Monday, June 5, 2017

Championships Are Won In The Off Season- Guest Blog by Sarah Van Brimmer


There’s a saying in football that championships are made in the off-season.  This couldn’t be more true for educators who are soaking up some much needed relaxation and downtime.  I have yet to meet a single educator who doesn’t pursue some kind of professional development or additional learning in the summer months.  And it’s no wonder.  All that down time has some serious benefits.  Educators’ brains are primed for reflection and making deep connections that build strong instructional leaders. As we pursue our goal of taking VBE all the way to an A, we are armed with stacks of books in our beach bags and mini-getaways embedded with Kagan strategies and Project-Based Learning.  




Here’s my personal summer PD goals:  

Fostering Resilient Learners:  Strategies for Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom – I am totally in love with this book.  Not only will you learn about your students and how you can meet the needs of diverse populations – but you’ll also learn an awful lot about yourself.  This is a perfect summer read that’s not too heavy but will help you recharge your spark and connect to your “why.” I am hosting a Twitter slow chat beginning June 26 – so jump in on the fun and hear from the authors themselves!  

Poor Students, Rich Teaching:  Mindsets for Change by Dr. Eric Jensen: This is our schoolwide book study and I’m looking forward to seeing how this connects to last summer’s Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind.  Dr. Jensen is well-versed in the science behind the brain and learning but his books are practical, relatable, and easy to read.  

Conferring with Readers & WritersA webinar from Heinemann Publishing Company led by Carl Anderson and Dan Feigelson models how to implement student-led conferencing and goal-setting. I have watched the first session and I love the examples of real kids.  Carl Anderson is a rock star and manages to elicit a goal, teach a strategy, observe guided practice and give feedback in about 7 minutes.  #goals.  


About the Guest Blogger:

Sarah Van Brimmer is a Title 1 Literacy Coach at Vero Beach Elementary. She is a mother, wife, teacher, reader, & writer. She aspires to bring joy and magic to students through reading & writing.