Monday, December 31, 2012


Who knew one-little-word could be so extremely powerful. Around every corner you lurked, popping out when I least expected it and dazzling me with your brilliance. You brightened my year, as I worked to achieve personal and professional goals.

I needed you through good times and bad. When amazing things happened and I wanted to shout from the rooftops, you were there. When tough times arose and I wanted to curl up and retreat, you were there. When I was at a standstill and unsure of the path to take, you were there.

INSPIRE, you allowed me to find my way on my learning journey but guided me gracefully in a purposeful direction. You also took the time to help me recognize & celebrate my growth. Sometimes you glistened through the words, ideas, and comfort of close friends. Sometimes you spoke gently through the close embrace of family members. Often you boldly showed your face in blogs, articles, quotes, art and books. And as 2012 gained momentum, I found you speaking through me, and I humbly accepted the honor. The year became more about sharing you with others than seeking you out for myself.

Thank you for being by my side during 2012. This is not good-bye, but rather I would like to think of you as a true friend in which I will keep in close contact with through the years to come You have taught me so much, especially how to BELIEVE in myself and the journey in which I continue to travel.

I appreciate you, friend.

Voice for 2013

Well like most people I am often drawn to the NEW YEAR hype of starting over, sort of a reboot if you will. Instead this year I am choosing to be inspired by my pal Celina, and this quote from Whole Living Magazine:


it's an opportunity to take your next big step.

So Step 1 One-Little-Word: Every year about this time I think of what word will be my guide through the year. Past words have included BREATHE when I was a stay-at-home mom, and FAITH when I returned to the work force. In 2012 my word was COURAGE and I remember being completely curious last year at this time as to why that word kept coming up. Well, thankfully it was the word I chose, I needed courage in spades in 2012 to keep moving forward. The word served me well, pushed me and helped me to discover hidden levels of strength I didn't know I possessed.
This past month I have been contemplating words and the one that kept speaking to me (no pun intended) was VOICE, so gauging that my intuition knows me best I am moving forward with it for 2013. Now I am considering what I will use my VOICE for, where I will use it, how it will serve me in conversations and interactions. The thing with VOICE is that you have to know when to speak and at the same time when not to, like any delicate balancing act. In my mind’s eye, I see myself working on my skills of communication, intentional listening, effective feedback and understanding from other points of view.  At the same time I will be continuing to reflect and refine my VOICE through writing, blogging, and discussing with Celina and my other teaching partners.  Even my at-home self needs to learn to hold her VOICE when attempting to talk reason with a hungry pre-teen and tired teenager!
Sometimes my voice will be loud and sometimes silent, and I am perfectly fine with figuring it out as I go, learning along the way and evolving into someone who uses VOICE for good in the world. Let 2013 enter with a hue and a cry, and of course VOICE! ~Ann
Found Here

Sunday, December 30, 2012


What an amazing year it had been! It seems as though it flew by ever so quickly, though... Anyone else have that feeling?

Maybe it's because it was jam packed with events, goals, moments to treasure, and endless reading. (I must take this moment to personally thank Apple for helping me truly organize my life at my fingertips! ...2012 was a year of getting to know all the potential in my devices!) Simply put, my iPad was FULL of books to pack everywhere I went. My iPhone Notepad was consistently crammed with goal lists & my Calendar was full of family events and professional meetings; both apps thankfully keeping me be responsible and focused through the busy weeks. My iPhone camera kept track of all the priceless moments, as I greatly enjoyed my inspirational journey through the year. And my extensive apps and music kept my mind challenged, relaxed, and entertained. :)

As I look back on the year and my own professional growth, I continue to be reminded of and inspired by Seth Godin's "Shipping List". When I consider my highlights of 2012, I think again of the moments that have given me the inspiration to keep up my momentum. And I ponder the professional successes that will carry over into 2012 as encouragement.

So... here is my 2nd annual INSPIRATION LIST:
- Beginning a successful 2nd year of our Multiage Pilot with Ann.
- Becoming a Whole Child Blogger for ASCD.
- Presenting with Ann at the WSASCD conference in Seattle.
(Empower Students: 5 Powerful Strategies)
- Introducing Brain Books to other educators
- Chatting with my PLN regarding inspiring educational ideas
(#21stedchat, #gtie, #5thchat, #4thchat, #gtchat)
- Connecting w/ like minded educators around the globe often
(@KLirenman, @cherylsteighner, @ktvee, @Kkht6912- Thank you for our frequent conversations!)
- Researching best practices amidst dynamic changes
- Facilitating local professional development opportunities
- Reading a variety of text to enhance my own personal growth
- Conversing, communicating, and collaborating with Ann
(I think we share a brain some days!)

Big things are on the horizon. I sense exciting moments, engaging conversations, thoughtful goals, and intense reflection around the corner in 2013. INSPIRE will send me into the new year, BELIEVE will be waiting to guide me on my 365 day journey. I can't wait...


Friday, December 7, 2012

Whole Child Blog Post

Ann and I are celebrating! We recently wrote a post for the Whole Child Blog focused on our Students-Standards-Curriculum Philosophy. It was recently published. A very humbling moment. Here is the link:

The Whole Child Theme for November was focused on cultivating a culture that supports the whole child. Would this mindset of "Students First, then Standards, then Curriculum" work for you and your team? Would love to hear your feedback :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad