End of the school year reflections

For a little context depending on the time when you are reading this – as I write this post, it is the last official week of school during the spring of 2020. This means we are living through the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. We haven’t had students at school since the middle of March here in Indiana. Much of the world has been living through a time of social distancing. I am sitting at the desk in my son’s bedroom because it is the one quiet space that I can find right now that also has (semi) reliable wifi. The nicest shirt I’ve worn in the past 10 weeks is a polo, and I felt weird the day I put it on. My wife and kids are currently working on their eLearning, Diane is a first-grade teacher, Lainey is wrapping up her fifth-grade year, and Brody is finishing up his second-grade year.

I have been sharing with people that this has truly been the strangest school year of my life, and I continue to believe that to be true. I started the year as an assistant principal at an intermediate school in the district where I have lived and worked since the fall of 2006. In October of this school year, I was asked to move into the position of Principal at Fishers Elementary School. That transition took place on the Monday after Thanksgiving break. During the weeks between Thanksgiving and winter break, I was carrying a map of the school around in my pocket because it reminded me of the name of the teacher’s classroom I was about to walk into, and what grade level they taught.

After winter break, I felt like I had a good grasp of who my staff was, now I wanted to get to know them as teachers too. I spent lots of time in classrooms just looking around, listening, asking questions, and learning about personalities, teaching styles, and the feel of the classroom. About the beginning of March I was beginning to feel like I had a pretty good grasp on our school. Then came the announcement that school would be closing – initially it was for a few weeks, then our governor made the decision for the State of Indiana that it would be the rest of the school year.

For about 2 months now, we have been living through an environment of Emergency Remote Learning. In the beginning, we had no idea what this would look like. But soon, teachers were coming up with plans to connect with students. They adapted to teaching kids synchronously and asynchronously, depending on the needs of the students. I was on Zoom calls with teachers, with students. I saw teachers turn walls in their home “office” into a whiteboard type space. I saw other teachers drive in their car to the public library to sit in the parking lot because it was the only place they could get reliable wifi during the day. I think @Wes_Kieschnick says it best:

 

IMG_15E01245DD4E-1But the end of this year comes with lots of questions. What will the start of school look like? Will we be back on the “normal” schedule? Or will it be something different and unique? If you’re anything like me, then the quote to the right probably resonates with you as well (shared by @hansonhallway on Instagram). There are so many things that I simply do not know about what’s going to happen in the next couple of months. Currently August 3rd is scheduled as the first teacher workday of the year. I have big plans for what we will be doing as staff on that day, but I don’t even know if those plans will be possible, or realistic.

All of this has the end of the year having a very different feeling. In a normal year, we’d be thinking about classroom celebrations. There’d be a field day, and picnics, and so many more fun ways to wrap up the year of learning. I was recently talking to my wife, and we were both saying that even though the calendar says it’s the end of the school year, it just doesn’t feel like it should be. There’s so much that it seems we haven’t completed. But, I’ve got to trust that we’ve done our absolute best in unprecedented circumstances, and we can only be stronger after all of this!

I have been so amazingly proud of the work the teachers of Fishers Elementary School have done over the past 10 weeks! While I still am the “New Guy” at FES, I can’t wait for an opportunity to work with my team in some form of normal! I’m looking forward to walking into classrooms, hearing the sounds of learning, and watching the amazing work our staff does every day.

One thing that I am super hopeful for: that this time causes all of us in education to pause for a moment and really reflect. Take just a moment to think about these 3 questions:

  • What have you learned during emergency remote learning that you want to keep doing when you get back to school?
  • What have you always done that you now realize you should stop doing when you get back to normal?
  • What things do you wish you would have done prior to this time of emergency remote learning?

Hopefully through reflection on these questions, we can better identify what it is in education that we value most. What is it that our students need most? What is is that we need most? And then we can help change the system from the inside out to be a better environment for learning and growth for us all!

Where do we go from here?

Better Normal

Last week I was on a Zoom call with one of the grade-level teams at my school. We were talking about celebrations and struggles that have come during emergency remote learning. For a long time, we have been aware that our system of education is full of inequities for our learners. During this team meeting though, one of the teachers shared an insight that really blew me away. She was talking about how her classroom Zoom calls have shown to her inequity in a whole new way. Some of her students “never have a quiet background” when they are on a call with their class. Some of her students seem to be managing their learning entirely independently while others have consistent support from their parents. Because of the current context of her emergency remote teaching, we have had the opportunity to come into the homes of our families, even if only in a virtual way. It helps us understand that some of our students may never have a quiet background or the support they need even in normal times. These inequities have caused this teacher to reflect on all that she does in the classroom moving forward. She’s already starting to make changes.

