Hello 2018!

Wow, it has been quite a while since my last blog post! Needless to say, time management is at the top of my resolution list in 2018!

The last few months have felt like a whirlwind! There has been a lot going on professionally and personally in my life and I have been struggling to find balance between the two. I also found out I certified and am now a National Board Certified Teacher. That was a HUGE weight off my shoulders.

But I have been neglecting my blog…

And it’s time to get writing again!

This year, I want to write about several topics I’m passionate about, a few topics I continue to struggle with as a special education teacher (can you say managing paperwork?) and some that I have never fully considered.  It already has been a great year and I’m looking forward to it just getting better and better.

And my blog is going to get better and better too!

Happy 2018 (a month late) – I hope your year has been amazing so far!

Listen More

It has been a while since I’ve blogged! Jeez – it amazes me how time flies. How busy we get, how overcommitted we are and before you know it, it’s the end of October!

But I’m back. I’m feeling slightly more balanced after being so singularly focused on finishing National Boards.

And I’ve got a lot on my mind!

Just this past week, I spent the week learning about dispute resolution, mediation and just learning how to become a better listener at the CADRE Symposium in Eugene, Oregon. CADRE is an organization dedicated to the dispute resolution process by creating strong partnerships and collaboration. (Side note: if you are a SPED teacher or parent or an admin, I strongly encourage you to check out their resources on their website at www.cadreworks.org)

As I have been sitting in sessions listening to presenters, I’ve been thinking more and more about how I can improve and strengthen my partnerships with parents. What could I improve and do better? How could I make them more actively involved?

Creating strong partnerships, requires building relationships.

And building relationships takes work.

And listening.

We often think about our relationships with parents and cringe. Parents have complaints, and needs and take up our time. But at the heart of their need, lies some important truths: their children matter and are important to them, they are worried and concerned, they want the best for them and they often look to us as educators to provide them with answers and comfort and our time.

In one of the sessions this past week we learned about the importance of letting parents just talk — to just share what they need to say, to be heard- without the listener trying problem solve and offer solutions for them or passing any judgment.

True confession: I can’t remember the last time I just made time and sat and listened to a parent without being in the middle of a meeting, without trying to solve their problems, without all of the noise that too often distracts me during conversations.

Truly listening is hard.

I need to be a better listener.

And just listen.

Not plan, not formulate, not drift off.

And then I started thinking about my partnerships with students. What have I done to build those partnerships? I have a perception that I have a good relationship with my students. Perhaps they would agree with that assessment. But, perhaps not. As I have been thinking this past week and been immersed in a culture of listening and truly hearing those we are listening, I started to wonder: when was the last time I just listened to my students?

True confession: I can’t remember the last time I just made time and sat and listened to a student without being in the middle of a class, without trying to solve their problems without all of the noise that too often distracts me during conversations. I don’t remember the last time I had TRULY taken time to listen – I mean REALLY listen. Not just our typical conversations we have during the day listening, but listened just to hear what they had to say.

I need to be a better listener.

And just listen.

Not plan, not formulate, not drift off.

Listening is hard work when you feel overwhelmed, overstimulated and overcommitted.

I need to be a better listener.

It is so easy to take our relationships for granted – especially our easy ones. But it is easy to quickly use up all of the savings that you have deposited in the relationship bank when you neglect to make any deposits.

Making deposits to a relationship bank requires work and effort.

And listening.

It is also impossible to do this when you aren’t taking time to listen to yourself and when you aren’t making the time to listen to the people that you love.

It’s impossible to do when you, yourself do not feel heard.

This week I spent a lot of time thinking about how unheard my students must feel – by teachers, by me, by their parents, by their friends. How often do students with disabilities feel isolated and alone because they are different or can’t communicate the way that their peers do?

Friday morning I listened to a panel of students who had gone through school without ever having felt listened to and heard by anyone around them and had barely made it through school. Their message to teachers was to stop and listen more. They talked about needing help, asking for help and having the people who had the power to help them not hearing what they were asking for. They felt ignored, they felt voiceless, the felt powerless.

I hated hearing them say this because I don’t ever want to do that to my students.

I want to be a better listener so that my students never feel ignored or voiceless or powerless. And I want to teach them how to make sure that they are heard. Most importantly, I want them to know that they always have someone who will listen.

As professionals, we are busy beyond belief, we are overburdened with tasks that take away from our time with our students and stretched to the limit with our numerous professional and personal obligations.

But we must make time.

We must make time to listen to our students biggest fears, their joys, their worries, their wishes and their dreams.

