Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Walk Down Memory Lane

I could never capture my years at Chets in a single blog or even in a dozen blogs...  I have written about many of the people that have made life at Chets such an amazing place to teach but there are so many others.  I could never list them all... However, through the years Maria Mallon, Cheryl Dillard, Elizabeth Conte, Debbie Harbour and Tracy Ruark have been my on-going PLC.  Others have joined for a year or two, in and out, and have certainly made their mark on my life but that core group of K-1 "loopers" has always embraced new learning and been the place where I could
bounce my craziest ideas and newest thoughts. They have always shared my enthusiasm because they too are each lifelong learners and take the mission as seriously as I do. They are risk takers, hard workers and, oh, so much fun! They are full of joy!  Each has the ability to lead and they have each led at different times in different ways.  They are all "eagles" and just flying in their company makes me better. I am a better teacher - and a better person - because of the time I have spent with them... I am forever indebted.

My techy friends, KK and Melanie
One of my other longtime literacy learning partners has been our Reading Coach, Melanie Holtsman. She shares blogs, books and articles, and ideas on  a daily basis. She's a creative, out-of-the-box thinker and always takes a different twist to what "could" be done.  She has so willingly shared the knowledge and ideas she has brought back as a Google Certified Teacher and from Teachers College and is often my thinking partner. She taught me to blog (and how to use my iphone!)  Because of Melanie, there are people who think I am technologically savvy, but those people have no idea! I still can't work the document camera and projector! I always had to get my co-teacher to teach a kindergartner of first grader to use that basic equipment so when one of the teachers is absent, I can get through the day!  I could fill a book with what I can't do and will never understand, and if it weren't for Melanie answering my stupidest questions at all
It's always been about the children.
times of the day and night, I would get nothing done.  She has pushed and dragged me into this techy century, one careful step at a time.  I have always been her daily RtI group (she was a Special Education teacher so I benefit from her best strategies!), but honestly, she has made it possible for me to laugh through it all. I will be indebted to her always, for her immense knowledge and her forever friendship...  and will always have her on speed dial!

I have really only blogged about life from a K-1 teacher's perspective all these years, but just as much could have been written about what has been going on in our intermediate school at the Creek over these last 18 years, especially when it comes to results. Melanie  has led the charge in literacy K-5, standing on the shoulders of the work that has been done by Lucy Calkins and her colleagues at Teachers' College.  Melanie holds the banner high as both new and seasoned literacy teachers do the hard work of preparing our students for high stakes testing, but so much more than that, preparing them for life.  Suzanne Shall and Angela Phillips have led the charge in Math and in Suzanne's absence this year, Angela carries the banner using her own classroom as the Math lab without missing a beat.   Carolyn Swidorsky has led Science K-5 from inside her classroom too, making sure that the lower grades build a foundation that can hold the "skyscraper" that is built in fifth.

Of course, it hasn't always been just about risks and results because much of our time has been spent on relationships. The pictures that follow in no way represent all that has happened at Chets during my time here, but they do represent some of my fondest memories.  Here's a quick glimpse of this one teacher's incredible journey.


                                                                                                                      Your want me to be a what? a Barbie doll?!
The first "Dream Team!"

With Sharon Taberski

With Fountas and Pinnell

                                                            We're in Hollywood! I never did learn all the words to that apple bottom boots song!


Duval County Teacher of the Year 

Almost falling off the back!

The brothers Bush

With Kyleen Beers
With Lucy Calkins

Honoring Betsy

Praying for Rebecca                                                                           

                                                                                      The wack-a-doodles

Professional Development

Wild and wonderful - Greatest Journey on Earth!


Anonymous said...

dayle, These pictures are priceless. There are so many friends who helped build Chets Creek who have gone to other places - so wonderful to see their faces and remember the happy memories. Thank you for digging through your treasures to share with others. We sure do have a great time at school, don't we?! Love, Karen Morris

Melanie Holtsman said...

No words. I know I will always have my invisible WWDD bracelet on. And you better keep that phone ringer ON because you will be on our speed dial!!

Suzanne said...

Such a special chapter in our lives together. I loved every moment!

Mrs. McLeod said...

Such a wild ride! Thanks for sharing your journey with us. XO Carrie

Karen Meissner said...

Thanks for sharing your incredible memories! I'll miss your encouraging thoughts! So glad I got to travel to Utah with YOU! Godspeed dear friend!! Meissner

Kk Cherney said...

Can't get better than this.

Mrs. Patricia Wallace said...

"That's what makes you beautiful!" 💜👑💜

Maria Mallon & Cheryl Dillard said...

We love our one and only dayley...