Now, before I start talking about the potential for change that comes from what is happening, I want to first share that I am completely aware of the struggles that those who are “in the trenches” are going through. I’m not the one providing emergency remote learning for a group of students. I am not the one who feels personally responsible for the students in my class meeting the standards that they need for their current grade level. I see the struggles that our teachers are going through because of the conversations I have had with teachers in my school and watching the work that my wife, who teaches first grade, is putting in. I’m trying to meet each person where they are and offer them the support they need by asking them how they’re doing and what they need.

Every chance that I get to talk with my staff, I make sure that I check in on them. I know that we (admin, teachers, families, students) have all been thrown into a difficult situation for which most of us were unprepared. I know that there are teachers dealing with illness in their family. I know that some of our teachers are trying to take care of their own children while teaching their class. I know that there are teachers feeling completely stressed about what is happening in our world. I am constantly asking teachers what our leadership team can do to help them with whatever is happening. At the same time, I encourage our teachers to check in with their students and families every chance they get. There are two questions that I hope are used to drive these conversations: How are you doing? and Do you need anything? For many of our teachers and families, that’s exactly what they need. I know that our families are also may be going through struggles. Some families have members who are ill, others may have lost their jobs, or had hours cut back. Some may simply be going stir crazy because we can’t get out and be with our family and friends as we might normally do. Whatever we can do to support them will only help build bridges between our school and our families.

But I also know that sometimes through moments of struggle, we can find great opportunities. Recently I was on a webinar led by George Couros, Katie Novak, and AJ Juliani. One of them (I honestly can’t recall which one) shared a quote from Donna Volpitta, the founder of The Center for Resilient Leadership:

Resilience is… about “bouncing forward.” Resilience doesn’t mean getting back to normal after facing a difficult situation. It means learning from the process in order to become stronger and better at tackling the next challenge.

Copy of Lobster
Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle

When we think about the learning cycle, an important piece of that cycle is taking time for reflection. It’s something that we often don’t do well, for ourselves, or for our students. How many times have you walked away from a conference feeling like you’ve had so much shoveled into your brain that you don’t even know where to start with putting your learning into action? How often do you try to cram as much as possible into your teaching, not providing students time to reflect, only to find that you have to go back over that learning the next day or next week? Reflection is where growth comes from!

Last Monday I met with the PLC Lead Team from my school. There were several important things for us to talk about in the current situation, but one of the things that I shared with this leadership team was something I wanted them to take back to their PLC. I wanted to make sure that all our people spent some time reflecting on these three questions:

  • What have you learned during emergency remote learning that you want to keep doing when you get back to school?
  • What have you realized that you should stop doing when you get back to normal?
  • What things do you wish you would have done prior to this time of emergency remote learning?

Ultimately, I think it’s important for us to try to find some of the good that has come from our current situation, and then ask ourselves how we make sure that continues to happen when we return. What does school, and more importantly, learning, look like when we return? Where do we go from here? I don’t know that I have all the answers, but we’ve been given the chance to try some new things out, and I hope we look at this as if it were an experiment. We can try things, see if they work, iterate, and test again. Then we identify our successes and try to replicate in other areas.

A few of the things that I’ve gathered in conversations with teachers involve the motivation of students. Several people have noticed that doing things the same way we’d do it at school simply won’t work. There is a reason that TED Talks are only about 15-20 minutes. It has a lot to do with the amount of time a person – even the adults at a TED Conference – can focus on topics. If adults need things broken down into 15-20 minute chunks, we can’t expect our students to sustain for 30-45 minutes of lecture via video. Some of the things that I think learners need right now are choice, ownership, and empowerment:

  • Choice in what it is that they are expected to learn, or choice in how they show what the know.
  • Ownership in the selection of an issue that matters to them.
  • Empowerment to seek out their own geeky interests in the topics you have already been learning about, or that relate to your content or standards.