We must make time to make our students, NO MATTER THEIR AGE, part of their own IEP meetings so that they feel heard, valued and powerful.

And I need to make time for my students. I need to give them my undivided attention, let them talk.

And I will listen more.

Just listen.

Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings.

Have a wonderful Sunday!




The Endrew F. vs Douglas County Ruling. What now?

Hello readers! Like so many things in my life right now, my blog has been put on the back burner at the moment because I’ve been so busy with National Boards! But ever since the ruling this week by the Supreme Court, I have been constantly thinking about the impact this is going to make for students with disabilities and special education across the country. There are several things that worry me about this ruling as a teacher and I wanted to take some time to process through what I have been thinking.  Maybe the blog isn’t the best place – but I find opening yourself up to feedback IS the most effective way to grow and change!

So here we go! (In Good, Bad, Ugly format…because, why not.)


All children deserve the best education we can provide them.  The previous ruling by the 10th Circuit that an education that is “merely more than de minimis” was rightfully overruled by the Supreme Court.  This ruling will certainly help students and their parents take on school districts who continually ignore their needs and write identical IEP’s year after year after year.  As a professional, I have seen these goals and I can’t imagine the frustration parents feel.

I hope, above hope, that I have never made parents feel this way.

I have already been thinking about how I will change my practices to reflect this decision.  There are always so many ways we can improve as teachers and I for one have a running list.  This case opened my eyes to several issues in my own practices that I would like to improve.  I want my students and their parents to feel empowered and part of the team – not just feel like occasional participants.  I can change how I do business so to speak.  One way I think I will do this directly comes from the Endrew F. ruling.  Since I typically work with my students for three years, I want to create a way for parents to easily track their goals on a yearly basis so that their student’s progress (or lack thereof) is more evident.  I also want to write goals that are more powerful.  Two years ago I attended the LRP conference in Denver.  At one of the pre-sessions, I learned about writing goals that are linked to cognitive tasks and student need in a much more logical and impactful way.  For two years I’ve been bouncing this idea around in my head – trying to figure out exactly how to implement a new system of goal writing.  Now is the time for me to make it happen.

The BAD:

Congress has NEVER fully funded IDEA.   Will this ruling mean that this funding finally makes its way to schools?  When I looked up the school that Endrew F. attended (Firefly Autism ), and saw that their staff was comprised of multiple therapists, ABA therapy, in home services, Saturday social groups and multiple individuals highly trained to help students with Autism. I’d love to go see what a day in their program looks like, and I’d love to have this specific skill set and the level of passion that they obviously do for this particular high needs area.

How can a public school compete with this?

There are several issues here.

The first: the generalist endorsement.  Because of the nationwide shortage of special education teachers (hello, high burnout rate!), the generalist endorsement seems to have become popular as a way to make the special education certification process more accessible for teachers looking at becoming special educators.  Prior to the advent of the generalist endorsement, at least in the states I am most familiar with, you could be certified in several different areas (Mild-Moderate, Severe and Profound, etc.) and specialize in those areas. While the generalist endorsement has served its purpose well, particularly in hard to staff schools and rural communities, it has also left a significant gap of teachers with specific experience and skill sets to successfully help students with low incidence disabilities and significant behavior problems.  I have seen many states adding specific area endorsements back into the mix – and hopefully this will eventually be reflected in teacher prep programs.

The second: ugh, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, the pay.  Money generally isn’t the reason most people become teachers.  It’s not why I teach.  But let’s look at our extreme absence of clinical professionals working in schools.  Honestly, I can’t blame them.  If I had gone through an insane practicum and hours and hours of work to get BCBA certified, I certainly wouldn’t be excited about school pay when I could make double in a clinical setting.  I think it will continue to be incredibly difficult for schools to attract the specialized personnel that these low incidence disabilities and extreme behaviors warrant as long as schools continue with the current status quo and models of providing services.

After talking to several colleagues around the country, we all concur that there is a significant uptick in extreme behaviors at very young ages.  Given that most classroom teachers and scarily most special education teachers have NEVER had any formal coursework specifically on behavior and behavior management, this poses a significant problem.  And even if these teachers have had some coursework, many of the students we have been seeing in our schools are at the point of requiring intensive and therapeutic levels of intervention.


As a teacher who previously taught in urban, inner city schools, I worry about what this ruling will mean to special education teachers who have caseloads of more than 30 students.  How can we possibly expect a teacher to individualize instruction for 30 students with disabilities effectively?  Our model is broken, limping along and not thriving or successful.  (Obviously there are great programs all over the country – I am speaking of the system as a whole here).

