BUILDING REFLECTION INTO YOUR TEACHING PRACTICE

Episode 04 | Creatively Connected Classrooms Podcast

Building Reflection into Your Teaching Practice

By |2018-10-11T07:53:19+00:00September 20th, 2018|

How much time do you really spend reflecting on your teaching practice? Do you actually put in the time, or is it something you’ll get to “when you have time”? In this episode, Matt and Laura share their journey with the #Reflect31 challenge and how anyone can make reflection a habit in their day.

TRANSCRIPT

Laura Grundler: Well, good morning.

Matt Grundler: Good morning. Hi.

Laura Grundler: Hi. We are Matt and Laura Grundler. Laura and Matt Grundler.

Matt Grundler: Laura and Matt Grundler, depending on.

Laura Grundler: This is the Creatively Connected Podcasts. We are in our fourth episode which is pretty cool for us.

Matt Grundler: Crazy.

Laura Grundler: Yeah, and this episode is just going to be us.

Matt Grundler: Us.

Laura Grundler: Which is really different, but we have a lot of different things going on and I think that we wanted to share just some of that conversation that goes along in the household of team Grundler with the world.

Matt Grundler: We also have a guest, Milley, the Art Studio dog.

Laura Grundler: Our studio dog is in the studio and it’s early on a Saturday morning and the kids are being contained by their Saturday morning cartoons and cereal. It’s very reminiscent of the ’80s when we were children.

Matt Grundler: As we are dawning our-

Laura Grundler: Schoolhouse Rocks.

Matt Grundler: And He-Man.

Laura Grundler: And He-Man, I have the power.

Matt Grundler: These cartoons. Life for us.

Laura Grundler: Life for us. If you don’t know our world is crazy and wild and we’re just like everybody else trying to make it through and share experiences and learn together and grow together. The Creatively Connected Classroom is an outgrowth of our K12 Art Chat. We’re really excited to be bringing it to everybody. Our sponsor Education Closet came to us with this idea and said, “We’d love to hear more from you as a host and actually have a conversation.” That’s where that came from, and every once in a while Matt and I are the host of the chat. Recently we hosted about a couple of weeks ago, but based on this idea that we had three years ago on a trip in the car. Do you remember that?

Matt Grundler: I do. Road trip of-

Laura Grundler: Do you remember how that happened?

Matt Grundler: I do because we were talking about the importance of getting ready. We were on a family road trip and we were talking, getting ready. It was August, I think. No, July.

Laura Grundler: It was the end of July.

Matt Grundler: We were driving around and we said, okay, here’s what we want to do.

Laura Grundler: I think we’re in New Mexico.

Matt Grundler: We are.

Laura Grundler: It was hot.

Matt Grundler: We are getting ready to start the new school year. We were both talking back and forth about goals that we had for ourselves. The chat was still fairly new and we said, hey, what if for the whole month of August we challenge teachers to really reflect on their past year on things that are important, things that went well, things that maybe didn’t go well, things that they want to change, improve on, all that stuff that we still heavily support.

Laura Grundler: Well, we still heavily support, but we also know that as teachers, my gosh, you know, I’ve had a lot of calls from teachers this week. We’re starting school on Monday. Yeah, Monday and there’s so much stress in the classroom. There’s stress, there’s a lot of juggling. For the art teacher in the elementary they’re trying to arrange a room that works for 700 kids.

Matt Grundler: A variety of learners.

Laura Grundler: Oh my gosh.

Matt Grundler: Make it accessible for everybody.

Laura Grundler: Every learner in the school. Making it accessible for everybody. Reading through all the IEPs, making sure that they have their accommodations in place, that they’re ready for those kids. That they have their parent communication in place, that they have their stations ready, that they have lesson plans and they follow the scope and sequence, and that they have their essential questions. I mean, there’s just so much.

Matt Grundler: So much.

Laura Grundler: You know, what’s funny is that when we started this, we specifically picked August even though it’s awfully stressful.

Matt Grundler: Yes. Even during those times of stress, I think we thought that even though everyone’s going to be stressing running around, taking that moment, taking that 10 minutes, 15 minutes just to look back at what you have already done, what you might want to do differently is so important.

