Friday, January 1, 2016

Top 12 Going Against the Grain Posts From 2015

Here are my top 12 posts from the past 12 months, based on views.
They show my thinking, my struggles, my joys.
My journey as an educator.
I love this profession.

1. 53 Precious Minutes 8/16/15 (1,024 views)

    This post evolved as I tried to wrap my head around teaching all of the ELA standards in 53 minutes each day (which is actually 50 minutes when you remove passing time). I wanted to focus on all of the experiences that I knew would keep my students excited about reading, writing, speaking and listening.

 2. Reading Freedom 8/29/15 (953 views)
    This post was inspired by my reading of The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner. I was thoroughly enjoying the book, and was struck by how frustrating it must be when students are assigned books (lacking choice) and are asked to complete worksheets or answer questions about their books. I knew i wouldn't want my pleasure reading ruined in this way, and wanted to reflect on how I could create the same pleasurable reading experiences for my students.

3. I'm Not in Kansas Anymore 9/12/15 (822 views)
     This post was my response to a conversation I had with my instructional coach one morning. I was trying to be the same teacher I was in elementary (with 120 minutes each day for ELA and 55 students) as in middle school (with 50 minutes each day for ELA and 130 students). He helped me realize I would go crazy that way. I needed to find a way to be me in this new place.

4. Owning My Teacher Failures 9/20/15 (603 views)
     This post grew from the realization that although I encourage my students to learn from their failures, I wasn't owning mine. As I thought back on my first few weeks as a middle school teacher, I felt it was important to acknowledge my failures in an attempt to better my teaching. Now that I think about it, I have failed so many more times since this post.

5. I Say Yes to the Desk 8/23/15 (582 views)
     After reading so many articles about getting rid of teacher desks, I felt strongly about keeping mine. I wanted to be brave and share my thoughts. This post inspired many who felt similarly, as well as those who disagreed with me. That's ok. We can agree to disagree. Just do what feels right for you.

6. My Twitter Chat Menu 8/13/15 (572 views)
     This post was inspired by a Twitter chat, hosted by the amazing Michael Matera. I was a learner in that chat, having nothing much to share with others on the topic of gamification (where Michael is the expert). It inspired me to think about the different purposes for joining chats. Sometimes I share, sometimes I discuss, sometimes I lurk and learn, and other times I stretch. 

7. Multiple Personalities 8/2/15 (553 views)
Writing this post was cathartic. I had been unsuccessfully to clone myself into all of my teacher heroes. I say unsuccessfully because I was never going to be as good as each one of my mentors. Luckily, I don't have to be. I just need to take the best parts of them and incorporate it into my teaching. It's me, but better.

8. The Little #stu2stuchat That Could! 2/27/15 (470 views)
I wrote this post when my #stu2stuchat was on a roll. Wanting to reflect on its origins and marvel at how a little idea, with effort and belief, can become something bigger than you imagined. So proud!

9. I'm a Bookaholic 8/8/15 (468 views)
This post was a way to reflect on my reading life. The way I approached pleasure reading. The sheer magnitude of choosing reading material from the vast array of incredible books. I realized that I was addicted to reading, hence the title of this post.

10. The Power of a PLN 9/5/15 (361 views)
I wrote this post to honor my PLN. Having just had yet another amazing discussion with one of my Voxer groups, I thought about how fortunate I have been to know and access the collective wisdom of so many educators outside my building. These connections have made me a much better teacher. For that, I am so grateful. I hope to inspire them in the same ways.

11. My PD Stack 7/31/15 (317 views)
The sheer number of PD books in my stack inspired this post. I needed some way to process the importance of reading and learning from PD books. The power of choice and utilizing my time to push myself as an educator. My stack has meaning to me. I hope yours does as well.

12. Who I Read For 8/5/15 (308 views)
As I was reading a plethora of books last summer, I got to thinking about the students I was reading for. Even though i read for pleasure, I always read with students in mind. Who might connect with this book? Who might like this book after reading another? Who might see themselves in this book? Who might understand someone else after reading this book? Over winter break, my goal was to read 16 books in 16 days. I met my goal, and realized I read for many of my students. I can't wait to share these books with them.

Happy New Year everyone!
Thanks for reading posts from Going Against the Grain in 2015. There's much more to come...

1 comment:

  1. What a successful year of teaching and blogging you've had! Kudos, Sandy! Thank you for reflecting and letting us in on your journey - it makes us all better together! Here's to 2016!