ECET2KY Reflections

November 15, 2016 No Comments

ECET2KY Reflections

November 15, 2016 No Comments

I am not a blogger.  The evidence is right here on this blog. I like to write. I journal constantly, but blogging for an audience is a completely different experience.  I’d like to change that, however.  Especially after attending the Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching (ECET2) Conference Kentucky state convening this past weekend.  I am ready to share my experience with others!

I have never attended another event that was so laid back, but also extremely professional and packed with inspiration.  ECET2Ky was an experience that was life-changing!  I drove to Lexington, Kentucky from Louisville on Friday night for a meet-and-mingle session and BreakoutEDU game.  If you’ve never played a BreakoutEDU game – either with your students or with other educators – you need to try it!  It is a great way to break the ice and get everyone up and moving.  The best part of the Friday night mingle was getting to meet people that I have followed on Twitter for months.  It was great to finally put a real face with the Twitter handle.

The actual ECET2Ky convening was on Saturday at the Embassy Suites in Lexington.  Over 100 educators from all over the Bluegrass were there to share and learn together.  The day was organized with breakout sessions and short, inspirational speeches by fellow educators reminding us how important our job was and continues to be.

The first breakout session I attended was called “Educational Resources” and was presented by Kentucky teachers Jana Bryant and Kelly Stidham.  These women know their stuff.  They discussed the shift occurring statewide and nationally with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and offered resources to help close the achievement gap.  Some of my favorite resources that they shared are:

They also shared about Educators Rising, which is a program much like Future Farmers of America design to encourage high school students to start thinking about a career in education.  High school educators, does your school have an Educators Rising chapter?  It’s free!
The second breakout session I attended was focused on networking based on the Kentucky Teacher Leadership Framework. The framework itself is a thing of beauty.  You can find it here. This session, moderated by Kip Hottman, Suzanne Farmer, Amy Clancy, Missy Callaway, Meme Ratliff, Jennifer Cox, and Mike Paul (some downright amazing KY educators, if I do say so myself), was all about how to build your teacher networks.  I sat down with Jennifer Cox, principal at East Middle School in Shelbyville, and discussed how to bridge the gap between teachers and administrators.  I walked away with an action plan, probably my biggest take away from ECET2Ky.
from the Kentucky Dept. of Education website
Another one of my favorite parts of ECET2Ky was Colleague Circles.  We wrote and reflected upon individual problems of practice within our schools or districts and then, as a table group, followed a discussion guide to get to the root of the problem and offer solutions.  The intention of the discussion was to propagate a variety of solutions to take back to our individual situations.  My table had a passionate discussion on the disconnect between learning and standardized assessment.  It was inspiriting to see teachers from all across the state come together over such a unifying topic.  And, better than that, each of us walked away with a few strategies to combat the dreaded standardized assessment headache.
We also got goodies.  Who doesn’t love a good professional book?

 I’m not even going to lie to you, my favorite part of ECET2Ky was probably the drive home.  I had almost a full hour and a half of pure reflection.  I was able to process all the events of the day and was able to think about my short and long-term goals proceeding from here on out.  But the most important, most inspiring reflection I had about ECET2KY was this:  It is all about our students. 
I get up every morning for 23 of them.  I get up, take my shower, get myself dressed, and drag myself to school every single day for them.  It is not for the paycheck, though it is nice.  It is not for my colleagues, although they are great.  I get up every day because my students need me.  They expect me there every day to teach them new things, to let them have fun with their friends, to eat lunch with them, and to let them tell me silly stories about their weekend.  I teach them standards, sure, but that is only the tip of the iceberg of what I do.  Our job as educators goes so much deeper than just teaching and assessing.  We have the ability to create the ultimate butterfly effect (see Andy Andrews book above). Each action we make throughout a school day can change the trajectory of a student’s life forever.  The burden is large, but the reward is so much bigger.
I could talk forever about my experience at ECET2KY, but it really is something you need to experience for yourself.  To my fellow JCPS educators, go ahead and nominate yourself or a colleague for #ECET2Lou in February.  You can find more information and the nomination form here:  I’ll see you guys in February!

UPDATED 2-2-17:  ECET2Lou 2017 was a success!  Check out one of our most memorable moments here.


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  • Adam Watson December 3, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Glad to hear you had a chance to talk to our district's amazing and inspiring Jennifer Cox! I haven't been to ECET2Ky but need to make one soon. Thanks for sharing!