Laura Grundler: What do they say the definition of crazy is? Doing the same thing you’ve always done over and over again without … Something along those lines. I can’t remember.

Matt Grundler: I don’t know.

Laura Grundler: It was in some movie quote, but I think the idea is that you get into the routine and sometimes-

Matt Grundler: You lose your passion from it. You get so used to it that you’re like, oh, you just kind of flip into autopilot instead of almost that way you felt when you first started a brand new lesson or brand new idea.

Laura Grundler: Or a new school. Even your first year of teaching when you were so excited.

Matt Grundler: I’m excited now too and I’m in, you know, teaching of year 14 but starting a brand new grade level.

Laura Grundler: But I would say that around the time that we started this reflection process is when your passion really resparked.

Matt Grundler: Absolutely. Yeah.

Laura Grundler: I think that we ask a lot of our teachers, but I also think that the purpose of Reflect 31 is to put some consistency in place for the school year around the process of reflection and helping it to become a habit that is purposeful and meaningful.

Matt Grundler: It almost becomes healthy because you are taking that time to just kind of, you don’t even have to talk about it, just thinking about it.

Laura Grundler: It’s just a mindful moment.

Matt Grundler: That sense of silence for a little bit, but having a purpose to that silence, not just going, “Oh my gosh I’m so exhausted.” Okay. Thinking about or even, you know, when you’re in your planning period or you’re in your lunchtime just sitting there enjoying the moment of, okay, this class went well because of this or this class didn’t go well because of this. Is it things that you can control or things that you can’t necessarily control?

Laura Grundler: Then how can you move forward from there? I think the action piece or the moving forward is an important piece to that. We hosted a chat recently around this idea and it’s something that I have even evolved my own thinking on. I know when we started this three years ago, we were hoping it would be like this hashtag that went viral. How cool is this? You know, and we got everybody in the PLN to give us inspirational quote. We worked really hard to post an inspiration and a question every day, and that was okay. I mean even last year was cool because people were posting. We had a sign up sheet and people in the PLN would sign up for a day and they would post a video reflection last year.

Matt Grundler: Yeah, of their reflection question.

Laura Grundler: I like that.

Matt Grundler: That was neat.

Laura Grundler: That was cool but I would say that as my thoughts about reflection had evolved, you know what, you can share if you want, but really to me it’s about-

Matt Grundler: It’s a personal-

Laura Grundler: It’s a personal thing and we just want to inspire you to do it. We did host the chat around this and we had six questions and we can kind of go back to those questions I see.

Matt Grundler: I mean kind of adding to, you were talking about crazy. Teachers, yes. They’re running around the couple of weeks, first couple of weeks before school starts. Just craziness with getting things ready. But the reflect was not to add more to do, it was just-

Laura Grundler: To take a moment.

Matt Grundler: To take a moment because we all need that moment in the crazy.

Laura Grundler: Yes, we do. In fact based on that, I don’t know if people are familiar with this book, and I don’t know. I’m looking for it in the studio because I used it yesterday, but I had the opportunity to go to school for Art Leaders this summer which was really amazing and continues to be amazing. We were given a book and it was about mindful drawing and I’m going to look it up real quick and so I can give … It’s called the, “Mindfulness & the Art of Drawing: A Creative Path to Awareness.” I did an activity yesterday when I was doing some PD with teachers where I read from the book in the early in and it’s asking you to feel, to close your eyes and draw and feel the process of drawing.

Just the quiet that came in the room and the sense of calmness was tremendous. If we could all take a moment of reflection and mindfulness and quiet our brains, I think it would do a lot for the health of our teachers and the health of the community because that calm then goes straight into the classroom when you’re teaching. I think it’s really powerful.

Matt Grundler: I mean, you are that conductor of whatever energy starts in your classroom. If you’re calm even before those classes, your hardest class. Then that chance of the kid who comes in who had a really crazy start to their morning or they got themselves in trouble and are in a super bad mood. You give them that sense of refuge because you’re calm, you’re more calm. Chances are they’re going to find that to be their little place of refuge kind of.

