I met Jen Aston 2 years ago, when she joined our team of 38 Instructional Coaches. Following a session on Blogging, she started posting about a year ago. Jen reflects on a consistent basis and has posted to her blog at least once a month. In conjunction with her current role of supporting the educators in her schools, she also provides a great deal of technology leadership for her coaching team. This past year, Jen and a colleague Dawn Telfer started hosting a weekly FSL Twitter chat and they are about to embark on a TLLP project focusing on using technology to support FSL instruction. Jen’s work with the Literacy team has most recently involved collecting information on what our Grade 7 students classify as “Hot Reads”.
I love Jen’s passion for all things technology, knowing that she bases her real passion on solid pedagogy, which engages both educators and students. This is but one of her blogs, which has forced me to stop and consider my role as a leader in the field of education.
Jen’s Post ~ Significant Events and Identity
Your last line “how do you want to be remembered?” is one that I’ve been thinking a great deal about lately. Probably because we are once again coming to the end of another school year. As a classroom teacher, I would imagine that we want to know, how will this year’s group of students remember me? Will they remember a specific unit of study, a special event, an activity or a trip? As a school principal, I would imagine that we want to know how, not only our students, but our broader parent community and staff will remember this past year? Did we host an event that lead to real change in our community? As a staff did we truly come together and make a difference in the lives of our students? As a leader, what impact did I have on the career of a new teacher or an experienced educator? As a system principal, I am asking myself the same question ~ how will I be remembered by our Languages team and by our Instructional coaches? If I were to pen a narrative about this last year, I can’t help but wonder which components I would include and would those items of importance to me be similar through the lens’ of others?
Do the significant events of the last year directly connect to my identity as an educator? Great post, Jen! As always you’ve given your readers lots to think about!
Who expected our #fslchat to take off? Not me, but Jen is someone who encourages those around her to take risks. Thanks to her, I have jumped into the world of blogging. We are grateful for leadership at the system level (Thanks Sue) who encourage us to explore new opportunities.
The activity in the blog you listed above was about what impacts us and just lends to how we impact others. I was thinking today “what are the 5 things that have most impacted me as an educator?”. I wonder about doing an activity like that with other coaches or teachers and what common threads would surface.
I know I have definitely grown having you as a supervisor (and colleague). You have given me great feedback that has been supportive and that has pushed me to do better at the same time.
I look forward to reading other blogs that you will feature this month.
I’ve watched with great interest as Jen and Dawn’s FSL twitter chat has grown. I enjoy reading her blog and the insights she provides to readers. In your response to her blog you ask some very important, reflective questions. When leaders reflect on their impact on students and staff they can only grown.
It is your leadership at the system level that has inspired so many instructional leaders to move their own practice forward and to embrace social media for learning and reflecting.
We are lucky to have you in TVDSB!