Another issue that’s come up with this new way of learning comes in the form of feedback to students. Right now we have many students participating in asynchronous learning, submitting work when it’s finished, and then waiting for feedback from one person. I’ve watched my wife spend hours a day responding to student work on Seesaw – she’s teaching first graders. I imagine that this feedback issue gets harder the more complex the content. I’ve always loved the quote “What are you doing for the kids that they could be doing for themselves?” Through the utilization of Flipgrid or discussion board formats in your learning management system, you could make the kids part of that feedback loop. If you use the concept of a Single Point Rubric (more on that in this post from Jennifer Gonzalez of Cult Of Pedagogy), kids can easily give one another feedback on areas for improvement of examples of ways that kids have exceeded the standard. I also feel that self-assessment with a single point rubric can be so valuable because it causes students to reflect on their work and learning. More often than not, they are harder on themselves that even you might be!

While these are shifts that may make emergency remote learning easier, they are shifts that could also support learners when we are able to return to school, whenever that may be.

What are your thoughts? Have you reflected on the three questions above? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Take it up a notch

Take it up a notch

I was at a training last week and the presenter stated the following:

“When we stretch (students) brains beyond the baseline, they will be prepared for the baseline.”

It struck me because every year I hear statements like “This group can’t handle that because they don’t yet have the basic skills.” As teachers, we sometimes believe if students don’t have the base level skills, we can’t move into project work, or more hands-on assignments. We feel the need to make sure that our students had those base level skills first.

When I was in the classroom, I had points in time where I felt that way. For the majority of my career as a classroom teacher I taught 5th and 6th grade science. As a kid, I loved science! It was a hands-on subject, and that suited me well. I’ve never been one who learned well by being talked at, instead I needed to do something to help that learning to stick. Science was great for that. I remember building different styles of rockets in elementary school to investigate flight. I also remember days in elementary school of “creek stomping” in the creek that ran behind our school looking for fossils and learning about rocks and minerals. In high school, I remember spending hours in the chemistry lab making solutions and testing what would happen if you added X to Y. And in physics I remember using a laser to make my own hologram of a six-sided die. Those hands-on activities were the parts of the content that stuck with me over time. Science was awesome!

Once I moved into the classroom, I was excited to bring those awesome experiences to my students. Early in my career though, I think I may have lost my way. You see, I was of the impression that for my kids to be ready for a lab or project work, I had to make sure they all had the conceptual knowledge first. So, we’d spend time building that conceptual knowledge. What I didn’t realize completely at that time is that it’s really hard to build conceptual knowledge from taking notes, drawing diagrams, and watching video clips. True conceptual knowledge comes from the hands-on experiences that students do. Unfortunately because of the amount of time it took to learn that conceptual knowledge, sometimes we wouldn’t get to the fun stuff.

One year, I was teaching one enriched science class, and several classes that were not enriched. My students in the non-enriched classes started asking me why they didn’t get to do the fun stuff, and it caused me to pause and reflect. That year I worked on reorganizing the way I did my lessons. I started placing my lab activities and hands-on learning experiences at the beginning of each unit. What I found was that students seemed to do better in class when they had done a hands-on activity prior to teaching the conceptual skills. And as an added bonus to me, we often didn’t have to spend as much time on those concepts, because students had gained a greater understanding during the hands-on learning activities.

The same is true and other subject areas too. When we create math lessons that allow students to draw and visualize their thinking, they will better understand the concepts that go with what they are doing. When students look for grammatical structures within their own reading or writing they are more likely to value the importance of those grammar skills than when they work off of a grammar review sheet.

What I’m beginning to realize about the innovative work we are doing in education is that whether we call it project work, project-based learning, or something else, every time we take the learning up a notch our students are able to accomplish that much more. And I understand that sometimes we freak out about doing something innovative in our classroom because we may not feel like we are experts in the technology that goes with that activity. As teachers we don’t need to be the technology experts, rather we need to be the pedagogy experts. I know for a fact that no one taught me how to use Facebook or Twitter or many of the other apps that I use on a regular basis, rather I figured it out by clicking on stuff and seeing what happened.