Laura Grundler: We started the chat with our community just to get them thinking about the idea of reflection. We hosted a chat and the first question was what is your own personal reflective process or practice? What’s your reflective practice as a teacher? It’s interesting. A lot of our PLN specifically stated that they keep a journal. I didn’t hear art journal. I heard journal or I heard blog because some of them keep a blog for themselves, not for the whole world which I thought was interesting. I have never really been good about keeping a journal that’s a daily ongoing capture of my … I did keep notes in my lesson plan book about observations and things like that. What was your reflective or what is, I’m sorry, what is your-

Matt Grundler: I’m still teaching [crosstalk 00:11:57].

Laura Grundler: I know, I know. I teach too. It’s just different.

Matt Grundler: Different way. I don’t necessarily think, I think kind of along the lines as you are, I didn’t write them down. I think what I did is I would actually go and have a discussion with colleague and just being able to say, “Okay, this is where I felt like I was struggling. What do you think about ways that could help me with this?” Or, “I was really struggling with this particular student, what do you use in your classroom that might help?” I would kind of pull from around me rather than physically writing it down.

Laura Grundler: I think for that piece of it too, reframing the question sometimes is really helpful when you’re visiting with a colleague and looking at, okay, from all different perspectives. I mean, that’s the great thing about a PLN or having somebody that’s a partner, teacher on campus or group on campus that’s collaborative because, and sometimes it’s good not to say who the student is. Just say, “Here’s the situation.”

Matt Grundler: The situation I was finding myself in, what do you use when you find yourself in that same situation.

Laura Grundler: Right. There was one teacher, Carrie Waller who said she takes a walk every night. She just walks her dog and I liked that too because I thought-
Matt Grundler: That’s a mindful moment.

Laura Grundler: Right and it’s that quiet that you can just say, okay, I’m going to just think about my day and then you can also put it to rest. I am a spinner, meaning that, poor Matt, let me just say. I get into this, my brain doesn’t shut off kind of moments. Especially in August when we’re getting all the teachers back in school. I’m thinking about all the things that for me, I don’t get the teachers every day. I don’t get to teach teachers every day in the way I would like to. I feel like I have this one shot, I got to take my shot. I get these two really important days and I have those two days.

Matt Grundler: Trying as much as you can.

Laura Grundler: Yeah, but I also, it’s not cramming, it’s about making it meaningful and add reflective and making sure that they have what they need to start the school year that heads towards the vision and the direction that we want for students. Right? So I get this spinning cycles where I can’t shut my brain off and then I don’t sleep well because my brain is on high energy mode. I think a lot of creative souls are probably like that. I think what I liked about Carrie’s statement is for me, I need to put that practice in place where I go on a walk, say this is the time that I’m going to think about this and then turn it off. That’s got to happen.

Susan Riley: Hey there everyone. It’s Susan Riley from Ed Closet. If you’re enjoying this kind of conversation, definitely come on over to the K12 Art Chat on Twitter every Thursday night at 8:30 central time. You’ll hear conversations like this, you’ll be able to talk with other educators and it’s a great way for us all to connect. Twitter.com K12 Art Chat, Thursdays 8:30 central. See you there.

Matt Grundler: Our family road trip that we were on, we had a friend who we went to visit as a family. Of course, you’re traveling family so you’re going to be stressful about this or that or you know, did we do this before we left? Did we not do that?

Laura Grundler: Did we leave the keys? Is the dog not locked in the house? Yes, that has happened.

Matt Grundler: That’s a side story for later. Their house actually backed up to a national forest.

Laura Grundler: Nice for them.

Matt Grundler: They had this amazing stream that just rolled through or just behind their house and you could hear it 24/seven. It was kind of nice just to go out there, observe some of that and just not even think about what didn’t we do, what did we do, where are we headed next? Do we have enough gas to get there? I just ended up journaling a whole two pages worth of visual journaling, a whole bunch of things that just kind of-

Laura Grundler: Poured out of you.

Matt Grundler: Poured out of you because you turned your brain off from thinking about those other things.