Each time a student fails to grow in percentile, believe me, I take it to heart.  I go back and look at what I did, what more I could do and think about what I will do next. I am constantly pushing myself as a professional so that I can be the BEST teacher for my students.  I have a masters and completed all of the course work for a second masters as a Reading Specialist.  As a generalist, I wonder what more I can do.  I independently seek out more training, professional development and help from my professional learning network.  But I’m not an Autism specialist.  I’m not a specialist in low-incidence disabilities.  Should I be considered an ineffective teacher because I am not those things?  Should I be required to pay out of pocket to get the required degrees to become those things?   Who am I supposed to turn to for help when I’m unsure of what to do to best help a student?

It seems that there are many significant gaps in our system of supporting students with disabilities.  As a taxpayer, I know there has to be a better solution than private schools that cost $70,000 a year.  Do I know what that solution is? Not yet.  But I’m thinking about what would make the most sense.  I think we can start by acknowledging that school districts need more special education teachers that have been through excellent teacher preparation programs.  They also need the ability (and desire!) to hire and/or contract specialists that can support their special education teams.  And lastly, this might not be the most popular point of this blog, we need to recognize that there is a continuum of services and that inclusion is not always the best placement for every student every minute of their day.  Don’t get me wrong inclusion is and should be our ultimate goal with all students.  But there will always be that one kiddo who doesn’t find success in the classroom and I think we do that student a disservice if we ignore their needs in favor of saying inclusion is best no matter what.

So what is the answer?

Is there an easy answer? No.  Special education, like our education system in general, is in need of an evolution.  I hope that this ruling helps get the conversation started.  I suppose some of the impending lawsuits will help us find some guidance in what more than ‘de minimis’ actually looks like in the eyes of the law. I hope that the states answer back by asking Congress to fully fund IDEA.

Forget thinking outside of the box, we might have to explode the box to change how we serve our most needy students.

Until then, I will keep growing professionally, reading everything I can get my hands on and doing whatever I can to make sure my students get the best education I can give them.

What do you think should happen with special education in the wake of this ruling?  What would be your perfect service model?  Is it time for more specialists on staff at schools full time?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!



Tough Times in Wyoming – What HB 233 Means to Me

What HB233 Means to Me
For those of you living outside of the state, Wyoming is in the midst of a major shortage in funding for education.  We are in the hole to the tune of $650 million dollars because of the declining revenues from coal and oil.  Recently a number of legislators proposed a cut to teacher salaries as an answer to this shortfall. The initial number thrown around was 20% based on the cut to block grant funding.  Omnibus HB 236 is being debated at I type this and we will soon know our fate as far as the cuts are concerned. Odds are, this number will change during the legislative session but I wanted these legislators to know exactly what cuts would mean to my family and me and the lasting impact cutting teacher salaries will have on Wyoming – both in our communities and in our schools.

Dear Representatives Miller, Larsen, Clem, Allen and Salazar and Senator Driskill,

Four years ago I moved to Wyoming from Colorado. In Colorado I had survived cut after cut, furlough’s, buying my own copy paper, books, paper and pencils for students on my meager salary. I witnessed a revolving door of teachers year after year because the pay was ridiculously low and schools were so hard to work in. Year after year I watched my colleagues struggle with few resources in their classrooms. I saw many excellent teachers leave the profession because they could no longer afford to feed their families and keep a roof over their head.

When I arrived at Anderson Elementary in Cheyenne, I was awestruck at the technology, resources and highly trained teachers. I had paper, I had books and I didn’t have to teach in a closet! My job was clearly valued by the community and state and the amazing facilities and resources spoke volumes about how much education mattered in Wyoming.

Wyoming is now in an incredibly difficult place. The budget shortfalls in education are bleak. As the daughter of a legislator, I understand the challenges you face as you try and do what is best for Wyoming. I do not envy your position for a moment.

But I need you to hear my voice as a constituent, a teacher and a transplant Wyomingite. I wanted you to know what HB233 would mean to me. It may seem like an acceptable answer to cut from a teacher’s salary, because after all, all teachers do is teach kids.

Huge cuts will mean an end to the after school clubs and activities I ran on my free time.
Huge cuts will make it hard for me to pay for the master’s degree I needed to get to become a highly qualified teacher.
Huge cuts will mean I have to find another job after school just to help me pay for my mortgage.
Huge cuts will mean that I no longer can afford all those extra STEM items I buy for my classroom.
Huge cuts will leave me wondering if I can continue to afford to stay in education.

