I thought not only was this very powerful in making me focus and reflect, but that if I believed it so much, that I should put it out there publicly. I chose to focus on one specific belief that I feel very strongly about. Here we go…

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This guest post is written by Lauren DeIntinis @laurendeintinis, a 2nd Grade Teacher in Manassas, Virginia. Check out more of her information at the end of the post. My name is Lauren DeIntinis and I am a 2nd grade teacher at the FABULOUS Ashland Elementary School in Manassas, VA. I am originally from Pittsburgh, PA but have lived in Virginia for three years as an elementary teacher. I started in school as a Psychology major and wiggled my way into education on a very windy path. Though not what I originally planned on doing, teaching has become the most important aspect of my life and something that I can honestly say I am in LOVE with!

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This week is Inclusive Schools Week and we celebrate what it means to be inclusive through activities, readings, and discussions with our students. But why do we only talk about inclusive practices during this week? Inclusive Schools Week should be EVERY week! “Inclusive” is a powerful word. Remember that inclusive refers to mixed abilities but also diversity in cultures and backgrounds. How are we ensuring that every single student feels that they are included and wanted in our classrooms? It’s not just about what actions we take. It’s about the feelings and thoughts of our students.

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  Look closely. No, not at Jason Aldean, the country music superstar. Look at the crowd. What do you notice? In a quick count, I see more than 70 lights from cell phones, let alone my own as I took this picture and probably hundreds behind me in the crowd. This really caught me as a wow moment for education as I was singing along last night to ‘Night Train’ at the top of my lungs. (and yes, I’m a big education nerd and was thinking about this during the concert) Many of these cameras were taking pictures, but the wow moment for me was seeing all of the videos being taken, being sent to friends and family, and being streamed live online, capturing a somewhat typical experience but now using videos instead of just pictures.