Laura Grundler: One of the conferences I was at this summer, one of the presenters said that many years ago she started journaling every morning and that’s kind of my goal for this year as my reflective practice is to go out on the back porch when it’s not 110 degrees in the morning.

Matt Grundler: Soon.

Laura Grundler: Yes, which is coming, fall is coming. We keep telling ourselves that, and have my coffee and journal in hand and maybe not even bring all my plethora of visual journals supply.

Matt Grundler: That can be overwhelming.

Laura Grundler: It’s distracting. I think just bringing one nice pen and my journal and just sketching or jotting down my thoughts for the day and just putting my mind in a place of ease so that I can start the day in a joyful, calming, take a breath way. I think those mindful moments are something that I have not put at my front. I think I’ve been reflective about practice and my educational journey and those kinds of things, but I think one of the things, sometimes we as educators don’t do well is take care of our own mental well-being. I think that that’s part of what Reflect 31 is about, is also taking care of ourselves. Question two.

Matt Grundler: Question two was, do you have key points you make sure to track or reflect on to your instructional goals like in the classroom? If so, how do you keep up with them? Like we were just saying that we are not the greatest at journaling every single day or reflecting on that every single day, but it’s setting aside a time. It can be a week, it could be the end of the day. Like I said, it doesn’t have to be every single day though.

Laura Grundler: I think that going back to the key points, I think we tend to think of our instructional goals as meeting the targets and standards which absolutely not downplaying that at all.

Matt Grundler: No.

Laura Grundler: Making sure you’re circling around those essential questions that you’re offering inquiry for students.

Matt Grundler: Those are just given.

Laura Grundler: That’s a key. Right? That’s something definitely you need to reflect on but I think as I evolve around this process. I think that it’s also really key again, that you’re reflecting on your own well-being and how that interplays with your classroom.

Matt Grundler: If you’re not in good place, your class won’t be in a good place.

Laura Grundler: If mommy’s not well, the whole family is not well, right. It’s just as the mommy point of view, I can say that but in our family it’s really, if daddy’s not well the whole family is not well because it just is what it is. I think that just is part of the real key. Then, as we progress to the chat, how do you remain aware of those thoughts as you’re teaching? How do you push out those thoughts as you’re teaching and reflect on that if you’re having a hard time at home or there’s something going on? Your dog is not well or you know, there’s all kinds of things that … The thing about being an educator is that nothing really ever shuts off, right? It’s like everything intertwines. Everything layers and plays against each other. Being able to have that reflective practice helps in those moments too.

Matt Grundler: Yeah.

Laura Grundler: I mean, I don’t know. Just from a personal standpoint. This is going to get really personal here, but when we had a newborn and my mother wasn’t well, I know that Matt was teaching. It was the very beginning of the school year and he had to compartmentalize all of those things.

Matt Grundler: All the home stuff just to be in the best mindset for the kids because I mean, yeah, you have to sometimes do that and that can be a struggle. I don’t know, that probably would’ve been an ideal time for me to be able to reflect. Taking some of those moments that I had to reflect on what I was doing well, what I wasn’t doing well.

Laura Grundler: I mean that was you as a young teacher 11 years, 12 years down the road. How does it look differently when you have a stressful time going on and how do you integrate that reflection when you do have those stressful times?

Matt Grundler: I think that by looking at that it helps with clarity. I mean, it brings you to improvement.

Laura Grundler: I know something you grew up with that helps you a lot. Growing up in a family of athletes has helped you to manage some of that.

Matt Grundler: I know that that reflection piece where I grew up as a kid was doing was … I grew up in a family of athletes. I mean I was an athlete as well. I did three different sports and one of those decompression almost times that reflective time was working out, was exercising to help get that stress chemical out of your body for you to then be able to focus on what you needed to. That became a ritual for quite a long time and even instilling some of that into my own children where we would exercise out in the garage. Especially during summer where we had more time to do that. There are other ways rather than just doing it that one way.

Laura Grundler: Yeah, I think reflection doesn’t have to be sitting with a journal and writing it down. It can be going on a walk. It can be doing push ups or chin ups or what do you call those things?

