All I can say is my mind is blown. How did this amazing idea come to life? And how did I get SO lucky to be a part of it? All of these things keep running through my mind. I can't believe tomorrow is the last day of the VALOR Summer Visioning Institute. To be honest, I'm pretty sad about it. I just want to hang out with all of these people more and more and more. They inspire me, challenge me and also validate thoughts I had that I thought I was the only one thinking. This is what have been waiting for and I can't thank God enough for blessing me with this opportunity. My only hopes are that this will help me be better at helping, supporting, loving and nurturing current and future educators. Of course my main reason for wanting to be in VALOR is to be better for my kids, but new teachers need more from us all. A lot of times we stand by and let them figure things out. And after our discussions today, I really feel a calling to make sure any brand new teachers I meet, get the help they want and need. Not too long ago, I was in that same boat. But I was lucky enough to have AMAZING support from my team, admin, entire school and my mentor teachers. Not everyone gets blessed with a first year experience like that. Until we become a more efficient system like Finland's education system, we have to call upon ourselves to give more and share more with others. We are all in the same boat and it's all about the kids and the kids getting the education they deserve. Now I'm off to read "The Energy Bus." I'm not a fast reader only because I have to back track everytime I ponder a quote that I like. If you ever have the opportunity to interview for VALOR, please do! Or if you are in another district, ask about a micro-teaching program that may or may not be offered. If it's not offered in your district, join a PLN (Professional Learning Network) that is willing to watch your teaching videos and give you valuable feedback. Believe me! It's totally worth it. I've set my iPhone in the back of the room recording video while teaching and then watched it back by myself. It is very eye opening. And to be honest, it's not all that horrifying. Yes, you DO probably say certain phrases over and over again. And yes, you probably have some outfits that don't look very flattering on camera. BUT...you'll see that you also do some really GREAT things. And imagine if you had a network or group of educators just waiting to give you tips and tricks? Take the risk and put yourself in uncomfortable situations. It will all pay off in the end. Remember why you decided to make education your career. Not for your glory, fame or fortune. You did it for THE KIDS! We have the power to change the way kids think. Let's do this!