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    About Me

    Hi! My name is Sheryl and I am so thankful you've found your way to the TeacherLadyKY blog! I'm an elementary educator from Louisville, Kentucky who is passionate about building relationships and literacy skills with my students, as well as empowering teachers around me to be leaders and rockstars. I've taught everything from kindergarten to fifth grade and I can't wait to share my experiences with you! Enjoy! Read More


    • I moved into my house in late June of 2012. As I was sitting on the porch, less than a week later, this black and white baby came running through my yard and up to me, eager for some loving. 
She was tiny for her breed - nearly 20 pounds underweight and basically a bag of bones. She was so dirty.  Kids from the neighborhood said they had no idea who she belonged to - she’d been running for a while now. I took her in the backyard and she became a part of our family almost immediately. 
It took her a while to trust us. She wouldn’t let us pick her up. She bolted out the door anytime it was open. Even to this day, she hated fireworks and thunderstorms, which gave her such anxiety that she’d pant, pace, and shake.  We had no idea how old she was,  but we knew she’d seen a lot in her years. She had been terribly abused and, with us, she found a new life of love. 
And she loved so deeply. After a while, she learned that there were plenty of pets, kisses, and treats to go around. She leaned into our sides when she wanted some attention. She begged for walks and car rides. The last seven years of her life were good - so good.  She loved us all, but her Grandpa Dennis Boyd especially. She made our family of puppies complete and we couldn’t imagine life before her. 
Our sweet Hallie Grace crossed the rainbow bridge this afternoon, joining our Annabelle. I will miss her, just like I deeply miss my Belle, but I take comfort in knowing that they are together. ❤️❤️❤️
    • A couple of months ago, I posted about how I’d be moving from fifth grade down to fourth. Well, things change!

This week I accepted an offer to serve as the Backpack Leader at Foster Heights Elementary in Nelson County. I am so thrilled for this position since it allows me to work with teachers and help them level up their skills, but also allows me to stay grounded in my first love: teaching. I will still be responsible for a group of students each day and focused on deep learning with them.

It is bittersweet leaving a school and a district that I love - but when I feel the need to jump, I jump.  I can’t wait to do amazing things with some amazing people in NCS! #npossible
    • A rare day in summer when my makeup is on and my hair is down.  I am absolutely loving these lazy, summer days, but I’m also excited about all of the professional learning that will be happening over the next two weeks.

I’ll admit - it’s hard for me to take a break. But when I do, I break HARD! Learning how to balance and make process, while still taking care of myself.

Enjoy your summer, teachers! You’ve deserve it!

#teacher #teachersofinstagram #teachersonsummerbreak #teacherlife #teachersummer #professionallearning
    • It’s true. You are only as good as the people with whom you surround yourself.
    • Anyone else read two books at once? I keep switching between the two of these. They both started out slower than I wanted, but are starting to pick up.

Brave, Not Perfect is about learning to combat your inner perfectionist and focusing on being brave instead.  It’s a powerful message that more people need to hear and take to heart, myself included.

Everything All At Once is the story of Lottie, whose very famous writer aunt recently passed away, leaving her with 24 letters that includes directions for accomplishing specific tasks. It’s starting to get really good!

#bookstagram #booksofinsta #bookstagrammer #bookstagramit #bravenotperfect #everythingallatonce #teachersofinstagram #summerreading #summerreadinglist #teachersonsummerbreak
    • Did you know that elephants like to give triceratopses piggy nose rides? *Not to scale.

    • Ten years ago, I brought a little hound puppy home from the Kentucky Humane Society after begging my mom for YEARS for a dog. I knew Annabelle was ours the moment she bit my ear.

From there, Annabelle ruled the house. She sat co-pilot in the car. She was the absolute best snuggler. She loved wearing clothes. She could smile bigger than any dog I’ve ever met. 
She was also a mess and a half. She stole food from wherever she could get it. She was jealous - of other dogs, of Justin, of my new nieces. She plopped herself in my lap anytime she could to claim her territory, but when she was mad at me, refused to turn her face to look at me.

She was the leader of the pack, the first of four. 
Today we had to do the hardest thing I, personally, have ever had to do. Having a dog as an adult is way different than having a dog as a kid. My heart is broken into a million pieces. Mama loves you, Belly girl.
    • I took a trip to the library yesterday and gobbled this one up in a couple of hours. I picked it from the shelf on its name alone and it did not fail to disappoint. Audacious is a novel written in verse from the perspective of a girl who has a knack for pushing the boundaries in every way.

It was a beautiful reminder of the beauty - and the chaos - that comes from walking the unknown, just because you felt like it.

#audacious #audaciousbook #bookstagram #bookstagrammers #teachersofinstagram #teachersonsummerbreak #kentuckyteacher #teacherswhoread #youngadultreads #youngadultnovel #youngadultlit #yalit #ya #read #reader #readersofig
    • Summer reading book #2 is finished! This sweet book, the sequel to #therosieproject, failed to hold my attention as well as the first, but was still so perfect. Don is one of my absolute favorite characters, as cringeworthy as he is. I give #therosieeffect 4/5 stars!

Up next on my summer reading list is #bravenotperfect by @reshmasaujani.

#summerreading #summertime #teacherswhoread #teachersonsummerbreak #bookstagram #bookshelf #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers #stopteacherguilt

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