Matt Grundler: Burpees?

Laura Grundler: Burpees.

Matt Grundler: For those crossfit people.

Laura Grundler: I know that you’re in a really good head space when you’re putting that practice into place. Also, it’s where your ideas sometimes spark.

Matt Grundler: Turning your brain off from one thing and focus on something else, something totally different, you end up having the best brainstorm. I mean, I know I have for sure.

Laura Grundler: I know you have too. He’ll come in from working out and like, “What about this? What about that?”

Matt Grundler: I mean, I have a great friend.

Laura Grundler: I’m like, what? Go take a shower.

Matt Grundler: I had a great friend that I taught with in my elementary run and she was a runner and she would always tell me, she’s like, “Oh my gosh, I had this great idea, I was on a run and had this amazing idea and this is what it is, what do you think?” We would have that opportunity to bounce ideas back and forth. She did talk that quickly I guess.

Laura Grundler: I think faster than that.

Matt Grundler: Probably.

Laura Grundler: I know you’re going to miss Kristen a lot.

Matt Grundler: Absolutely.

Laura Grundler: She’s not that far away though.

Matt Grundler: No, she won’t be, at least for the morning.

Laura Grundler: This year with Reflect 31 we thought about doing, like we said in the past we’ve done a daily prompt and this year we thought, well-

Matt Grundler: That can sometimes overwhelm.

Laura Grundler: That can sometimes overwhelm so we pulled it back and we decided to do a big idea for each week. Week one was triumph.

Matt Grundler: Triumph.

Laura Grundler: Triumph.

Matt Grundler: The amazing word of triumph was kind of came from the idea of what did you do well last year, what amazing things happened that you know, you consider as a triumph because everybody, you can’t just say, oh, well the triumph is because there’s so many facets of what could be a positive thing. What could be a triumph. Maybe you made a great connection with a student.

Laura Grundler: Yeah, and triumphs can be big or small.

Matt Grundler: Or small, absolutely. We did this lesson with, you know, using this particular material or medium and it was like awesome and you had the best result and that’s a huge-

Laura Grundler: Or getting the kid that says, “I can’t draw. I don’t like art, oh gosh, I hate art,” to get them into something.

Matt Grundler: You get them into something or they come from a bad situation and you’re able to make your class whether it’s art or whatever. You make your class that. That’s a huge triumph.

Laura Grundler: That safe place for that child. Absolutely. The first week was triumphs and just reflecting on where your positives were in the previous year and what big or small things that impacted you in a positive way that you felt like, wow, I hope I can do something like that again.

Matt Grundler: Week two leads into the last comment of hoping to do that again, it was change. Change is big. Change is important.

Laura Grundler: Change is a constant.

Matt Grundler: It is.

Laura Grundler: Nothing is ever the same.

Matt Grundler: For students that come in are never the same as they were the year before.

Laura Grundler: Or the day before. I mean, honestly, every day is a new day.

Matt Grundler: Absolutely.

Laura Grundler: You don’t know what happened the day before that changed that student and now they’re in your classroom the next day and they’re not the same. I had a conversation with our teachers about curriculum and change.

Matt Grundler: It’s changed.

Laura Grundler: Well, it’s not really change. It transforms, it grows. It’s almost like a living document because we’re always trying to improve. Right? That I think is the bottom line with change in this component of reflection is how do we look at change, how do we view change? Is it a negative?

Matt Grundler: Some people consider it to be, but I think if you’re able to work through it in a way and show where the positives of that can happen then I think that can change the connotation of change.

Laura Grundler: Well, I think it’s a negative and if you have your cackles up, if you’ve got fear, you know, when …

Matt Grundler: I mean change isn’t easy.

Laura Grundler: No.

Matt Grundler: It takes work, it takes hard work, it takes effort and sometimes that can scare people.

Laura Grundler: Scare people.

Matt Grundler: Absolutely.

Laura Grundler: Absolutely. It’s really about looking at change from a viewpoint of have a healthy place and moving forward, which really leads into the third week big idea which is potential. What is the potential for this school year going to look like? I always see potential as a really exciting idea.

