What I Learned About Being a Teacher…This Summer

Back to School – the time when students and teachers reunite with friends and colleagues and often begin the conversation with the question, “What did you do this summer?” The time when students write to various prompts that could be summarized as “How I spent my summer vacation.”

For me, “back to school” began mid-August in Ontario as Anne, Sandra, and I met for our Summer Institutes in Mississauga and Sudbury. One of the luxuries that co-presenting allows is time to record some of the language used by my colleagues, Anne and Sandra, as well as the educators who attend the sessions and share their thinking and expertise. I keep a pen in my hand and my learning journal open so that I can capture the words exactly as said and reflect upon them in the moment and into the future. Sometimes I adopt the language, making it part of my way of teaching. Other times, borrowing a phrase I heard Anne say many times when I was a classroom teacher trying to figure out what really worked for me, I adapt it to fit my own teaching style.

To learn more about the phrase that captured Brenda’s imagination this summer, we invite you to read her new blog post. For those of you interested in a longer read, we offer below this bookmark shared at our Summer Institutes – a list of some of our favourite reading material in the last year.

All our best,

Brenda, Anne, and Sandra

Anne, Sandra, and Brenda’s Recommended Reads 2015


Better by Atul Gawande

Communication Skills for Leaders April 2015 Vol.72, No. 7. Educational Leadership Journal (ASCD) http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/apr15/vol72/num07/toc.aspx

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

Defensible Teacher Evaluation: Student Growth Through Classroom Assessment by Richard J. Stiggins

Dream Big, starring Olivia by Ian Falconer

Euphoria by Lily King

Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed by Frances Westley, Brenda Zimmerman, and Michael Patton

Groups at Work: Strategies and Structures for Professional Learning by Laura Lipton and Bruce Wellman

How to Deliver a TED Talk: Secrets of the World’s Most Inspiring Presentations, Revised Edition by Jeremey Donovan

Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light

System leaders using assessment for learning as both the change and the change process: Developing theory from practice” by Anne Davies, Kathy Busick, Sandra Herbst, and Ann Sherman. Published in The Curriculum Journal Oct 2014 Vol.25, No.4, pp.567-592. DOI:10.1080/09585176.2014.964276 http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rcjo20/25/4