Don’t forget turn back around…

Those lyrics from Lori McKenna, made famous by Tim McGraw hold many life lessons that I try to live and learn from. Yesterday I spent my morning turning back around and helping the next ones in line as I worked with teachers who were candidates for National Board Certification. Our Maine Education Association sponsors a workshop once a month to support teachers working toward NBCT.  I participated in those workshops on my journey toward certification, and I was grateful for the support and encouragement. I vowed that if I achieved certification, that I would give back to that group and do what I could to help others achieve certification.

I’ve been working with an amazing kindergarten teacher in our district the past two years as she works her way through the four rigorous components and I’ve agreed to read entries from teachers outside of our district who I’ve met in a variety of educational contexts.  If you’re an NBCT, you know just how much of a lifeline that encouragement and feedback can be from colleagues-it is invaluable.  I was lucky to be one of four teachers from our district who worked together and nudged one another along.

As part of my #100DaysofNotebooking I created an entry to reflect on the core principles of NBCT and the day I learned I had become certified:


Do you know someone who is working on a goal that may seem overwhelming at times? Perhaps someone is enrolled in a Master’s degree program, participating in the National Writing Project, or trying to get something published. Maybe they are just trying to survive and thrive in their first years of teaching. What supports could you offer (that wouldn’t drain your own precious time or energy to a deficit)? Is there a small lift you could offer? A note of encouragement? An invitation to read some work? A cup of coffee and a vote of confidence?

And if you have achieved something yourself: a degree, a certificate, an accolade…can you turn back around and help the next one in line? If we are going to sustain an excellence in our teaching profession we need to grow it. We need know we are not alone.

Always stay humble and kind.


One More Off My TBR Stack

forgotten city

FORGOTTEN CITY by Michael Ford
There is no shortage of dystopian books, but this one is unique in a number of ways. The world is not destroyed by war and conflict but rather by corporate greed. A deadly chemical (Waste) is unleashed on the world and devastates all life. Millions are killed and we think only Kobi and his father survive, but when Kobi’s father doesn’t return from one of his scientific missions, Kobi leaves their safe space to search for him. What he finds upends his reality…he finds he isn’t alone and cannot trust what he sees. So many twists and turns in this adventure: creative mutations, unexpected consequences, crafty characters all make this a terrific science fiction thriller. First in a series and currently on the 2019-20 MSBA list. A real page turner.

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