So, what are some of the ways that we can have our students actually take it up a notch? What if every 10 to 15 minutes you pause what’s going on in class and have the kids record an audio or video reflection of what they have been learning? What if you have them create a photo or image or meme that represents their learning in class thus far? What if you asked them to sketch out a picture that shows a solution to the math problem they are working on? Each time we do something like this we are forcing our students to stretch their brains beyond that baseline and I would argue we aren’t doing anything that is that difficult. When we ask our students to do a drawing or create a video of their learning in class, we are helping them with their summarizing skills. I would also say that those small moments of creation help our students to develop one of the most in demand skills in the job market: creativity.

expected skills

I challenge you to look ahead at something that you are planning to do with your students in the next couple of weeks. Identify an activity that you would typically start with conceptual knowledge and find a way to do it hands-on in the first place. See how your students react. Weave in the conceptual skills that they need as you go through the project. Then take some time to reflect. Do the students end up with a better conceptual understanding of the topic? It may take a try or two but in time hopefully we can integrate more of those skills that are expected in the workplace into the things that are happening in our classrooms.

So, what activity have you selected? Share with us in the comments below so that we can check in with you to see how it goes.

Experimental teaching in progress

The beginning of the school year is exciting for a lot of different reasons, but in the past couple of weeks I have been really fired up by the beginning of the year goal setting meetings I’ve been having with our teachers. It’s been so exciting to hear about the goals that teachers are setting to push themselves to new learning experiences and create amazing opportunities for their students. It’s a lot of fun to talk with them about their ideas and how to create a goal that will truly impact their teaching and learning throughout the year.

One of the things about learning new things, we all need to reflect on our learning. It’s a part of that learning cycle, and I look forward to the opportunity to help our teachers reflect on their goal throughout the year. But in addition to reflection, we also need feedback from others on how we are doing. When I think about my most powerful learning experiences, there has always been someone there to provide feedback – let me know what I was doing well and where I needed to improve. That feedback may have come from my coaches on the basketball court or football field, or it may have come from a teacher or professor in the classroom.

I respected the feedback that I would get from my elders, but sometimes the best feedback came from my teammates and classmates. They could often connect with me in ways that an adult just wasn’t able to. Even today, some of my most trusted people are peers who are in similar positions as mine. It’s so great to make a call or send an email to someone that I trust, share my thinking, and get their feedback. While there are definitely times that I hear “You seem to be right on track”, there are times they have said “You might want to think about that a little more and here’s why.” It helps me so much to get that peer feedback.

The problem with this in teaching is that we often live in our own silos. What happens in our classroom is often invisible to our colleagues, whether they be across the hall, on another floor, or in another wing. So what do we do about that? Luckily there are awesome people out there on Twitter who help us find solutions to our problems. This week I saw a tweet from Jed Dearybury that took me to his newsletter “A Dearybury of a Day”. (You can – and should – follow Jed on Twitter here). At the very end of the newsletter was this Fab, Fun, Freebie:

Screen Shot 2019-09-20 at 7.09.04 AM

Here’s what Jed said about this sign:

Whenever you are trying something new with students, hang this sign on your door to let those passing by know you are experimenting with a new teaching strategy. When this sign was on my door, it always made me relax a bit more because sometimes, experiments fail, and that’s ok!

So, here’s a thought – What if every time you are trying something new and you want to have feedback, you could hang this sign outside your door? What if you sent an email to the staff at your building with a picture of the sign? What if you shared the sign on Twitter (and tagged @mrdearybury)? There would be an awesome opportunity for people to come and watch what you are doing and give you meaningful feedback on what they saw. I know that many of us feel a little uncomfortable when we have other adults observing what we’re doing in our classroom, but we aren’t living on the growing edge when we’re totally comfortable in what we’re doing.

Remember, we’re all in this together guys! Our goal is to support the students we see on a daily basis, and the best way I can think of to do that is to support one another in our own teaching and learning. I’ll include a link to the pdf that Jed shared below.

So what are your thoughts? Are you comfortable to use a sign like this? I’d love to see some pictures being shared throughout your building!

Want to download the poster? Click here!

Is yet enough?

I was listening to a recent episode of the Making Math Moments that Matter podcast, which has become one of my new favorite podcasts (you should check out their website here for lots of awesome math resources and links to their podcast or check them out on Twitter @MakeMathMoments). There are tons of great ideas packed into every episode, and their back catalogue includes interviews with some amazing math educators! In a recent episode (episode #39 with Alice Aspinall) they got started talking about the language we use when talking about growth mindset.

For a long time now, we’ve been talking about the concept of growth mindset in many different formats. One of the things we’ve talked about (it was even our school hashtag recently) is The Power of Yet. Our discussions centered around the idea that people who have a growth mindset will say something like “I haven’t mastered this skill, yet.” By adding that yet, we were implying that it was something that we were still working on. It’s a powerful statement to remind ourselves that we have room to grow.

