Monday, May 25, 2015

Asking for Feedback

So I just did something a little scary. I just sent out my first ever End of Year Parent Survey to all of my students' parents.

And I asked some hard questions. Ones that I might be afraid to read the answers to. Ones that I might have been hesitant to even include on the survey at all.

But, what I've been reading and learning is that when we are willing to ask the hard questions in order to receive quality, helpful feedback, AND when we are willing to read the responses to those questions- we are given an opportunity to grow. Learn. Change. All for the better!

I don't want to be someone who is so afraid to ask for feedback because of what might be said, that I end up not doing it at all.

Here is my End of Year Parent Survey that I just sent out. I adapted it from Pernille Ripp's parent survey that she kindly sent my way via Twitter. Feel free to use or adapt it if you would like.

The only way to grow is to make mistakes, to fail, and to learn from those mistakes and moments of failure. Perfectionism stops growth. Perfectionism says I have nothing to work on or get better at. If I am perfect, then I'm not growing. We must be willing as educators to ask for and listen to feedback, whether from parents, students, colleagues or administrators.

Next up, I will be creating a shorter Google form for my students to fill out about me. I look forward to their insight!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Where have all the school days gone?

When I lived in Russia for a summer, a friend I met there named Sasha recorded a few songs with me. He picked out the songs: Ain't No Sunshine and Where Have All the Flowers Gone? It is a sweet and fond memory of mine today. In that moment, a Russian voice and an American voice came together and made sweet harmony. That was one of many moments that made those weeks so beautiful that summer.

In light of the year winding down, Where Have All the Flowers Gone? came to mind...and made me ask, where have all the school days gone? I can't believe it is already May. Sitting in my empty classroom right now after a most exciting field day, the pit in my stomach is beginning- the pit that usually comes creeping in as the end of the school year draws close.

I always am in awe that I am given the opportunity to be a teacher. That I get to spend my days with the most precious gifts and learn with and from them. That I get to be a part of their lives. That I get to be a stepping stone on their path. That I get to know them deeply and that I get to love them. Any child I teach will forever have an impact on my life. It still is something that, when I get the quiet moments to reflect, can take my breath away. I get to be a part of lives. Lives that will one day change the world.

Where have all the school days gone
As time is passing
Where have all the school days gone
It pains me so
Where have all the school days gone
Gone to summer, every one
Hearts that I know and love
Hearts that have forever changed mine.