Saturday, August 19, 2017

You Be You

One of the hardest parts of being part of a new team is finding a groove between what I believe is the most effective way to keep things student-centered and the traditions of the team. There is a lot of "well, this is the way we've always done it". And it's hard for me because I have always done it another way, a way I believe is more meaningful.

Part of our training involved the text Stellaluna. We read it and then used it for our activities. We were asked what the message of the story was--if you are not familiar with the story here is a quick synopsis. A mama bat accidentally drops her baby when they are attacked by an owl. The baby bat ends up in a bird's nest and is taken care of by the mama bird who can't hide her frustration at the bat's eccentricities compared to her offspring. In the end he finds his mama and is still friends with the birds. Someone at my table said the moral of the story was "you be you". Don't let the world and circumstances change who you are. I LOVE that!! And it struck me-that's what I have to remember as well as I set up my room. I'm surrounded by rooms that have matching chevron prints everywhere and colorful tissue paper flowers.

Don't get me wrong-they are beautiful rooms. Mine in comparison is very plain:

However, I like it that way (and that's not my Pee-Wee Herman response of I meant to do that). I want to fill it with student work, with things that will be meaningful to my kiddos. I want to meet my kiddos before I make decisions of what to emphasize in our layout. 

We use Conscious Discipline at this school and most teachers have  Kindness Tree where students can put leaves throughout the year showing ways they were kind to others. This is my tree:

It doesn't look like the other teachers' because I had the students each draw a branch at our Meet-and-Greet. I wanted them to have ownership of it. For it to be meaningful to them not just something I created.

So whether you are at a new campus like me, or working with colleagues you have known for a while--remember to BE YOU. Even if you feel badly not going along with the team, you need to do what is best for your students. They are counting on you to be you!


  1. Amen! The new teacher I was mentoring last year was worried about her bare walls at the beginning of the year. I told her not to worry. It left lots of room for her and kids to build their room together.

  2. How lucky that teacher was to be mentored by you!! :)