As I contemplate what this legislation will cost me and the students I teach, I wonder if you have considered the costs to Wyoming? Have you considered the impact on businesses when teachers move out of their communities and possibly the state to find better jobs? What happens to those teachers who can afford to stay? What impact will cutting their salary have when they can’t afford to spend any of that remaining salary in their community? What happens when those teachers can no longer afford the extra things that supported their communities? What high quality educators are going to want to move to Wyoming?

I know that your bill stipulates that this will not impact contracts entered into before July 1st, 2017. Are you aware that teacher contracts are renewed annually? Therefore, as written, it impacts every single teacher in the state of Wyoming.

Recently Wyoming was rated in the top ten for education funding. Teachers move to this state to teach because of how well they are treated here – not just financially but by their communities. This bill might help our current shortfall but it will have future ramifications that I am not sure you have fully considered. Teachers are a valuable part of the community and the economy. Please don’t discredit our contributions.

The bottom line: huge cuts are a ridiculous burden to ask teachers to shoulder by themselves.. I realize that we are in the of an insane budget shortfall and we have to find an answer to this problem. One thing we teachers can tell you is that there has to be a better, more creative solution than slashing the salaries of the people who make Wyoming education so great.

Regardless of whether or not 20% is the number that ends up in your bill, I strongly urge you to reconsider this legislation and think about the irreparable harm it will do to our communities, our schools and our children. Education is too important, teachers are too important to take this uncalculated risk.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter,
Rachel Crawford
Granite Canyon, Wyoming

Executive Function: What’s That? EF Series Pt. 1

Executive function skills are crucial building blocks for the early development of both cognitive and social capacities.

Children need to develop these skills, too, in order to meet the many challenges they will faces on the road to becoming productive, contributing members of their communities.

Harvard Working Paper- Building the Brain’s Air Traffic Control System


It is a gray, gloomy day in Wyoming and I can’t think of a better day to kick off a blog series on a topic I have become deeply involved with – executive function. What is executive function? And why the heck should I care?

Executive function is perhaps the most ignored, least addressed, incredibly important area of success- academic, personal, life or otherwise.  It is our air traffic control center that helps us regulate, plan, modulate, organize and in very simplified terms: SUCCEED in school and in life.

The purpose of the next series of posts on this blog is to explore executive function and the implication that executive function has on students, academic achievement and success in life.  This first post is a general overview of executive function complied from my understanding and research that I have been conducting as part of my ongoing professional learning.

What is Executive Function?
Executive function is a larger term that describes the cognitive processes that we require to plan, organize, think flexibly and otherwise successfully navigate the cognitive tasks we  do every single day.  I like the analogy that executive function is like the air traffic control of your brain. Executive function is what makes it possible for us

Unlike many of the other processes that we are born knowing how to do, executive function skills are learned skills.

To better understand what executive function is, it helps to break this large, complex collection of cognitive tasks into smaller parts. There are multiple different ways to think about and group the components of executive function.  Understood.org has an excellent article that breaks the discrete part of executive function into eight parts: Impulse Control, Emotional Control, Flexible Thinking, Working Memory, Self-Monitoring, Planning and Prioritizing, Task Initiation and Organization.  Executive function

Impulse Control

Emotional Control

Flexible Thinking

Working Memory


Planning and Prioritizing

Task Initiation


Each of these areas has direct connections to what we ask students to do in school.  Over the past few years, I have been looking at the impact of weak executive function skills have on my students and what specifically I can do to help support my students who have significant deficits in many of these areas.

My next posts will be looking more in depth at each of these domains.  More specifically, I want to explore how each of these areas relates to school, what students who struggle in each area typically ‘look’ like and what strategies both teachers and families can use to support children who struggle with executive functioning deficits.

This blog series is my attempt to learn more about EF and how I can improve my classroom instruction and IEPs by better addressing executive functioning.  I have been collecting resources, researching and working closely with a colleague who has an equally high interest in EF in order to broaden my understanding in this area but I absolutely welcome comments, resources and any additional information that you, my readers, might be able to share!  I am also very excited to read Dr. Nancy Sulla’s new book Executive Function as the Missing Link to Student Achievement which will be coming out in June.  She has some excellent resources including this video which gives a great brief overview of executive function skills.

I’m looking forward to writing this series as I expand my knowledge on this crucial, overlooked topic.

Happy MLK Day!



