One Day…

So last night I drove home from a National Board Pre-Candidacy class filled with teachers eager to learn about the process and how it impacts their teaching. I left with a great feeling, I was happy and inspired; I was content. Interestingly I began to notice things around me. I listened closely to the songs that played on my iPod. I noticed the billboard advertisements and cars zooming by. I noticed things I had never stopped to notice before.

Now it is Wednesday morning and I am still content, still noticing. On my way to work I noticed two small groups of birds taking a rest on the telephone lines. I noticed there were more trucks than cars going west bound on the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. I noticed how the tumbleweeds turned a golden brown when the sun hit them just right. I noticed patches of rich green grass in the washes. I noticed things that I have never stopped to notice before. For the past few years I have been so focused on getting to work, that I missed everything in between.

Today walking into school I decided that despite the state of education in Arizona and even though over $500 million may be cut from the K-12 education budget next year, I was going to stop and notice. I was going to make a difference today. Walking into school I was stopped by a first grade teacher, who went through her math standards and created a checklist of specific skills she wanted to be sure to teach each week. Wow, I was so glad I walked in at that time. I walked through the office talking with her. When I got to my room, our PE teacher shared with me her reflection of a lesson we videotaped the day before, she was very excited saying that the kids made her look good. As I sit here and reflect, I realize I need to notice more often.

I have come to realize that when people ask how thinks are going, I respond, “Blurry.” So I have decided that my job, the teachers at my school and the kids are way to important not notice. I have taken things for granted. With budget cuts looming and teacher lay offs inevitable, it is very important for me to stop and notice. I don’t know to what extend the budget cuts will affect my job, the teachers in my school, or in my district, but I do know that I can impact students and teachers everyday by just stopping to notice. Will you join me and slow down just enough to notice? I invite you to notice the people at your school, the students in your classroom and how they make you feel. How you make them feel.


Jen Robinson

Jen Robinson

Maricopa, Arizona

Hello, my name is Jen Robinson. I have been in education for over 20 years. I began teaching in Buffalo, NY in 1992, as a pre-school special education teacher. My experience ranges from primary grades through high school. My husband and I moved to Arizona in 2001, where we were fortunate enough to teach at the same school. In 2004, I achieved National Board Certification and currently support candidates. In 2011 I completed my Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation. My dissertation research focused on supporting National Board candidates through their certification process. During the 2012-2013 school year, I completed my National Board renewal process. It was humbling and very powerful to step back into a classroom. I am currently an elementary principal. I am excited and hopeful for the new school year. I also serve on the Arizona Teacher Solutions Team where we are solutions focused in an effort to transform and elevate the teaching profession.

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