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Deedee Wills - Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

Teacher Professional Development Teachers Sliding Into Summer!

Elementary teachers in summer!   How are you taking a break and how can you fill your teacher bucket?  Adam and Deedee talk about some professional learning opportunities for kindergarten and first-grade teachers.  They offer suggestions on books to read and conferences that will get them excited for next year!
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Headed Into Summer

Adam Peterson 0:00 

Hey, everybody! Welcome back to the Classroom Collaborative Podcast with me, Adam Peterson and Mrs. Deedee Wills. How are you, Deedee?


Deedee Wills 0:22 

I am so good. How are you?


Adam Peterson 0:24 

I’m good. Getting ready for summer, right? Like, that’s what we’re going to chat about today, getting yourself…


Deedee Wills 0:32 

Yeah, teachers are heading into summer.


Adam Peterson 0:33

Teachers are probably already looking forward to summer, but we are in May of 2022. We are winding down the school year. I know here at my house, everybody else because my whole house is at education house is winding down towards summer. And as much as they all love school, Tricia has her job and the kids is going… It’s time to unwind. It is, and Deedee you had this awesome idea of chatting about that today?


Deedee Wills 1:01 

Well, I always thought at this time of the year, this was always a time of the year where, you know, it is very chaotic in the classroom. You have all these assessments due, you’re trying to do the field trip picnic thing, behaviors start to get a little bit wild, because you know, everybody senses, the end is near. You know, it was a time where I was, you know, really, really happy to reflect on student growth, and then if I’m being honest, there was always a couple of things that I had intended to do, or gaps where I thought, gosh, you know, if I had just done, you know, I need to really strengthen this or I really…

 It’s just a time to really be reflective, I guess is the right word. Not that you need to engage in negative self-talk because if you’ve gotten to this time of the year, and you were upright, you have won, right. You are a winner. But we really also want to take a moment to think about what kinds of things went really well, and how am I going to make sure I implement that next year or re-implement that next year. And then we also want to think about what areas do I want to grow, as an educator maybe over the summer, or maybe you had attended a training and you put that notebook away, and now is the time for you to think about. You know, because often times when we attend trainings in the summer, in the school year, where you’re just trying to, you know, stay upright.


Adam Peterson 2:31 

Yeah, you don’t have time to come back and put everything you want to in the process.


Deedee Wills 2:35 

Right. Right. So maybe you went to the ILA STD kindergarten conference, and watched something and said, oh, I want to do that next year. So just take a moment to think about the things you want to implement, and then make a plan for it. You know, maybe take a look at your calendar. June, if you’re if you’re done at the end of May, June should be naked, there should be nothing on your, not you naked.

Adam Peterson 2:59 

What does it say? What kind of calendar are you looking at? Your firefighter’s calendar?


Deedee Wills 3:03 

You should, at least for two or three weeks, to not think of one thing school related, hopefully. You know, you’re trying to plow your way through all these beach reads. That’s what your goal should be is how many no-nonsense beach reads should I get through? And then usually after, this is just how I was; I would take a couple of weeks just to kind of unwind do things, whether you’re on a vacation, or you’re having a staycation, right. And then start picking up a professional book that you want to kind of deepen your learning in or attend a conference or revisit something that you’ve, you know, perhaps maybe you bought something off a TPT and now you’re thinking about how not thinking about printing it out and planning it out or something like that. Now, it’s kind of a good time to do that.



Adam Peterson 3:52 

Yeah. Well, it’s funny you brought up the Illinois ASD conference, because I remember when I was still in the classroom and going to that, it was always a perfect time, because you know, spring, and you just needed that little couple days to decompress. And it’s so exciting. And just, it was so inspiring to go to that conference every year as a teacher, but then you’d come back and be like, okay, I want to do all of this, because there’s so many ideas you gain from there, but I quickly learned.

I can’t remember who it was, I saw speak one time about this, and they said, you know, every time you go to a conference, you know, you come back with tons of ideas, and you’re like, I want to put this into place. Just try one. Like try putting one thing into place, and then maybe the next month or the next week, you try one other new thing. And eventually over time, you’re going to have this and this and this. All these different things you’ve tried, some have worked, some have not. But it was yeah, it was one of those conferences that I mean, we both go to it now as presenters, but as a teacher, I loved the timing for the fact you got so many ideas, but it also I was like I want to do it all right now and I realized that there was no way to do that.


