I'm not going to lie about the mixed feelings I have as the end of the school year comes to a close. I feel a little angst about the time off, a little worried about how some students spend their summer in isolation, coupled with anticipation of August knowing full well I'll have forgotten all about these mixed feelings. Sheesh.
John-Pio's class is doing a 26 day alphabet countdown until the end of the year and tomorrow is "I" day which means "Ice Treat Day" for all 3rd graders. For me though, I'm going to let "I" stand for "Influence" in order to recognize certain people for having a profound influence on me as an educator.
Rosemary Baron - You were my first principal in my first job as a teacher, not to mention the only other non-Mormon in our building. We had a unique bond from the get-go and you ingrained in me the philosophy of inclusion which I believe is a core part of who I am as a teacher.
Winn Egan - It was so long ago that you advised me through my graduate work not to mention, the work we did to develop and implement the "These Kids Are Driving Me Nuts!" curriculum which I believe has reached thousands of parents and teachers throughout the west and midwest. You were the enthusiast in my early young adult life and I feel I carry that same torch of enthusiasm now.
Litler Matson - It's not just who you are to me but who you helped me become as an educator and person. Thank you for filling the voids and for making me - seriously you made me - look at my practices and relationships with kids in a whole new way. There's more to it but lets just say that you get me. These days I hear your voice whenever something is hard, confusing, or just plain 'ol wrong.
Kate Jorgensen - You question the status quo and always put the craziness in its place. Thanks for pushing me to create dynamic curriculum and for looking at my work as a true professional - our bonus of course, is in our friendship and the fact that we get to work side-by-side every day.
There are many other Influencers like Lois Bell, Erica Gottschalk, Barb Brodhagen, Ann Yehle, Nancy Casillas, Susan Wrathall, William Purkey, Chris Emdin, Dr. Def . . . the list is actually a finite one, because people who influence are just that special. And I would never ever in a million years forget to mention my husband Brad who tops the list for his support, flexibility, and love.