2017 is Going to be LUMINOUS!



Clearly, I didn’t embrace my word from last year because it took me a while to remember it!

But this year…

Oh this year…

It’s going to be LUMINOUS!

There are so many great things on the horizon.  For the first time in my career, I feel like I’m not scrambling to keep up but rather, striving for excellence.

I have so many things I want to accomplish this year.

One of my goals for the year is to come up with a better way of cataloging the resources that I have gathered on Twitter, Google and through colleagues.  I always find so many great things I want to share and remember and I have no good way to collect them in one place! Ideas????

Another goal – to give myself more whitespace.  I have struggled with balance and finding time for everything in my life.  And I don’t even have kids!!! How do moms do it?  So it is time to figure out how to bring the ‘om’ and balance back into my life.  For real. Not just lip service.  Whitespace.

Lastly, I want to keep pushing myself.  I have grown so much professionally in the last few years and I am thankful for Wyoming, Twitter and LCSD#1 for giving me the tools and the push to grow.  I have great colleagues and even bigger challenges and I’m actually proud of who I am becoming as a teacher.

But I can ALWAYS get better!

So here’s to being LUMINOUS and shining bright this year and shining that light on everyone I learn from, work with, teach and collaborate with!

Happy 2017!



Diving Deep in to Professional Practice

Ahhh free diving! Something I’ve never tried, but something I admire.  The simplicity, grace and appearance of effortlessness make this form of diving so unique.  It is also one of the most challenging forms of diving.

A good teacher, in my opinion, also makes it look like diving a free line – easy, effortless and graceful.  Behind the scenes is a different story however.  There are so many ways good teachers are going above and beyond to improve their practices.

This year, my focus is all about diving deep into my professional practices as I strive to be a better special educator for my students, their parents and my colleagues.

Boards, Boards and more Boards!
They say that the process of National Board Certification makes you grow as a teacher; that the reflection, planning, preparation, evaluation and thorough dissection of your teaching practice would teach you more about yourself as a teacher and as a professional. At this point, I don’t disagree with this statement. But I think this process has brought me even more.
As I comb through the last two components I need to complete – strategizing, planning and hoping for a much needed moment of clarity, I was thinking about what makes me the most effective as a teacher in my classroom and where I can become stronger.  Reflecting is perhaps the hardest part of our practice.  Whenever you have to take a magnifying glass to examine your flaws, it can make for some uncomfortable, difficult  revelations about yourself as a teacher.  It’s hard to be objective and to open yourself up for others to criticize.

Boards or no boards, teachers should always continue improving their practices and reflecting on where they have been and where they still need to go. I feel like I am a much better teacher now than when I first started 11 years ago, but man oh man do I have areas I where I could focus on for improvement.
We all do.
What the National Boards process has helped me see is that I already do a lot in my practice already. What I need to work on now is on refining, reflecting and providing the appropriate evidence for my successes. Every piece of new research I read, every insightful tweet, every unique challenge that is thrown my makes me dig deep, try harder and takes my thinking to a whole new level.
It is incredibly easy to get into a rut teaching. It’s easy to fall back on what you know, take the path of least resistance and keep it simple. For some things, it feels nice to have a very solid set of routines and procedures. Heck, just having had the same room for the last four years has made life much much easier! I didn’t realize what a toll moving all the time was taking on my professional practices. It is hard to be an effective teacher when your stuff is always in boxes!
As I have grown professionally, I’ve realized there is always more to learn, more challenges to be tackled and new ways of thinking, learning and doing to be explored.
I’m sure I will be exploring much more deeply as I hash out my entries for Components 3 and 4!
What’s Next for Alphabet Soup
This year I am going to spend time looking at the processes I could update and revise. One of these processes is writing more effective, meaningful IEP goals. I will be focusing extensively on my goal writing process. Two years ago, I attended the LRP conference in Denver.  Since then, my brain has been working overtime to try and wrap my head around a way that I can create a system of writing goals that is more meaningful to all stakeholders, including and especially my students.
I am also planning on delving deeper with executive function and the effects weak executive function skills have on students in the classroom – more importantly how significantly do these skills impact their learning and what can I do to improve these skills. Last year I did a presentation for Hawk Parent University and that presentation really got me thinking about how I could take what I had taught parents and make it more teacher friendly. Stay tuned for more on this in a later blogs.
My last area of focus for the upcoming year is parent communication. I communicate with parents regularly but I have been thinking a lot (thanks NBPTS!) about how I can improve this communication. I want my parents to know what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. Part of this will come from streamlining and improving my data collection processes. I also want my parents to understand how to advocate for their students and how they can best help them at home. I want to build better, stronger partnerships with parents and the community assets they need to know exist to support students with disabilities.
That’s a lot on my plate! But truly worthwhile and important endeavors. Part of the issue with special education, in my opinion, is that the processes, jargon and excessive testing make it inaccessible and inefficient. I think we can do better for our students.
What do you do to improve parent communication and increase your transparency? And what do you think special education could be doing better for students? What are you going to be more purposeful about this coming year?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! You can find me on twitter @mscrawford101 or drop me  line!