On several occasions I’ve had the thought that simply adding the yet to the end of the sentence didn’t do quite enough, but I couldn’t quite explain what was lacking. Then I listened to Alice Aspinall talking about her book Everyone Can Learn Math (find it here). In the course of the conversation she shared the following quote:

You could say I'm not good at multiplying yet, but that's kind of basic, right_ Can we change is so that we're saying I have not yet learned to multiply, but I've been practicing with arrays._

 

 

It suddenly clicked with me. I think the fear I have about simply adding the word yet to the end of a statement is that we may be modeling a false growth mindset. Does saying yet help teach someone how they get to success? I don’t think that it does. By articulating how you’re going about it, you suddenly change the game to be focused on learning and Multiplication Arraygrowing. Growth mindset can’t just be about saying that we aren’t there yet. It’s saying that we’re on a path to get there. By adding a statement of what you’re doing to get there, you have that path in place. In the quote above, a student is saying they are going to use arrays to help them better understand how to multiply. That’s a specific direction and provides specific action.

As a teacher, we can really work on our language, and modeling the idea of having a path to success in the things we say. If a student says that they aren’t good at something, or that they don’t like something, you can certainly help them learn to add the yet, and help them to begin to think about what steps they take in order to become successful.

It’s the same thing that we are doing when we set our own SMART Goals. We set attainable, realistic goals with the short-term and long-term steps we plan to take. By helping students set attainable, realistic goals with a plan in sight, you will help your students to be better able to set their own goals.

So what are your thoughts? Do you talk about growth mindset in your class? Have you seen students mindset change with the addition of the word “yet” in their beliefs about their abilities? Do you think adding a direction to those statements might make them more powerful? I’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections in the comments below.

Finding your potential

When is the last time you thought to yourself “I just don’t think I can do that.”? I think that many of us have those thoughts from time to time. I know that I do! In my last post, I shared a bit about setting goals that make us feel a little uncomfortable. I know for some, that is a challenging thought.

Most of the people who read this blog are educators, and one thing that most educators have in common is that we like to be sure that we are doing things “right.” Because of that, setting a goal that we might not reach just feels wrong. But as a reminder from the last post, growth happens when you are in that zone of being a little bit uncomfortable. I am sure that if you were a reading teacher and you noticed a student always picking books that were really “easy” for them, you’d challenge them to pick a book that pushes them a little more. We’re really good at pushing our students to the next level. But sometimes it seems that we aren’t so good at pushing ourselves to that next level. Hopefully this post can help provide a gentle nudge!

As you may know, our family is pretty active. Because of that, our kids are typically given the chance to try lots of different things. When Lainey was in kindergarten, she decided that she wanted to run in the Liger Mile – this is a one-mile fun run put on by the cross-country teams of both of the high schools in our district. We did a couple of “training runs” in the neighborhood and thought that she would do great – I mean, it’s only a mile. Little did we know! That run was a struggle for her! I promised to wait right by the finishing line so that Lainey would know where to go when she finished. Diane made sure to be along the course, which turned in to her almost running the whole mile with Lainey. She needed the encouragement, but finally made it to the finish! Just check out the finishing picture:

Lainey Liger K

After that experience, we didn’t expect her to want to run ever again. But sure enough, sign up time came for the first-grade version, and she said she wanted to try again! This time it went MUCH better! We even got smiles at the finish (and it didn’t hurt that the weather was a LOT better):

Lainey Liger 1

Lainey has run the Liger Mile every year that she’s been in school and is looking forward to it this year! Brody has even joined in on the fun! What this experience taught Lainey (and Brody) is that they have the potential to accomplish difficult things, but it takes hard work to get there. So, in an effort to help model the importance of pushing ourselves, we signed up to run the Geist 5K as a family in 2018. We went on a few training runs (probably not as many as we should have), we had some struggles on the course (Brody was ready to walk about a half-mile into the run), but ultimately we all finished the run successfully, and with a smile on our face:

Family 5k

As a family, we have now all run multiple 5K races together. The kids are going to soon be at the point that Diane and I won’t be able to keep up with them!

