Leadership · Curriculum · Lifelong Learning

I love blogging. It’s here–in my #HamstraHighlights reflections–where my most meaningful learning happens. There are so many reasons why I blog, and it’s by far the best professional learning I’ve ever had.

Although each post is the culmination of my own personal experiences, I love sharing them with you, in hopes that you’ll reflect with me and help me become better through encouragement, support, and feedback. I look forward to learning and growing together in the future. I’m extremely grateful for you–my professional learning network members, teammates, and friends, near and far.

  • To those who’ve invested in me and learned alongside me, THANK YOU.

Finally, what I’m doing here isn’t my idea. In fact, I first saw Bill Ferriter recall his top reads at the end-of-the-year years ago, and I really like his concise, curated format. This year, I’m trying something new. I really like Jennifer Hogans Top Ten format where she also includes excerpts from each post.

  • To anyone who’s stopped by #HamstraHighlights in 2019, THANK YOU.

Here are the Top 5 #HamstraHighlights of 2019:

1ZZAZaA (My Son’s First Blog)

Excerpt: I’ve never lived nor believed in the perfect work–life balance. It doesn’t exist. When I’m really getting ahead in family time, work’s getting away. When I’m really getting work done, I feel a sickening guilt for not spending more time with my family. In fact, I can’t think of a time when there was ever work-life symmetry. Can you?

2Starting an Equity Team at my School

Excerpt: A few years ago, I never thought I would have done this. It has been one amazing learning experience so far, and I can’t wait to share it with you. In addition to my own equity journey, I think I’ve grown through the perspective lens of a future administrator as well. Starting an Equity Team and facilitating its meetings were crucial parts of a much larger whole.

3Trade Days

Excerpt: There are kids all across the land learning the exact same things in learning spaces with educators who have never connected, communicated, or collaborated on how to do teaching better. Doesn’t that strike you as really odd?

4What I Never Knew as a Classroom Teacher

Excerpt: Until I began researching and studying some of the things principals do, I simply did not know that there was so much…  that I didn’t know… as a classroom teacher and STEM Specialist. And one year into my MSA is more than enough to be humbled, all over again. I’m just beginning my internship, and I can’t wait to learn more.

5Snapshots, Soundbites, Shame

Excerpt: If you genuinely want the answer, you could send a direct message on a back channel to the one with whom you have a disagreement. That would get the job done. But if you want the show–if you believe everyone can benefit from the learning OR if you just want to shame someone–then, by all means, posting publicly is the way to go.

Here are some reflections that I was hoping would make the Top 5:

#Teacherlife–Child Care Doubts

Excerpt: It’s at this point that I’ll be inspecting any breathing organisms within the child care facility with a magnifying glass and several other scientific instruments.

#Teacherlife–Child Care–Day 1

Excerpt: As a parent, now, it’s very apparent how my perspective has changed from what I thought parents really cared about at Meet the Teacher, for example, to what just happened! What did I really care about right then? My reflections shocked me.

Drama That Sticks

Excerpt: The elephant isn’t just in the room. The elephant is riding you. It’s a thorn in your side, a cumulonimbus cloud overhead, and a creepy shadow that follows you. It restrains you from happiness and de-creases your genuine smile. It’s constantly stressing you out.

The Winning Perspective 

Excerpt: So. Beautiful. Amen. A moment when you can hear yourself exhale. Seriously all torn up inside–crying right now. A moment when anything with a pulse cries with you. Did that just happen? A single moment with everlasting implications.

The Leadership Line

Excerpt: The point at which one knows, embraces, and demonstrates service to others is the moment in which one crosses the line into leadership. The point at which one transitions from collecting gold stars to giving gold stars is the moment in which a leader is born. The point at which one’s actions of service reflect one’s words of service is the moment in which authentic leadership takes root.

Another Look at 40

Excerpt: If I’ve run the race to win the competition and earn all the accolades, while having never meaningfully known nor collaborated with others, then what have I really gained?

#WhyITeach: Part I

Excerpt: Over the summer of 2018, I had the honor of experiencing some edtech professional learning sessions offered by my district. After the morning sessions, a friend and I enjoyed lunch at a local barbecue restaurant… And behold! Our server was one of my former students. Immediately, she introduced herself and asked if I remembered her Really? Of course I did! What I remember was…

Inescapable Small Wins

Excerpt: Entering the room, I could feel the excitement. Even before any clues were discovered, translated, and applied as interlocking pieces in a much bigger puzzle, I fell in love with the process. While teammates scurried about every crevice seeking hard evidence to unlock the mystery, a few simple observations became apparent:

#Fitat40: The 72-Hour Lifestyle

Excerpt: This year, I turned 40 years old. A new parent now, I want to be there for my family for many, many years to come. When starting to work out to take care of my body, I recalled coach’s words from that practice.

Thank you for another great year, my friends!

Here’s to a wonderful 2020!

From the archives:

Top 5 #HamstraHighlights of 2018

Top 5 #HamstraHighlights of 2017 

What are your thoughts? Comment here!

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