Welcome to My Alphabet Soup Life! For quite awhile now, I’ve been attempting to get a blog off the ground and running.  I always feel like I have everything and nothing to say – and I’m not sure that what I have to share will be valuable or valued.   But, at the end of the day, I have a lot on my mind and I need a place to share my thoughts, reflect on my teaching and evaluate my practices.  Special education is, after all, a very challenging field.  I think that’s what I like most about it – no two days are ever the same!

Why Alphabet Soup?

If you know a special education teacher, work with one, live with one or have ever met one, you are aware that SpEd Teachers are capable of having entire conversations using just the acronyms that special education is so overly fond of creating.

You know how these conversations go! “I need a FBA for a BIP needed for an IEP in order to be in compliance with IDEIA and FAPE! Maybe we should use some CBMs to determine if the student is SLD and needs AT.”

See?  Alphabet Soup.

The Challenge of Special Education

I never wanted to be a teacher.  Growing up, my parents were teachers and all of their friends were teachers.  They all frequently told me that I was going to be a teacher – and as an obstinate teenager, I assured them there was no way I wanted to join the profession! Fast forward through a multitude of life experiences, traveling the world, and a couple stints as a nanny and I found myself wondering “what next”?

What was next turned out to be enrolling in a masters program in special education.  It just sort of all fell together by accident!  Although I had had some experience as a special education paraeducator years before, I don’t really know if I knew what I had just signed up for!  But it was the right choice for me and I instantly knew I had made the right decision (yes, mom and dad were right, I was going to be a teacher!).

My first teaching job was at a now closed high school in Thornton, Colorado.  I instantly fell in love with the job.  I absolutely loved the challenge!  The school I worked at was significantly impacted with many high risk students and a very high drop out rate.   But watching my students walk across the stage to get a diploma was worth all of the hard work and challenges they threw my way.

Then the district restructured and I ended up moving to a K-12 school teaching the elementary special education students.  This again was a challenge that kept me on my toes!  Switching from secondary to elementary made me realize just how much I didn’t know as a teacher and how much more I still needed to learn.

Four years ago, I moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming and started a new journey as a special education teacher at Anderson Elementary.  Wyoming brought a new set of challenges and ample opportunities to grow professionally.

Knowing What You Don’t Know

As a special education teacher, we are constantly being thrown curve balls – what works for one student, doesn’t work for another.  It is always a challenge and I am constantly reinventing and refining my practice.

When you first start teaching (ok let’s be very honest, for the first five years or so), you are just getting your feet under you.  Managing the day to day aspects of teaching, paperwork, meetings and other unexpected challenges seems more like a juggling act in a circus than a teaching job.

Now, 11 years later, I finally feel like I have most of my job under control – but don’t get me wrong, there’s still SO much more to learn! I think good teachers always keep learning, growing and reflecting.  There’s still so many ways I can grow and improve!

Boards and More

Right now my big challenge is finishing up my National Board Certification.  This process is certainly stretching me professionally and making me think very critically about my practices and teaching. Two more components to go!

I was also recently appointed to the state panel for students with disabilities.  I’m excited to participate on this board and be an advocate for my students and students across the state. I hope to include some of this experiences in my blog.

Also, I’ve been dreaming of a doctorate…but it’s just an idea at the moment!  I don’t think I will ever stop learning.

Reflecting on the Journey

Reflecting is such an important part of becoming a better teacher.  I want to formalize my reflection process, or at least make them more meaningful and share my learning with others.  I am hoping this blog will give me a place to do this – and maybe one day other will help me grow by providing me with their feedback!

So this is my blog – where I will be doing my best to make sense of the alphabet soup, reflect and improve on my teaching and professional practices, and be a better advocate for my students, families and teams that I work with on a daily basis.   I am looking forward to creating a library of all of the resources I find valuable in one place so I can more effectively share them with my colleagues and parents.

Welcome to my blog!