Matt Grundler: Yeah, I mean it’s like those people on the American Pickers, they see something that looks just like a big pile of junk, but they see potential in what it was or what it could be. That’s just a huge thing.

Laura Grundler: That’s a really good visual too because I know I’ve watched that show and I’m like, there is nothing good in that barn. Stay out of that barn.

Matt Grundler: Except for some spiders.

Laura Grundler: Exactly. You’re going to get bit or you’re going to fall. That Mike Wolfe guy who’s climbing on things that are just not safe, but he sees potential. He will go up there and grab after it if it’s something that’s got potential. I love that you said that. That’s exciting thing, right? If you watch that show, he gets really excited.

Matt Grundler: He does.

Laura Grundler: Frank does too. It’s just not as, it’s not the same.

Matt Grundler: Thinking about potential and thinking about people who are really excited. I mean, dating ourselves with people like Steve Irwin, you know, he was highly excited about what he did. Then it also reminds me of Josh Gates, if you watch Expedition Unknown, the potential of, oh, we found this clue that leads to this. There’s that potential. It could be something big and not big.

Laura Grundler: Who knows?

Matt Grundler: Exactly.

Laura Grundler: It’s funny, all of those examples center around investigation and wonder exploration. Every single one of those does. That’s what’s so exciting about it is that you don’t know what you’re going to find. When you’re working with kids, having that idea of potential and that exploration is really-

Matt Grundler: It sparks their attention.

Laura Grundler: Yeah, it’s a spark. I get really excited about that.

Matt Grundler: [inaudible 00:30:45] potential.

Laura Grundler: Just the idea that the unknown is out there. I think probably a lot of us went into teaching because you just never know. Every day is different.

Matt Grundler: Every day is a challenge.

Laura Grundler: Every day is a challenge and every day is full of potential. I think that that’s what’s really exciting about what we do. Then week four is-

Matt Grundler: Commence. I mean, it’s weird to have the word commence being at the end because you always think of commence as the beginning and you know, for us in Texas and a few other places, they usually start in the middle of August and we will have already been. Starting all of these things that through your triumphs and reflection and all that, commencing, the start of that process if you haven’t already.

Laura Grundler: Well, and just commence, commence making this a part of your practice for the whole school year. You know, it is Reflect 31, 31 days of reflection in August but we really hope that you’ll carry it through into …

Matt Grundler: They say what and I say two weeks of doing something continuously then becomes a habit or three weeks or something like that.

Laura Grundler: I mean, putting your intention in, having the best school year you’re ever going to have. Well, hopefully until next year. Then next year I’ll be even better. Really, making this your best school year and putting that practice into place is really key for what Reflect 31 is all about, is really looking at the big picture, looking at the all, all the potential that lies ahead of you. It’s really exciting and beginning and starting with the starting with the excitement and keeping that excitement carrying through. I think that that’s really key. As you are starting.

Matt Grundler: Starting, I’m commencing.

Laura Grundler: You’re commencing a whole new-

Matt Grundler: Grade level, a whole new mindset of moving from, you know, 13 years of teaching elementary school to now a brand new year of teaching middle school.

Laura Grundler: How will you look at these four weeks and big ideas and kind of pull them into this coming school year for yourself?

Matt Grundler: Well, I mean, I know for sure that the fact that I will see my students more often I think will really allow me to be able to reflect on triumphs for that day. Having the same group of kids over an extended period of time, but seeing them every day will lead for some triumphs, will lead for some things that we need to change around to whatever we need to do to basically reevaluate everything. Then there’s always going to be potential. They’re middle school kids.

Laura Grundler: What about change? You have a lot of change.

Matt Grundler: I have a lot of change. I mean, there is a lot of change. I’m going from being split between two campuses whereas I was the sole teacher at one school for like I said, 13 years.

Laura Grundler: Now you have two campuses.

Matt Grundler: I have two campuses with two different sets of kids.

Laura Grundler: Two different teachers you’re co-teaching with or sort of, you’re on team with.

