Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Do YOU have a mission statement?

Mission Statements. I get it.

Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 8.29.29 AM.png

I know what they are and why they are important. I can tell you the Mission statement of the school board that I work for and I often refer to it to make sure that I can articulate it to others. However, I have NEVER considered having my own mission statement. So it certainly caught me off guard yesterday when Ainsley Rose during his #LearnFwd16 session on "The Mystery of Influence: Helping Other People Excel" asked the group "Do you have a personal mission statement". Ainsley does and he challenged us to find our own. Your mission statement "drives you" he said.

So Ainsley got me thinking. What is my mission statement? What drives me? Why do I do what I do?

Do YOU have a personal mission statement?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Well, it must be August because I was up before the sun! My mind was racing with thoughts of the upcoming school year. As I turned my tassimo before 5 am for the first time in over a month I decided that it was time I got myself back to blogging! (This is humorous because this is my official 2nd post!) I am fine with this, my desire to blog has been lurking in my mind for some time but I do not consider myself a talented writer. In order to be a better educator this upcoming year I need to embrace a growth mindset, you know, the same thing that I encourage in my 6 year old's in my class! I am often inspired by the very two people I will mention today.

First, I am thankful to have Jessica Weber as a friend and colleague. Jessica and I have never taught at the same school or even the same grade level. I am constantly amazed at how much we can learn from other educators who teach in completely different environments. We met through a mutual friend and our friendship adventure began immediately. Jess reminds me daily that it is okay not to know the answer. Her energy and commitment to education are inspiring and contagious. Follow her on Twitter at @MissJessWeber  and her class twitter feed Miss Weber's Class.  You can also check out her blog at Mindful Ed.

Then there is George Couros @gcouros .  Funny enough I was introduced to his book and blog by Jessica. The first blog post I read was 8 Characteristics of the “Innovator’s Mindset”. Then I book rowed his book and read it in one evening. I was so inspired by the book at particularly the idea of engagement vs empowerment when it comes to our students learning.

After reading his book in one evening I decided I needed to move forward with being more innovative. So, I emailed George and ordered 40 of his books for some of my friends and colleagues! Like the african proverb says, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together" I thought why read the book alone when I can get a whole bunch of us embracing an Innovators Mindset together! When I called Mr. George Couros n the phone one night to finalize the big box of books, I told him that I had started blogging with one post and then kinda stopped. He asked why and encouraged to me just do it! 

So here I am this morning, sipping my coffee and getting ready. Ready for what I am not exactly sure, that is a day by day process. But I am certainly ready to learn, be inspired, try new things, make mistakes, reflect and then do it all over again. Day by day, moment by moment. One cup of coffee at a time.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

OMLTA #talk2moi 2016

Welcome to my blog. This is my first ever blog post and I am very nervous. I have never considered myself a writer and have a very difficult time to express myself in writing, which can seem odd because those who know me know that I do my fair share of TALKING! I have wanted to blog for many years and even started a few that never really went anywhere. However, this time I feel ready to jump in with both feet. Sweet and simply this blog will be about all the things that inspire me in education. Having spent 2 days last week in Toronto for the OMLTA (Ontario Modern Language Teacher Association) Spring Conference I feel I have a lot to write about having been inspired in education in many ways at the conference.  I was able to see some colleagues that I haven'y seen in awhile, meet some new colleagues or just finally meet some people who I follow for inspiration on Twitter.

My first inspiration of the conference was Nadine Pharand. She is a wonderful and energetic teacher and she was presenting on how to run a successful FDK (full day kindergarten) French Immersion program.  Even though I teach Grade 1 not kindergarten, her presentation was full of amazing ideas to get my students talking MORE.  If we want our kids to really get speaking French we have to model, scaffold, practise and repeat.  What I really liked was that she showed us videos of her in action in her classroom. I LOVE watching other teachers teach.  I always learn so much from observing the how the teacher and students work together.  What language is being used? What questions are being asked? What is the set-up of the classroom?  Nadine was so willing to share.  We had a chance to talk more later in the day and she offered me an invitation to come and visit her in class. I look forward to it! Be careful what you offer ... if you invite me I WILL come. :) 

Check out more videos on  Nadine's YouTube Channel

I also had a chance to meet the creative and humourous Stephanie Bass.  I did kind of go over the top with excitement, for me it was meeting a celebrity. You see, my students LOVE to listen to her sing. We listen to her sing Je Parle Français (All About that Bass style) daily and we might be performing it at an upcoming concert. She was presenting on Inquiry in the FSL classroom. AWESOME. She completely demystified all the challenges of why we can't do inquiry in an FSL class and straight up told us how to DO IT! No messing around with Mme Bass - I like her style. She mentioned lots of great resources to help get you started.  She mentioned one of my favourite class resources A Guide to Reflective Practice for Core French Teachers .  Stephanie was inspirational to me before the conference as I would often check out her blog Bonne Idée FSL to see what new and AWESOME stuff she was up to in her class. If you are wanting to get started with inquiry in your FSL class but not sure, check out her presentation Using the Inquiry Model in the Core FSL Classroom and then do jump in. Learning WITH the students is SO much fun!

I have so many more educators and colleagues that are inspiring to me but I will leave you with these two lovely ladies for today.  A huge MERCI to everyone who presented at the OMLTA conference this past weekend for all your hard work, dedication and of course willingness to share. 

Bucket list item ... Start a Blog. CHECK! 

À Bientôt ...