Day 8 (21 Days of Gratitude)

A little more than three years ago, I was asked to serve on a grant writing committee that would put together what I was told would be something pretty special.  I am going to be completely honest when I say that I was a little skeptical about this entire process.  I have been told more times than I can count that a new committee, action team, or curricular implementation is destined to be the next big thing.  I accepted the offer to participate in this research gathering and grant writing group that would embark upon something truly historic in the state of Iowa.  Our school district decided to take the leap and apply for the first year of the Teacher Leadership and Compensation grant that would provide the opportunity to create a number of teacher leadership positions within our district that never existed in the past.

We were fortunate to receive this grant in the first year that it was offered within the state which allowed us to create nine instructional coaching positions within our district.  I am currently in my third year of working with an instructional coach along my side.  This has been absolutely wonderful and I am grateful each day for this opportunity.  The instructional coach is able to provide a level of support to our teachers and to me that never existed in the past.  I am so incredibly fortunate to work with Greg Deutmeyer as the instructional coach at Epworth Elementary.  Greg has been able to connect with teachers and push them to high levels of thinking, collaboration, and reflection which has ultimately had a strong impact on students.  Greg has also pushed me to see things from a different perspective and allowed me to clarify my thoughts.  As I have worked with an instructional coach for the past three years, I cannot imagine my role without this person in my world.  I am very grateful that our district made this leap and to have the opportunity to be part of this each day.

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