One of the things that I’m concerned about is that too often people have this mindset of “I could never do that!” when they think about something that’s challenging. I’ll admit it – I still am not sure that I’m ready to make the jump from half-marathons to the full-marathon. We’ll see if that changes some day! But what concerns me about that mindset of thinking that you don’t have it in you, then you take yourself out of the game before it’s ever really started! I think we all have this internal fear – of doing something new, of not being successful in what we try.

Recently many of the staff members in my building read the book Out of the Maze by Spencer Johnson. It serves as a reminder that sometimes we get stuck in what we do because it is comfortable. Because of that focus we have on what we know, it makes it hard to let go of what we’ve done, even when it isn’t working. One of my takeaways from the book is that there are no limits to what we can believe, and that our beliefs allow us to have experiences that are more joyful. All we have to do is to choose a new belief.

So, here’s the question I have for you – what’s the jump up that you haven’t made yet? What’s the thing that you’re curious about, but say to yourself “I just don’t know if I can do that”? What’s the belief that you’ve noticed that it might be time to let go of? All of us have tremendous amounts of potential within us. And when we set that potential free in our classroom, we have a tremendous opportunity to impact learning for our students! Start thinking a little bit more about that thing that gives you the uh-oh feeling and make the jump! Or at least take a few steps in the right direction!

There is no heavier burden than an unfulfilled potential (1)

So… Before I ask you what you plan to accomplish next, here are a couple of my goals in no particular order:

  • Ride the RAIN Ride (Ride Across Indiana) next summer – this is a one day, 160 mile bike ride from the Indiana border with Illinois to the Indiana border with Ohio
  • Create and share out a weekly update video – something like a “5 for Friday” – to send to our families along with our newsletter
  • Start a social media club to allow students to share things happening at The River to the @RSIHawks twitter handle
  • Make at least 3 #GoodNewsCallOfTheDay phone calls per week

So now, I want you to reflect – what’s that thing that you have been considering but just haven’t done yet? Share in the comments below! I’d love to know what you have in mind!

Love what you do

Today was one of those days. I came home wondering what I had actually accomplished. I knew I had done a lot, but I didn’t feel like anything I did really helped in the goal of serving the students, teachers, and families of Riverside.

I think we all have days like that. We feel like we weren’t that successful. We start to doubt ourselves. At times we may even question if we are meant to be where we are.

Here’s the thing though – even on days like today, I love what I do. I love to see students accomplish amazing things in their classroom. I love to see teachers do the great things they do in their classrooms daily. I love the mission of helping kids be successful for anything that may come their way in the future!

I recently heard an interview of Kevin Systrom. If you don’t know who he is, he’s one of the co-founders of Instagram (I hope you all know what Instagram is!), that helps me on the days where I feel things didn’t go well.

A lot of people are like, you should love what you do. And I agree. But I think it's more you should love what you're shooting for. Cause work is hard. It can be miserable at times... It's a universal law that great

I think we all realize that education can be really hard. And the end of the school year is one of those times that can be extra difficult. There’s so much we’re trying to accomplish during those final few days. We’re trying to soak up every last moment with this group of students because no class will ever be exactly the same. Add to that students who may be counting down the days for summer break who have mentally checked out of class. I’ve had several conversations recently with teachers and students about the difficulties of this time of year.

As an educator, many of us have heard (or maybe even said) that you have to love what you do to be able to be good at it. If that is something that has been ingrained in us, having a bad day can be really difficult to take. That’s why I love Systrom’s take on loving what you do. This work is hard, and some days don’t go that well. But he reminds us that great things happen through hard work. If the job were easy all the time, anyone can do it. But I think all of us in education know that this is not a job that anyone can do. It takes a special personality, a special heart, to be able to serve your students and community in this role.

The next time you have a bad day, and are questioning your ability, take a moment to reflect on the long-term accomplishments. Maybe it’s the growth you’ve seen from one of your students. Maybe it takes thinking about a big project that has come to fruition. Or maybe it’s as simple as that moment where you could tell that something you did or said to a kid had a positive impact. It’s easy to get sucked in by the bad, and we go on this negative spiral. Always be looking for the good. It’s there. And when you find it, hold on to it, because that’s the reason you love what you do!

So to close the post for today, I wanted to share just a few pictures of the awesome things that have happened at Riverside – just this quarter! These pictures were posted to Twitter by various teachers and staff members in our building.

 

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Do you have any ways that help you focus on your love of what you’re shooting for when you have those days that don’t go so well? Share in the comments below!