Thursday, June 25, 2015

Who Inspires You?

If you have read my blog a time or two you might have come across the fact that I was not a model student. I struggled academically and with my behavior. I meant well but I was too busy to stay still and not talk. I had my desk moved away from other students all of my school years except second grade.

I had my "favorite" teacher in 2nd grade. I walked in on the first day and she said "Ashley, I have heard all about you and I am so happy to have you in my class."  She made learning interactive and fun. She is who inspired me. I loved learning but she made me love school with her loving classroom and caring personality. Plus everything thing she did was so much fun. Mrs. Tabor is someone that I have thought about over and over growing up when I needed a positive educational experience. I moved schools after I had her and she moved out of state that same year. I would love to connect with her again to let her know just how much she inspired me even now. Thank you Mrs. Tabor for your patience, believing in my success and making learning so much fun.

Thats me right next to the teacher in the Brownie uniform

My mom is retired teacher. She taught special education in a self contained classroom. My mom wanted to insure that her students had the best tools in place to make them successful. A lot of this expertise filtered down to me and my educational experience. She wanted me to have the most successful education that I could have despite my educational difficulties. She was educated in the areas, knew the law, knew the policies and was not afraid to advocate for her daughter (Thanks Mom!!! Sorry Teachers!!!) Even now my mom is a daily sounding board for my classroom. She occasionally volunteers in my classroom but mostly she helps take care of my girls so I can teach! She continues to inspire me. I look back on what I took for granted or didn't understand and I realize how amazing my mom was as a teacher. How many students she lead to success. She even has students call her and check in that are now in their 40s. I feel so blessed to have her as resource and call her my mom!
A recent pic of my mom and I

I am attending InnEdCO which is a technology in the classroom for Colorado teachers. A few teachers from my school wrote a grant and our PTCO funded this for us! The keynote speaker was Jonathan Mooney . He rocked my teaching world. I can't express how much his story resonated with me. I was a crying mess during and after his presentation. I got it together and ended up in his question and answer session. I cried again. Then I called my mom and thanked her for advocating for my education and cried again. Here is why: Jonathan who is a dynamic speaker, published author and a Brown graduate was a student who struggled. He hated school, he had academic problems and behavior problems. He is now an advocate for how to use our technology to reach those learners. He credits his success to some of his teachers and his mom to me this was my mom and Mrs. Tabor. He has two books READ THEM!!!! He has two DVDs WATCH THEM!!!


Here is the biggest inspiration part: I asked myself if I was an effective teacher for students like me? Was I an effective for students like him? Why wasn't I? How could I change? My whole thinking shifted. Those parents that you dread an email or a conference with just became in my mind parents advocating for their children ( like my mom, like I will do) I want to develop the relationship with the parents at these difficult times. I want to say " I realize you are advocating for your child, I am too, how can we do this together." Not "I AM THE EXPERT LEAVE IT TO ME!" (Anyone else been there?)

Here to this next year approaching education in this way! I can't wait! ( Well I can until August, lets not rush summer!) Thank you Mrs. Tabor, thank you Jonathan THANK YOU mom! Please feel free to join me and link to who and what inspires you!

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