Things I Have Learned  

February 16, 2015
Since joining the ESU 10 staff in July, I have learned many new things … a lot actually. When people have asked me how I like my new job … the first words out of my mouth have been, “I’m learning a lot” … and I believe it’s a wonderful thing.  I have heard it said many times, when we get to a point where we stop learning … we should probably resign. So I guess it’s safe to say, I’m far from resigning because I have so much more yet to learn.

I have learned a lot in 2014, but when I think specifically about my position at ESU 10, I think of how much I’ve learned that goes on outside of the classroom that I wasn’t really aware of when I was teaching. What went on IN the classroom was a familiar place for me. I knew how to meet the needs of my students, plan lessons, implement technology, develop learning goals and more. What I didn’t know is all of the people who were working diligently OUTSIDE of the classroom on things that matter just as much. There are so many people working hard for the students and teachers of our state. My eyes were first opened to this when I attended the ESUPDO meetings in Omaha in September. Colleagues from other ESU’s, Nebraska Department of Education employees, educators from higher education, state officials, lawmakers and more were part of these meetings. For two days we worked and collaborated on important issues pertaining to Nebraska Education. Working hard on things like assisting schools with curriculum, the Continuous School Improvement process, Assessment training, developing learning models, understanding policy and more.

Another pivotal point in my training and view of what goes on outside of the classroom is my attendance at the Learning Forward Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. It was at this conference that I sat next to educators from huge districts like Milwaukee Public Schools or New York Department of Education that I realized while their districts might be huge, our mission is still the same, helping improve teaching and learning for the students of America.

Our students are so lucky to have this many people working hard, daily, to help provide the best learning experience possible for them. And when you think about it … we’ve come full circle, because what really matters most, is what happens INSIDE the classroom we are all working hard to make a huge impact on just that.

-by Jami Schaffnitt, Teaching & Learning Coordinator