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Reflect 31: A personal reflection

I don’t know about you, but we are trying to keep calm and carry on (my Nana was from Liverpool and so very English). Why are we keeping calm and carrying on? All of Team Grundler is in school now, with three of the family experiencing new schools. We now have a high school freshman and newly minted middle schooler, and Matt is now just at one excellent middle school instead of splitting middle school and high school. So much change and so many scary things (like navigating school without a mask mandate), while at school, we have to stay focused on teaching and learning, wear our masks and wash our hands, and while at home, we have to remember to have fun and look for distractions. Our current distractions include watching Ted Lasso and Gilmore Girls in addition to our regular responsibilities and pastimes of parenting and creating art.

Meanwhile, Reflect 31carries on…………. How’s it going for you? Have you been reflecting, have any of the days hit you in your heart? Day 19 hit me hard.

Take a few minutes to list everyone that impacted your choice to become an educator; consider what you would tell them now that you are a teacher. Pick one and send them a letter or message on social media.

Here’s my tweet:

I can’t write or call my Mom, so I'm going to tell you all a little about this remarkable woman and why she’s my number one influence for becoming an educator. Some of you may know that my mother, Tina Page was a magnificent educator. Sadly, I lost her in November of 2006 to ovarian cancer. Mom taught 28 years and retired early due to cancer in March 2006. She was beloved by her community. My brother and I grew up running around the high school while she taught, coached the academic team and mock trial, and worked the ticket stand at Wrestling and Basketball. She worked like crazy because she loved her family and her students and she was sorely underpaid as a teacher in Oklahoma. Mom was always ready for challenges, like attending the University of Delaware with a scholarship from Dupont to get a master’s degree in Economics (even though she openly admitted that math was not her best subject). After years of teaching AP Economics and Comparative Government, she asked to be transferred to the alternative school to help at-risk students graduate. She was funny, smart, and was an expert at building relationships with students. Usually by telling stories about my brother and me, which I totally hated as a teenager and yet now do the same to my three kids. I could go on and on; not only was Mom a great teacher, but she was a phenomenal friend, sister, daughter, and mother. She spoke up, spoke out, and her words and actions always aligned, so I’m proud to follow her path as an educator.

Someday I’ll tell you more about the rest of the tweet, but for now, we’ll leave it with my first and most influencer. I hope my sharing helps inspire you to reflect and share too. Remember, you can find daily reflect 31 prompts daily by following us on social media, but please see below if you want a preview of the rest of the month ahead of the posts.

Day 16: Consider your daily to-do list; how does it make you feel? Are those feelings positive, negative, or indifferent? How do you manage the feelings? What can you do to prioritize and put your students first?

Day 17: Think about how many decisions you make each day; they can seem endless; how do you put first things first? ..... students and their best interests, you and your well-being, your family?

Day 18: Reflect on what or who makes you thankful to be a teacher every day, and consider how you can share your gratitude for being a teacher with others.

Day 19: Take a few minutes to list everyone that impacted your choice to become an educator; consider what you would tell them now that you are a teacher. Pick one and send them a letter or message on social media.

Day 20: Reflect on the experiences you create in your classroom and your memories with students. What story would your students tell about their time with you last year? What story do you want this year’s students to tell when they leave your classroom?

Day 21: Reflect on the community you create; what will your students remember about you and the classroom community? What words and feelings do hope will come to mind for them when they recall this community?

Day 22: Reflect on the traits you hope to encourage or promote in your classroom; how will your students remember to lean into them, and what will you to do model these traits to your students?

Day 23: Consider your years of teaching; what are the memories and moments that make you smile? What is it about those moments that make your heart happy, and how can you continue to find joyful moments like those this school year? Have you considered keeping a book or slide show of your happy teacher moments, start one this year.

Day 24: Reflect on your hopes and dreams for your students; when you consider the phrase “Put first things first” What does that mean for you and your teaching?

Day 25: As we reflect on our teaching and time management, how effectively did you manage instructional time, planning time, prep time, etc., and balance time for yourself? ! Our time is precious, how can you make the most of it in 21-22?

Day 26: Reflect on the feelings you have about this coming school year…… if you had one word to describe your hopes for the year, what would it be? Check out the tag #oneword and see what others educators have chosen for their one word!

Day 27: Reflect on the uniqueness of your students; how do you encourage them to be who they are meant to be? To be proud of the person they are?

Day 28: Reflect on being humble and kind in your career and in your classroom? How do you share this with your colleagues and students?

Day 29: Reflect on your classroom community; how do you teach students that they are better together and smarter and stronger when they cooperate and collaborate as a team?

Day 30:Reflect on your daily teaching routine, it’s full of ups and downs. Sometimes you feel great, and sometimes you feel beat down? How do you remember to see the bright side and remember the beautiful moments during the day?

Day 31: Consider the school year ahead; what songs would be on your classroom playlist this year and why? Go one step further and create the playlist, then put it on when you need to remember your passion and purpose in education!

Wishing you Reflection, Creativity, and Sharing,

Love, Laura


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