I, Joy Kirr, am a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. My 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of my learning experiences... Want to have me speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is my PORTFOLIO.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

2021-2022 Digital Scrapbook

Phew. Year 27 is finished. I hope the kids learned something.

So... this isn't really a list of the PD I've done this year... unless actually working is considered professional development (which it probably should be). There are some PD opportunities I took sprinkled in, but this is a shortened version of what I tried to accomplish this school year. I don't think I was as good of a teacher as I was last year. Last year, I was able to connect with more students individually (was it due to Zoom?), and I sent those kids postcards and letters of encouragement all year. Not this year.  


Attended a one-hour session on Evolving Learner: Inquiry-Based Learning

- I tried to keep students three-feet apart. 
- I tried to do attendance correctly. (I only got two emails about it all year!)
- I participated in every Equity Committee meeting at school for the second year in a row.
- I went back to going without points/marks (until the term ends) with my seventh graders.
- I practiced keeping work at work, so I can decompress and process the days at home.

- I quit trying to keep students three feet apart. This group is handsy. Very handsy.

- I was invited to be a contributor to a Twitter EdCamp on #Ungrading - we used Twitter spaces for my first time.

- We went to "mask recommended" due to a lawsuit against IL schools. Bad behaviors increased, respect went down, and I considered retiring early once again.
- I presented virtually on Passion Projects / Genius Hour, and was able to attend one day of the IDEA Conference here in Schaumburg, IL.

- I took a course through our district, provided by a teacher in the district. It was a book study of A Little Guide for Teachers: Teacher Wellbeing and Self-Care.
I put hope to the side for a bit, and I learned to be (or try to be) resigned (instead of discouraged) to certain things that are out of my control.
- I began practicing breathing with my students - I logged into the HeadSpace site (which is free for educators). Some students appreciated it, and some made fun of it. At least it helped ME.

- June 3rd - our last day of this school year. I survived, and I was fortunate to be able to keep my family safe. Again, I am learning from the scars. I was able to reach a couple of students in a couple of ways, and I practiced how to breathe between stimuli and my reaction. I read a ton of books (catch me on Goodreads), and I spent a ton of time with my husband.

The bits of love from the seventh graders keep me coming back...