Noelle: All right, so here's another question. The
drive where your brain is focused on relaxing: what question or what
thought popped in your mind? Because every teacher always thinks back to
something in their classroom. So as you were on your way to relax, what
teacher-thought popped in your head?
Sharon: Well, because I'm looking at all this
beautiful nature, and in fourth grade we learn about Florida and the
Everglades and all of the things that the fabulous Sunshine State has to
offer, I'm looking at things like, Oh, I can include that next year. We
didn't learn about that. Oh, look at that.
Always thinking of new ideas and different things that I didn't cover
as I see something on the side of the road, or as we pass something. I
need to do that next year, I need to cover this part. So that would be
my teacher moment as I was trying to relax on my way to a short
Noelle: I know—isn't it hard to explain to your
family that that is relaxing? You’re just, all of a sudden like, I might
need that brochure because that's going to give me an idea for a
writing activity. Or, Ooh, that's a cool commercial. I like how they did
that video. Maybe I'll have my students explain this concept. It's part
of being a teacher.
So, what's summer look like for you, Sharon. What are the three things that are top of mind for you to do this summer?
Sharon: Sure. First thing I need to perfect is video
recording myself so that I can upload it into a digital platform if
need be. I was a little reluctant on that and I tended to prefer to go
live, but we don't really know what scenario the school district is
going to come up with—things change moment to moment, day to day.
But I feel like I need it to take this opportunity to challenge
myself, to become even better at doing things digitally. While I feel
like I really learned quite a bit in the last quarter of this past
school year, there's more I can do.
And that's one of the things that I'm going to be looking at. Also, I
need to look at a way to connect with my new students. If we are not in
a building—or if we are not all in a building at the same time
together—how am I going to create a classroom and family environment
that I have done successfully every year, where we truly become a
community of learners and respecting one another?
And finally, I think that I'm looking at some of the things like I
always do every summer. I reflect back and think, what did I do this
past year that was successful? What did I do that was just okay? And
what am I going to keep? So those are the things, the three things that
I'm going to be focusing on this summer.
Noelle: Those are worthy. They are reflective, and they are definitely purposeful.
If you remember when we were together in person, I asked you what
your walk-up song would be. I'm going to ask you again, but in a new
context. Today, Sharon, what would be your walk-up song?
Sharon: I would say my walk-up song would be I Will Survive,
and I say that because no matter what has been thrown at me, whether it
be in my personal life, whether it be in my professional life, I feel
as though I have hit the challenge head-on and come out a better person
And from a person who truly [is not] really that technology savvy,
when I look at what just happened here in the walls of my home this last
quarter—and how instead of being afraid to meet the challenge head-on, I
just dove right in—I will survive no matter what.
I will survive and be successful with my students. If we're back in
the building, if we're not back in the building, if we're part-time,
whatever it is, I'm going to make it—and make it successful for not just
myself, but those around me.
Noelle: I'm grateful for you and what you instill in
your students. That’s what I was able to see when we were together in
person, and that's what our audience is still able to hear in your
voice, is what you just said. It's not just, I will survive. It's that
because you see hope and you have hope that you teach that, and you
instill that in your students.
And so thank you, Sharon, for spending time with me to talk and catch
up, and I look forward to the next time where it will be back in
person, I'm sure. So thank you, and thank you everyone for listening.
Sharon: Thanks, Noelle. My pleasure.
Lish: If you’d like to be a guest on the Learning Moments: Teachers in America podcast, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be the first to hear new episodes of Learning Moments by subscribing on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
We hope you enjoyed today's show. Please rate and review and share with your network. You can find Teachers in America on the HMH YouTube channel, and read more on our Shaped blog by visiting hmhco.com/shaped for the transcript and key takeaways. The links are in the show notes.
During this time, HMH is supporting educators and parents with free
learning resources for students. You can visit hmhco.com/learning
support for more information.
Learning Moments is produced by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, The Learning Company. Thanks again for listening.
How are you navigating a remote and in-person school year? Explore HMH Connected Teaching and Learning to address instructional planning, remote teaching and learning, equity and access, and professional learning.