This is the latest in a series of blogs from the teacher cohort.
By Lindsey Lamm
I did not set out for this blog post to be as reflective and sappy as it is going to be. However, if I have learned anything from #TheFluencyProject so far, the “final product” in any given circumstance is probably going to be the exact opposite of what I originally thought it was going to be. (#transparency)
I set out writing this post as a reflection of what I have learned over the past eleven months. I could fill multiple pages with anecdotal notes and thoughts regarding my growth as an educator. (#numbersandnarrative) However, I tried to step back and generalize why this experience has been so rewarding. My conclusion is simple (and, surprising to no one that knows me, mirrors a mantra of the local hockey team currently in the Stanley Cup playoffs). Our success comes from the people in the room...every one of them. (#equity) Sure, we have partnered with and made quite a few connections over the last eight months with various groups of people across the United States. (#relationships) I need to point out just how important those connections have been to the program implementations and changes in our classrooms. Please do not allow this to demean the importance of these connections. I just believe the people in the room are more important to the overall success of this project.
In the room (where it happens…hehehe), we’re brutally, respectfully, and unabashedly honest. (#safety) That took time to feel each other out, build relationships, and, honestly, find our “place” in the Fluency family. We all know that the only way to grow as educators is to challenge personal beliefs and learn from others. Sure, we can learn from books and research, but learning from others is so much more dynamic. I truly believe each of us (#chooses) to be open-minded and ready to learn each and every time we are together. I couldn’t be more thankful for the team that poured hours into putting this team together based on applications. The connections I’ve been able to make over the last eleven months will be lifelong friendships. I have no doubt about that.
If anyone does doubt the depth of the connections here, they needed to be a fly on the wall in Millvale last week. As the team got together after only being apart for about five weeks, we sounded like a long-lost family that hadn’t seen each other in years! The conversations had were not only “catch up” conversations, but also deep, almost soul-searching conversations revolving around reflections of the school year…the type of conversation you have with one or two other people (very carefully chosen, I might add, to be sure opinions won’t be repeated). Yet, we had it with Fluency family.
I have grown so much over the last eleven months, and I attribute the growth to every person in that room. Examples of how these people have made me a better person include:
The growth we’ve had so far in #TheFluencyProject is a direct result of every one of these people. I couldn’t be more thankful for the lessons they teach each and every time we are together. I believe with all my heart that we wouldn’t have the success so far without THIS SPECIFIC group and the relationships we have cultivated. I look forward to our continued work. Maybe we actually will DEFINE fluency in 2017-2018! J