Deedee Wills 5:01 

It’s so stressful. Adding a new routine into your habits, I guess, is really hard. It’s hard to do. I know that, you know, as a business owner thinking about, you know, adding one. People say, oh well, you need to really get on tick tock. FYI, I’ve been told that for two years, I’m not on tick tock, right. But you know, the idea of that I’m like, oh yeah, I really should do that is something that, you know, I need to sit down and think about how to do that. Don’t look for me on there, anytime soon people, you’re not going to find me on there. But you know, it’s just you figure out what’s your best, because you’re only one person in your classroom, you’re only one person, you can’t do all the things, right. But you might be able to take some ideas and incorporate them into what you already know is successful. But just a couple of extra things that maybe you didn’t include that you heard about, and I want to do that, but you just needed time to set something like that up.

So just go through your notes and see, you know, is there something in there I wanted to do, or maybe you did a professional book study as a school, or maybe you did one as part of a blog process, or maybe you did one as a party of one, just you which is totally fine. You know, that would be a great time to just kind of, you know, take a moment to look back. I’m, you know, there’s lots of different personality types. I am. We did this thing at our school, like years and years ago, and we all took this little online quiz. I think they’ve been around since, you know, Moses was born, but not online. But you know, the tablet, it was there. So I did this online quiz, and one thing that I found out about myself is, I’m a fact collectors, what they called it. A fact, also facts.

Adam Peterson 6:59

Stop. Stop.


Deedee Wills 7:02

A fact collector. So whenever there’s something new, I read all about it, and sometimes I get stuck in the read all about it. That I’m not a great implementer.


Adam Peterson 7:15 

You’re a random facts collector, like, or just you’re talking teacher type stuff?


Deedee Wills 7:21 

Well, really in teaching stuff. I don’t really care about anything, honestly.


Adam Peterson 7:25 

No, I’m only asking because I just had this conversation with someone else, because I have a friend who, he’s moved away now, but they used to live like two houses down from us. And he and his wife and the two of us, Trisha and I, would always get together and play cards, and we’d always joke because Brett, is his name. He knew the most random pieces of information, and he had a library at his house, he would just read, he read all this random stuff, which is great. But he was like an encyclopedia. And they never failed, like during the hand of cards. Like he would say, hey, do you guys know and before he didn’t finish the three of us like each other go fun fact, because he just always would have a random facts about the most ridiculous stuff that had nothing to do with what you’re talking about.


Deedee Wills 8:03 

You know, I do like to find out facts. Like if we’re watching a show, and I’m wondering who is that actor and then I go look, and then I find out where they were born, and actually they’re British, but they’ve totally nailed the Texas accent. You know, do I retain those facts? I do not.




Adam Peterson 8:18 

I do the same thing though. I go down a rabbit hole on, sometimes. Like IMDB app. Trisha will be like, I’ve seen that actress somewhere. I’m like, oh, let me find her, and then I’m like, [Crosstalk 8:27]


Deedee Wills 8:29 

It’s totally worthless, unless you’re like on a game show, but…


Adam Peterson 8:32 

I think your point in doing that with education related materials is… It’s kind of, it’s a catch-22, because you want to learn it all. But then you’re like, oh, my gosh, I got to put it all in place, but then on the other side, you’re like, I don’t have time to put all of this in place. Why am I even learning about all of this? It’s tough.


Deedee Wills 8:51 

It is. And it’s one of those things sometimes when you learn it all, and you haven’t implemented it yet, it’s like somebody’s just tapping you on the shoulder on a continual basis, like you have that information. You need to do something with it. And then you, not you I’m just talking about me, I start to spiral a little bit about it of like, how do I make this usable? How do I make this implementable? How do I make it simple? And how do I make it sustainable? So, you know, as you’re sitting in a conference, or reading a book, or reading something online, and you feel that constant tap on your shoulder. This is a time to make a plan to take that from that tap to actually putting it into action. How are you going to make that something that you put into your classroom next year? And of course, whenever we implement something new, sometimes that means we have to take something away because if it’s a completely new routine versus a tweak or two, then you know you’ll have to read something out because it’s not like you have an endless amount of time in your classroom right.

So, how will you make that you know, more effective? I’ve been doing this webinar series right now on writers workshop, and we talked about the star of the day, which is something that if your primary teacher, I try to talk about, but I don’t always talk about, but it is something you do the first 20 days of school to really kick off teaching students how to draw with detail. Because if they can draw with detail, they’ll write with detail as time goes on. They’ll start to see their value as illustrators to tell a story. And so star of the day is how we do that. It’s, it is easy, it’s fun, it’s a keepsake. It’s like one of those such cool things for students to get as a memory. And so I’ll just tell you what it is really, really quick. So if you don’t have something, it’s a star of the day. It’s very, super simple. So the first 20 days, 22 days, 27 days, depending on how many students you have, you select one person to be the star of the day.