Matt Grundler: Having a team.

Laura Grundler: That’s a change.

Matt Grundler: I mentioned being the only one to now having a team. Having a travel period for one, I’m in a classroom where I will have an actual classroom and the other one I’ll be bouncing around because they have so many kids, they don’t have the space for me to have my own delegated room.

Laura Grundler: How you’re going to handle that is part of the reflection process, isn’t it?

Matt Grundler: Taking attendance, submitting mid semester grades.

Laura Grundler: There’s a lot of change.

Matt Grundler: There’s going to be a lot.

Laura Grundler: There’s also a lot of potential.

Matt Grundler: Oh, absolutely.

Laura Grundler: You start school on Monday. As you commence, what are some ideas you have for yourself as you commence? Do you have a goal for your commencement process? It sounds weird because then when you hear commencement, you think about graduation, but really it’s about the beginning.

Matt Grundler: Just the beginning. My goal I think is to just, it’s going to sound kind of cliche I guess, but it’s to learn as much as I can because it is going to be so different than being at the elementary level.

Laura Grundler: I don’t think that sounds cliche only because if I ever get to a place where I don’t want to continue to learn then I shouldn’t be an educator.

Matt Grundler: True.

Laura Grundler: That’s my personal opinion.

Matt Grundler: Yeah.

Laura Grundler: Yeah. I think that that’s a good one.

Matt Grundler: Because there will be so much. It’s just leaving myself open. I mean, I’ve already started making connections with other teachers and other subject areas and getting them open to that creative branch. Allowing that to be a valid learning assessment which I think it’ll be good.

Laura Grundler: Yeah. I’m excited for you. We’re excited for all of our teachers in our school district that start on Monday. I think our hope for reflection and Reflect 31 is to just build in this process for people.

Matt Grundler: Allow yourself to become a better teacher.

Laura Grundler: To grow and to continue to collaborate with others and talk about these ideas and move forward. What is it that Walt Disney says?

Matt Grundler: Keep moving forward.

Laura Grundler: Keep moving forward. There’s a little bit more of a quote I believe. If you’ve ever watched, “Meet the Robinsons.”

Matt Grundler: At the very end and it says keep moving, they isolate the main words and it’s keep moving forward.

Laura Grundler: Right. It’s really profound. If you haven’t watched, “Meet the Robinsons,” I highly recommend it. As we wrap up today’s podcast, is there anything you want to share with community, Matt?

Matt Grundler: No, I mean you pretty much summed it up there at the end just being able to continue your desire to improve and it’s going to be hard. It’s going to be a challenge, but allowing yourself to look at those things that maybe didn’t go well and figuring out a way to improve them.

Laura Grundler: The only thing I would add is lean on your PLN, lean on your collaborators and your colleagues. The smartest person in the room is the?

Matt Grundler: Room.

We just want to wish everybody an amazing start to your year if it hasn’t already, and we will talk to you guys at some point through K12ArtChat.

Laura Grundler: We’ll see on Twitter and have a tremendous school year. Thank you.

Matt Grundler: Bye guys.

Laura Grundler: Bye.

Susan: Heads up seven up friends, if you’ve been enjoying these episodes, be sure to subscribe to the Creatively Connected Classroom Podcast. You’ll get a notification every time we release a new episode each and every week. For bonus points, take a screenshot and put it up on your favorite social media, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, you name it. Tag Education Closet and K12 Art Chat so we can reach out and say thanks. If you really love us with all the feels, give us a review and/or a rating on iTunes. It helps others find this show and connect with our incredible community. Thanks for all your support.

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Laura and Matt Grundler are art educators from Plano, Texas. They are also proud parents, bloggers and founders of the popular Twitter Chat #K12ArtChat. After teaching middle school art, high school art and working as an assistant principal, Laura has moved into the role of district Visual Arts Coordinator. Matt started out as a graphic designer; however after finding the commercial side of design to be unsatisfying, he soon found his niche as a K-5 Art teacher. Both Laura and Matt are passionate about raising their three creative kids, sharing their love of art education with their professional learning network and continuing to grow everyday.

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