I'm feeling sentimental about closing this chapter of my teaching career. As a part of my normal teaching requirements, to stay current with my license, I took a class. I'd taken many classes over the years to stay "current" and "legal". Most of the classes involved technology integration, but this particular summer class transformed my teaching and connection that I had with every student from August 2009 to my last class homeroom class in spring of 2016. I look back at my first post, where I was trying to understand how to use the blog platform and feeling excited about it's possibilities. I always got excited and motivated to use a new form of technology in a way that would surely enhance student engagement and communication. Now, though, as I was browsing through my 978 posts, I am flooded with emotions and memories of not just "holy, moly, that's a lot of blogging I did" but the absolutely spectacular moments our 5B Family (that's how I always referred to my class each year) had together. It was crystal clear what kind of day we had by looking at the titles of each of the different posts over 7 years time. Here are just SOME of the 978 titles I posted. Please bear with me, I couldn't choose, so the list is long. And since, this blog is really for me and my reflection, you'll just have to deal with my stroll down memory lane (that is, if you're still even reading :o ). Yes, I know they are tiny, but just click on them, and each image with appear larger!
I know! The list was way long, and it took up a lot of space, and it probably means very little to the outside eye. But I look back at those titles and then the actual posts I wrote, and it instantly takes me back to "that class" or "that day" or "that time" in a way that a photograph or a vague memory that is locked away in my brain never would be able to get released.
Blogging and the use of my blog as a platform to organize content, communicate and structure just about every part of my school life made the past 7 years so rich and full of experiences that I can't imagine how we would have functioned without it. Now, I realize there are a bazillion ways to stay connected students, parents and the rest of the world at this point, with every type of social media available to kids as young as 5 (maybe younger!). And I definitely incorporated anything new, upbeat and foreseeably purposeful in my classroom over the years, but having that ONE concrete connection that always brought my 5B Family together is such a special gift that I'll always keep close to my core values about teaching (and just people). It's about connections. It's about being connected learners and wanting to allow kids any opportunity to feel that have something special. The content and information comes later and naturally, but it's the feeling of "home" that I'll miss most as I leave my own classroom for now. Hopefully, I'll get to live through it vicariously in all of the classrooms I visit through my new position as an Instructional Coach.
I'll be looking for a new or different template and format to share my learnings, share my reflections, and share the celebrations I see in all of the classrooms from Kindergarten through 12th grade as I start my new adventure!
But before I move forward, I thought a proper farewell to the blogspot, to the 5B Blogger and most importantly to the students and families of my 5B classes over the past years was necessary. You've made the blog a true "home" by checking it daily, nightly, searching and watching videos, following links and sometimes just showing "proof" that you checked it! Thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul. I wish you all the best. Thanks for following and the dedication you put towards making 5B Blogger a place we could connect.
So... I'm closing up... and moving on!