Category Archives: reflections

Reflections for Student Led Conferences

Today we spent most of the morning getting ready for student led conferences.

Rather than describe how hard students worked and how much they got done, which they did, I decided to let their words about reading and writing grace this post. What follows are a sprinkling of comments about their learning this year.

In response to the prompt, the most important things I have learned about being a writer this year are…students wrote the following:

  • To keep going on the topic and to hook the reader.
  • Using more details is better so the reader understands the writing better.
  • You have to research your topic before you write about it.
  • When you are going to write something you have to do a lot of drafts before you publish it.
  • If I read, I’m going to get better at writing

In response to the prompt, the most important things I have learned about being a reader this year are…students wrote the following:

  • To always notice what the main character does so you can predict what is going to happen or what the character will do. 
  • Read stories that seem GOOD to you, that you feel will hook you.
  • I need to read more to become a better writer.
  • Historical fiction books are fun and they give you a lot of information.
  • You need to try a book to like the genre.
  • To put sticky notes at the end of chapters, so I could write down what I think, then I could remember the book better.
I’m looking forward to the next two days as I observe my students engage in the process of reflecting, curating and selecting samples of work to share with parents. 

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Reflections on the past year

Almost a year ago we relocated to Quito, Ecuador

after having spent six years living in Calgary, Alberta.

Image from: http://bit.ly/19cIuyP

Those six years in Calgary were wonderful; both my husband and I had amazing jobs and we made some good friends while we were there. I could write an entire blog post about the great things going on at the Calgary Board of Education and how that quickly changed about three years ago to look more and more like what’s happening in the U.S.

The first year we were in Calgary, after having lived 10 years in Quito, were undeniably challenging and surprisingly so. There were so many adjustments to make – the weather, the culture, the educational system, just to name a few. Yet, we faced them all with such aplomb that at one point late into those six years I even considered just staying on for the long haul. However, family and friends here called out to us and we realized that we needed to return to our home base.

The move back to Quito was no less dramatic and fraught with its own challenges. My job situation was less than ideal as my job description changed radically just a couple of months before our move. And, although I tried to be optimistic, I was definitely disappointed. That disappointment followed me throughout the year as the school struggled to accommodate to my son’s strengths and needs, and I struggled with a school that, although known to me, seemed to be focusing on the wrong things. Now, at the end of the school year, I can safely say we are on the other side of all those seemingly heart wrenching decisions (we moved my son to another school mid-year) and we are settling in to living here.

The coming school year will bring other challenges, no doubt, but I anticipate a sense of renewal as the summer approaches. Although the next few months promise to be very busy (I need to finish revisions to my research proposal for my EdD), I will also make time to spend with my family and to recharge my batteries, so to speak. I plan to do lots of pleasure and professional reading as well as participate in Teachers Write and do some planning for my classes next year. I’m also exploring some other possibilities that I will write about later if they come to fruition. In the meantime, I am staying positive by following the adaptation of the Serenity Prayer that was recently posted on the Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living:

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.”

So how’s your year been? What are you planning to do this summer to recharge your batteries? Post a comment below to share.

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Filed under Calgary, Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living, challenges, Quito, reflections, serenity prayer, Teachers Write