My classroom is not a quiet, orderly place.
Students are constantly moving, thinking, talking, reading and writing.
I do my best to help my students find success.

March 20, 2016

Focus, learn, do well #SOL16 20/31

It's the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!
Read other slices, join our community of writers at

I told my dad that I am taking more grad school classes this spring.  I plan to get my ESL (for sure) and special ed (maybe) endorsements in addition to reading and elementary teaching licenses.

"I wondered if you were going to start a doctorate program," said my dad.

It's not that I mind taking classes to improve my teaching.  I don't.  I just don't think a doctorate is what I need.  I'm come to the realization that teaching reading in elementary school is right where I want to be.  To better serve my students, an ESL endorsement is key (many districts agree).  Special education courses will help to become more responsive to students' needs.

Right now I want to focus on what I can do to make a difference for my students.  One grad school class at a time hopefully won't take away from my family and fun time.  I do wish a class would require little less time on the computer (oh, my neck!), but I have to be smart about stretching!

I have lots of room to grow as a learner, teacher and colleague.  I have lots of skills and strategies I can share.  Right now, that's what I'll focus on.


  1. Chris,
    I loved this thoughtful post. We can just never stop learning, can we. I have always felt my grad classes pushed me out of the normal every day work I do as a teacher. Eventually, you may find that you want your grad classes to go toward something, and that just might be that doctorate. Whatever you decide, just don't stop learning. :-)

  2. That's what dads do, they always think just beyond your thinking. Who knows, maybe you will find your way to get that doctorate.

  3. Always learning.... that's our job. I think I read a post about this during this slicing challenge where someone said they wished when they grew up they would have said they wanted to be a "learner". I thought... genius. We can never stop learning. I love that you're taking one class at a time that are geared to the needs of your job and your students! I'm cheering for you!

  4. You are very determined! It must feel good that you found exactly where you want to be. Good for you to continue learning everything you can!!

  5. I once had a conversation like this with my principal. I told him that I didn't need my third graders to call me Dr. Surridge. Ha! Elementary school is where I belong, and just like you, I want to better serve the students right where I want to be. I did go get my National Board Certification in LA--it wasn't easy, but it was the best professional development I have ever done.