26 December 2015

Year in Review: 10 Most Popular Posts of 2015

In just a few days I'll mark the 4th year of my blogging journey. This year brought numerous requests for presentations on blogging with several more anticipated in 2016. No doubt these requests and my most popular blog posts would not be possible without you, my readers. If you haven't yet joined the blogosphere consider making 2016 your year. Let these ten most popular posts of 2015 serve as inspiration. Even if these topics aren't in your wheelhouse find your passion and your voice and share it with us all because blogging doesn't have to be polished like an essay; it's a great opportunity to creatively express your views.

Here at Learning to Muse popular posts in 2015 include book reviews, posts about my sons and posts about my professional passion of re-imagining public education.

#10 Dreaming of a Teacher Powered School
Call it a long shot, but I've taken steps toward realizing this dream by forming a team of students, teachers, and administrators creating a concept and designing a proposal to rethink high school in the XQ Super School Project. And, you? What thoughts can you add about how our public education system needs to change?

#9 As My Oldest Son Starts High School, Here's What I'm Thinking

This post brought comments on social media from other parents faced with sending their children to high school or even to kindergarten (since the photo with the original post included one of my son on his first day of kindergarten). Update: We're off to a great start as my son had a strong finish to his first semester of high school. He started the year by advocating for himself and landing in a specific science class he desired; he's performing well in all of his classes and he mostly keeps up with his progress without much pestering from us. He likes English class for the first time; we suspect it's helped that the assistant cross country coach is also his 9th grade English teacher.

Who doesn't love Colorado? With all the outdoor activities and beautiful scenery, you won't be disappointed. Since I've been collaborating with colleagues in Colorado for the past few years they assured me our trip to Steamboat Springs would be fantastic. Of course, we were not disappointed. Our incredible family trip with relatives included multiple hiking opportunities. We loved Steamboat Springs and even found ourselves dreaming about a move to Colorado (Oh wait, it wasn't just this trip--I've been thinking about a move to Colorado for several years now).

If you're a writer or a reader follow Anne Lamott on Facebook for witty and wise commentary on being a better version of yourself. I kicked off 2015 reading Bird by Bird and sharing some of my favorite quotes. Not included in that post was another favorite quote-- "For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth...They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die." I also think they show us how to be better writers which is one of the many reasons why I personally choose to read at least one book a week.

Troy Hicks and Jeremy Hyler share strategies for engaging students in using technology to create and connect. Gaining increasing momentum in America is the Student Voice (#stuvoice) movement connecting students across schools, districts, and even states. Fortunately, my youngest son has even joined the fun with our Kentucky statewide group, and he's learning and connecting with other students also interested in improving public education.

As parents and educators, Deanna and I share experiences both of us have had with our sons, and we also share multiple links to resources for upping your game as a writing instructor. This post is fun for parents or educators (or both).

If you haven't read this book or seen the film, you are missing out. Dintersmith and Wagner provide details and ideas for how we can re-imagine public education in America. Further, they provide statistics and examples of why we need to change public education. Follow Dintersmith's blog for information about his ongoing book tour and personal mission to push education change.

Read this particular and very popular post for suggested blogs to follow and read. After joining National Blogging Collaborative as a volunteer writing coach this year, I personally found myself connected to even more bloggers--all on a mission to elevate the voices of teachers. If you do decide to get started with blogging this year, check out the free supports available from NBC

In one amazing week, this post became my second most popular read blog post of all time (not just number 2 this year). In case you missed it, I'm sharing it here again so you can learn ideas for student-centered learning. Fellow parents--this book is for you, too, because we can learn more about how our children learn from us about how to persevere, set goals, and persist through challenges.

Even after 4 years of blogging, this one post skyrocketed to the number one place of all blog posts at Learning to Muse. This post is for educators specifically, especially those looking to connect with others.