A big thank you to everybody that supported me through this process.
At times over the course of the last year, it was as stressful as a time as I can remember. Between balancing all the different jobs that we have between family and work, it was tough to find a balance and still feel that I was doing a good job at either. That old saying "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger", definitely applies here. I feel that my time in the program has allowed me to continue to grow as an educator and as a person. I have been exposed to teaching practices and new technology that I definitely wouldn't have gotten the chance to learn from otherwise. While I could go on and on about all the people who have helped me, I will try and keep it short. Here goes...
When I first started this program, I didn't know what to expect. Looking back, it seems like such a whirlwind. I was exposed to so many different topics that I will continue to carry with me forward. Learning how to conduct action research taught me how to use existing knowledge and add to it in ways that fit my classroom specifically. Different books that we read frustrated me... in a good way. They challenged me to see the world differently and work towards doing my little part to make it a better world for our kids. The different instructional design models helped provide clarity when creating my new NGSS lessons. I was exposed to technology and how to implement it in ways that truly will benefit my kids. One of the best decisions I made was taking the leap and entering the Tuoro Masters program. What I learned will benefit my kids for years to come.
What a great group of people. It wasn't long before a group email was created... and weekly (if not daily), communication was taking place between us. During those high stress times I mentioned above, there was always someone who was willing to reach out and help you when you were stuck. I have always had anxiety when speaking up among other adults. Put me in a gym with 300 middle school kids... no problem. Ask me to speak at a small staff meeting and I have always gotten nervous before having to speak. Working in this group was different though. I felt that I could share my opinions freely whenever we met during or outside of class. I feel that completion of this program was a group effort, and it did take the whole village to get me through the last year.
I can't really express how grateful I am to have an organization like Napa Learns to support me through this process. I was on the fence about joining a Masters program until I heard about the help that they were offering to teachers in the district. Their support is having an impact on students in the district, and my improved practices are evidence of that.
Where I go from here...
I will continue to implement what I have learned over the course of the last year. Technology in my classroom is now part of our daily routines. How I use that technology is always at the forefront of my thinking. How I design my lessons, who my audience is and what their needs are, how my visuals are displayed, the list goes on and on. I will continue to work hard to be open minded and be willing to try new things. I will continue to be a life long learner.