Summertime Surrender

At the beginning of this calendar year I launched this blog to share my #onewordONT surrender. I was enthusiastically welcomed into the EDUblogger community and given advice to set aside a time each week for writing/blogging. I set a reminder in my phone to spend some time on Fridays reflecting on how/why I chose surrender that week. Fast forward to July and I’ve done some reflecting, even made some notes on my phone to remember to blog about – but haven’t actually written another post. Turns out, Friday afternoons often have a lot odds and ends to complete and writing got bumped down my to-do list. With plans in mind to readjust this practice next year – here I am.

There is often no greater time to practice surrender than the end of a school year. As an instructional coach I kept expecting teachers to get busy with final reports and end of year responsibilities and for my schedule to consequently quiet down as well. Yet, I was busy right until the end of the year with a great number of teachers wanting to discuss their transitions to new roles, begin planning for the upcoming year and take a look at new resources. Many of these conversations have continued into the summer months and I feel so blessed to have a PLN full of lifelong learners.

One of the things that has been most exciting for me this year is the launch of the HCDSB Summer Reading Club (primarily for Secondary teachers right now but looking to expand). My colleagues and I have been inspired by the work of Peel DSB on Culturally Relevant Texts (check out #CRPEnglish) and Lorena German and Julia E. Torres and their #DisruptTexts movement on Twitter. The reading club is focused on sharing recommendations for new and culturally diverse texts. The conversations have been great so far and we hope to continue with book club discussions in the fall.  What better way to surrender than reflecting on the literature offered in your classroom and expanding the choices available to your students?  Happy Reading!

#onewordONT2018 – Surrender

My intention for 2018 is to SURRENDER. This does not mean giving up, rather to stop struggling for a certain result. My life is calling for me to step into my full potential rather than “playing small”.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been inspired by many of the educators that I follow on Twitter and reading all of their #onewordONT posts. There is something powerful about being called on by name and I have so much gratitude for @jacbalen tagging me in the post to remind me to choose my new word.

Last year, I chose WHOLEHEARTEDNESS  based largely on the work of Brene Brown (for a great summary of the guideposts click here). Reflecting back, 2017 gave me an opportunity to support the #onlylovetoday book launch by Rachel Macy Stafford (https://www.handsfreemama.com/onlylovetoday/), take a leap and try my hand at some Technology Enabled Learning Ontario course writing (thanks Laurie!) and really come into my own authenticity by focusing on what brings my joy and less on what others may think. This really opened up my teaching practice and even inspired me to start the #itinerantsinthewild to share my work. The response has been wonderful and I’m so thankful to all of the staff who I’ve worked with over the past year – many of whom started out with a connection online!

I still get asked the question: “so what’s next for you?”…often. I’m not sure why but when I think about what’s next I feel a little like Jonah from the bible story “Jonah and the whale”. I am excited about the possibilities that are unfolding on my journey but often tell myself “one day” and “no, no, not yet”. Thankfully, I have great mentors (@gcouros), colleagues (#LiteracyON) and friends (@ms_keats) who have inspired me to start 2018 by taking a big first step – this is my first blog post ever! This year I hope to embrace surrender as the intersection between acceptance and change and share my journey with all of you.

– Kristy

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