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The Formative Feedback Project is a collaborative curation of best practices in educational strategies, ideas, resources. Specializing in student ownership, engagement, feedback loops and collaborative, effective feedback.

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A New Lens.

Taylor Meredith

I am preparing to enter my tenth year as a teacher. This year it will be with a new lens. I made the extremely difficult decision to leave my district and role as a fifth grade teacher. And I am thrilled to share that I have accepted a position in a new district as an Instructional Coach.

I am elated to be in a place that will offer new challenges and opportunities, I know that this will be a year of learning, collaboration and growth. I am also nervous and honestly, a little sad. Yesterday, my previous school posted class lists and students were able to tour their new rooms. Our classroom was always very calm (a lot of grey and white) and natural (rocks, birch bark and water). I kept the walls and bulletin boards empty until the students were able to create - the room was never mine, it was always theirs. Previously on this day, always got skeptical questions from parents about the lack of bright color and store-bought posters. I loved those questions. I would choose a book to read on the first day of school and re-read the books I use to teach Levels of Responsibility (our classroom management system - based solely on internal motivation and feedback). The printer would be buzzing with sheets of labels and composition notebooks would be neatly placed on desks. 

At the end of last year I read, What Do You Do With An Idea, with the class as I gave them my final newsletter sharing the news of a new adventure. With tears in our eyes they asked if they could sign my copy with notes and words to remember. It took weeks before I could read those words without crying and I have tears pooling in my eyes as I type this post. They reminded me of everything that I had hoped they would learn in their 5th grade year, everything we had worked so hard on everyday.

I was reminded that without a valley I will never climb a mountain.

And that challenges are when we learn the most.

Also, I shouldn't forget to take ownership over my learning when I know things AND when I don't.

They told me to take care of myself and those around me and to always try my best.

Trust myself.

To greet everyone by name first thing in the morning with good eye contact and a smile.

Question everything.

Don't forget to workout my coding muscles (we dabbled in coding and learning Morse code last year)

To ask for feedback, please.

Stretch my brain so that I can learn new things.

They reminded me that we are powerful and natural explorers

With these words I will steadily move into this new year, new place, and new role with new mountains and valleys ahead of me and a new lens. Thank you, Meredith Masterminds.

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