Now, I was not a jobs person, I didn’t have the job chart where there were 72 different jobs that I couldn’t remember, because nobody has that kind of time. So you know, you say who’s the door holder? I am. No, I am, and you’re like, oh my gosh, you’re looking on the chart, what a waste of time. For me, that was like not worth my time. So instead, I had the star of the day. And if you were the star of the day, you did everything, you turned on the light, turn off the light, answered the door, line leader, lunch. You know all those, you were every, you were it. And as the day goes on, you start to interview that person, because it’s beginning of the year that you don’t know anybody. So you start interviewing people, you know, hey, do you have a mom? [Unintelligible 1:33]. Unless you’re from an egg, there is a Mom. Do you have a dog? Do you have a cat? Do you have a sister, brother? You know, what do you like to do when you’re not at school? That kind of stuff.

So you start to get to know them, and then at the last part of our day, we would have our star of the day. So if you are the star of the day, Adam I’m looking at you right now, I would show, I would do a directed drawing with my students. So every student at their desk has a piece of blank copy paper, it’s nothing fancy. And then I have my chart paper, my big chart paper. So I start to draw you like okay, well, we’re going to do a circle for his head, you know, we weren’t talking about shapes. Now for his body, I’m going to make it a triangle, you know, so I’m going to draw shape right triangle. Sometimes I, you know, make the girls with the tiny waist and the big shoulders. But most of the time everybody is, you know, little triangle, a little spot, little triangles for their arms, their sleeves, and now I’m going to draw their arms, and then for their legs, I’m just going to draw like a rectangle, and then I’ll just draw a line in the middle. So now I have legs. And then I’ll draw a little ovals for their feet, right.

So there’s lots of different ways that you can draw, learn to draw people, I use some of those books by Usborne. They’re really primary how to draw, but think about drawing in forms of shapes, right, versus if you think about how to draw a t shirt without thinking about the shapes, you know how you have that I’m doing this with my fingers, nobody can see it, have the, you know, the sleeves that come out, and then they got to come together, and then they got to come down. It’s so hard to do. Instead if you draw like a triangle for the body, and then I’m doing this with my fingers with a point at the top kind of kind of where the neck is, and then little triangles for the sleeves. Now you have, it’s much easier for students. Well, it’s also easier for adults.


Adam Peterson 13:21 

For adults who can’t draw.



Deedee Wills 13:23 

So then, as I’m also drawing you, I’m going to be thinking about all of the details I’m going to include. So right now everybody, he’s wearing a cap. So I’m going to draw a cap on there. And then I’m going to look and I’m going to be really dramatic. Oh, he’s wearing glasses. So I’m going to draw glasses on him. And he has a shirt that has a zipper down the middle. So I’m going to draw that too. And then oh, he’s got like a little emblem on his shirt. I can’t tell what it says. But I’m going to draw a little, I’m going to kind of make it look like that. And he’s wearing black shoes. And he’s wearing I don’t know what color shoes you’re wearing right now Adam but he’s wearing Oh, he’s wearing shorts. So I’m going to draw shorts. So you just try…


Adam Peterson 13:54 

We’re on zoom. I might not even be wearing pants right now, Deedee Wills.


Deedee Wills 13:57 

Oh my gosh.


Adam Peterson 13:59 

 I’m totally kidding people. [Crosstalk 14:01]. I love this, and we, this is… I’m like, we just want to go back to the classroom when… The way you’re talking about this because we used to do what I called. We call it kid of the day and we did the same thing for the first whatever 20 days or whatever it took to go through but I didn’t get into the point of all this directed drawing. I absolutely love this, because I love doing directed drawings, my kids. But we would do, we more focused on like learning their names.

So kid of the day, we put their name on the board. We talked about the number of letters in their board name. The number of syllables in the name. What letters do we see? Do they have the same number, or the same letters you do? I love adding the art piece into it because I used it. Just as I made like little books, so I didn’t even a full sheet of paper. We would just, they would just write each other’s names. So they would try their best to copy the name that we wrote. And then we would talk, like have that person tell about themselves a little bit maybe, and then they just had to pick something they wanted to draw. So maybe they drew their face. Maybe they drew a dog, because they heard that they had a dog. I love the directed drawing.



