Welcome back for another great year, everyone!
The school year officially kicked off this morning with the first of 5 professional development days in a row. I consider myself very lucky to work in a school system small enough that our entire instructional staff can fit in one high school's auditorium, with seats to spare. We gather at the beginning of each year to reflect on what lies ahead, celebrate our past accomplishments, recognize our teacher of the year, welcome new faces, and thank those who retired over the summer.
New this year, we had a professional development conference organized over lunchtime. I have to give massive kudos to the person or people who organized the physical materials, schedule, and sessions. There was a wide variety of content available and things moved like clockwork. They even managed to group the sessions so that secondary and elementary teachers were separated. This made differentiating the sessions much easier.
The assistant superintendent reached out a couple of weeks ago to ask if I could present a session on brain breaks. I agreed. I presented a session on brain breaks ideas and a little on implementation, taken heavily from the Kinesthetic Classroom course I took last summer. I enjoyed leading the session; 40 minutes wasn't enough to share all of the things I wanted to share with these teachers. The turn out was great: 27 and 18 elementary teachers in their sessions and 32 teachers in the secondary session. That's 77 people who can make a positive impact on student learning. I'm always pleased to see a good turn out. Leading professional learning is fun for me and I feel like it can make a large impact on student learning because of the ripple effect.
The results from the exit questions aren't all in yet, but I think good things are brewing in my county based on these responses.
If you want to try some brain breaks in your classroom, check out the presentation I gave for some ideas. You can also download more resources from this Google folder, such as mailing labels to make these brain break Popsicle sticks a quick addition to your classroom.
Our superintendent left us with 6 questions to consider for the year. To me, this is too many (because if I need more than three things on a grocery store, I need to either write them down or be guaranteed to forget the most essential one). I'm considering making these into posters for my room; a bit of a focus wall, I suppose.
What does the first day in your district look like?