Deedee Wills 15:04 

Then when you’re done with that, you’re also going to really point out how color choice is super important when you’re drawing somebody. So, you know, Adam has brown hair, so I’m going to go ahead and use brown. Somebody else has red hair, so I’m going to use a little bit of red and orange and maybe some yellow in there to kind of show that color. Um, somebody has black hair, they have, you know, hair that is spiky on the top or curly, you’re drawing all of those things. You’re using colors that make sense. And then you say, where should we draw you, Adam, where should we draw, you’re going to be inside or outside, then you’re going to do the setting behind it. And we cannot, I always say you can’t be floating out of space. So where are we going to put you so it you know, when you start with kids…


Adam Peterson 15:43 

If I wanted to be in outer space, though. [Crosstalk 15:45].


Deedee Wills 15:47 

But you know, you’re showing students how to draw everything, but the same time, you’re also showing him how to fill the page with details. In kindergarten, they draw, everybody looks like a tic, there’s a round for their head, and then their arms and legs come out of their head, right. So now you have to show them you have body parts, right and you have parts, we all have parts. So um…


Adam Peterson 16:09 

I got to tell this. My daughter, my kids went to my school that I thought and they still go there. But Olivia, she’s an eighth grade now. Oh my gosh, she’s going to go to high school next year. When she was in kindergarten, she was in the classroom right next door to mine, and our teacher came over one day and just dying laughing. And in the middle of class, like we shared, her teacher and I shared, a like a common wall, and we had a like a pod, in between our classrooms that we shared. So like, we go back and forth to the rooms in no time at all, there was a shared door, you know, like a connected room at a hotel. But she came over died laughing, and I’m like, what is going on. And she goes, I was just drawing with your daughter, and I said, oh god, what. She goes, we were drawing self-portraits, and I sat at her table during snack time, we were drawing pictures, and she said, Olivia leaned over and just goes, oh this is would be there. You forgot to add the boobs. Of course, my kid would say that.


Deedee Wills 17:02 

Oh my gosh. That’s so funny.


Adam Peterson 17:04 

But you said add your body parts, that’s like…


Deedee Wills 17:07 

We’re not going to add those parts. So then, we also then, when we’re done, I take my big chart paper fold it up, and then I have I collect all of the students’ papers, and I make a little book for them. It goes home with a note that says to parents, you know, we, today your child will start the day, we are learning, you know, our beginning of learning how to write, is learning how to draw and so please celebrate your star today, something like that. And it’s, like I had a student come back to me, you know, in eighth grade and said, I still have my star the day, I still have my paper where you drew me. It’s just a really cool memory. And it really starts to also, it brings your parents into it as well. Now the first couple of days, holy smokes, they are hot mess express, they are not good. You’ll want to you know…


Adam Peterson 18:01 

Some kids are like, I want to be the last star today, because everybody can draw better.


Deedee Wills 18:05 

The first ones, they’re also bad. But you see it so quickly, how quickly they progress. It’s amazing. And one of the things I was going to say about the, oh, the other thing I’m just going to say is I like to add a border on the paper, you can use plain copy paper. I like to have a border so that students know to fill that space, right? Because it’s hard to do corner to corner on one single because now they’re coloring on that desk. So you may want to just put a, you know, put a box in there so that they fill that space. You know, one of the videos I have in my writers workshop session that I do is, is showing the share time on the 10th day of school and everybody comments, how do you get them to draw and fill that page with space, with colors and details? I’m like, that’s how you do it.



Adam Peterson 19:00 

That’s awesome. You know what I’m thinking to, now that we’re talking about this and the end of the year is approaching, this is something you would do the start of the year to introduce to your kids all stuff. But how fun would this be to throw in right now, you know, teachers, maybe you don’t have the number of days left for each of your students. So you could do a couple of days. But I’m thinking now we’ve learned so much about our friends. We know so much about them. What if we ended the year with a kid of the day or kids of the day? [Crosstalk 19:26] and also and now like instead of talking about having them tell about themselves maybe each day, you know, you write about what you’ve learned about that friend and you know, compliment them and talk about what you need to know what you learned. That could be an awesome way to… [Crosstalk 19:45]


Deedee Wills 19:45 

Bring it into yellow day too, right?


Adam Peterson 19:47 

There you go. Yeah.


Deedee Wills 19:48 

There you go [Crosstalk 19:49] First circle, we’re back to yellow. I had, because I just did the first webinar series last two…


Adam Peterson 19:56 

Last week, yeah or no just…


Deedee Wills 19:57 

Like two days ago. I’m like, it feels like it was a while ago. Yeah, two days ago. And I had mentioned this and a teacher had a comment, and she said, do you think I could do this now even though I’ve never done it? But she loved it. She just sent me an email this morning and said, from day, because she did it Wednesday, and then she just did it this morning. And she said, she could see like, already a huge difference. So it is, you know, just being intentional with our time, but it’s also a community building activity as well, but it’ll serve you really well. So if you have, if you’re listening to this, and you’re like, oh, I’ve got, you know, 15 days of school left, maybe you could do a couple of them. I said to put two students on a page. That doesn’t make sense. We wouldn’t, unless you wanted to make a whole classroom book, you know, where you would copy it all and scan it all, or make, put it part of a video that would work. But otherwise, it’s kind of nice to have an individual book. So maybe you would do it, you know, two things a day.


Adam Peterson 20:52 

That’s fun. You know, you got me thinking when you said about drawing the bodies and stuff to our good friend, Dr. Jean Feldman. I’ll never forget seeing her speak one time, and she said her key to getting kids to draw bodies on their characters. But she took a picture of herself and blew it up and just cut out the head, and then cut off her, like she took a picture of herself standing like a star, like arms and legs out. Then she cut off the arms, legs, and head and she glued her arms and her legs coming out of her head and put it on like a popsicle stick. And anytime a student tried to draw a picture of a person without a body, she’d go grab that, and she goes, this is what Dr. Jean looks like. I think it was her that told me that [Unintelligible 21:34] somebody taught me that idea. [Crosstalk 21:37]. Is that what I look like? No, that’s not what I look like. It was a great idea.


Deedee Wills 21:43 

You know, but it is a little daunting. I mean, teachers also were like, but I can’t draw. We just have to learn.


Adam Peterson 21:50 

Everybody’s an artist.


Deedee Wills 21:52

Everybody’s an artist.


Adam Peterson 21:53

In some way or the other.



Deedee Wills 21:56 

If Paula can like throw paint on a page. We’re good, but…


Adam Peterson 22:01 

It’s like, when I was talking about writing, like, and I try to encourage kids like… I always use this phrase, “Draw me a story”, not write me a story, draw me a story because not everybody is ready to write yet, right. But I always say we have picture books for a reason, right? Like there are, you know, best-selling authors who have put out a picture book with little or no words on a page. Same thing with art. You know, there are artists who dumped a bucket of paint on a canvas and it sells for multi millions of dollars. So it, yeah, every child is an artist.


Deedee Wills 22:29 

Yeah, I’ll put a link to, I have a blog post on wordless books. So I can put a link in there. People want to find some wordless books that they can use for writing because I have quite a collection.


Adam Peterson 22:41 

Yeah, so teachers may be listening to this too, as maybe you’re already out of school. You know, by the time you got around, because I know summers and road trips are when I listen to a lot of podcasts. Trish and I. the kids are on their Air Pods in the backseat now and we turn on a podcast, maybe it’s not the most appropriate one. But that’s why the kids have their headphones, is because I listen to a lot of podcasts. So if you’re listening this, you find yourself in summer mode now and you’re on the road somewhere. I know books were always something I turned to in the summer, whether it’s you know, a personal read or an educational read.

 But summer conferences are always a great one as well, and Deedee did not plan this. I’m throwing this in there because I get to be a part of it again, this year. She has the Educator Summit happening again, end of June. And one thing I love that you did about this is, when we think about conferences, we go to in person, there’s always that one session that you can’t go to because there’s something else happening at the same time, right? Like, I want to attend this one, but I want to send that one, and the great thing about doing online. I mean, I love in person workshops, don’t get me wrong. I love speaking in person, it’s so much better than speaking over zoom. But the benefit of having the recorded conference is, you get to, you could see it all right, like people who sign up for Educator summit get to witness it.



Deedee Wills 24:00 

Right. So the way that this works is that you have a 90 day access to all of the videos, starting at the end of June, all the way to the end of September. So the reason why we extended it that long is oftentimes you will listen to a session, sort of like we talked about at ILA ASCD, and then you’re like, gosh, I need to… She said something or he said something about, I don’t remember what it was. I didn’t write it down. It’s not clear in my notes. You can go back when you’re in the classroom and something, you need to tweak something, and remember something you can go back and watch that session again. So yeah, we have I mean, last year was amazing. This year is like amazing plus, because we have you know, of course you and a lot of our favorite teacher, authors, presenters, but we also have three big keynotes this year that I I’m personally so excited to hear what they have to say. Ken Bearden, of course, who’s phenomenal.


Adam Peterson 25:05 

Such a good friend and teacher and I love her.


Deedee Wills 25:09 

She’s phenomenal. So she’s going to give us that kind of boost that we need to get us excited and, and energize us and remind us of why we do what we do and how we can also, you know, take care of ourselves. We have Wiley Blevins, who is… I’ve read everything that he has written on phonics, phonics instruction and science of reading. I’ve read and reread his book. I’m holding up his one of his books. I have…


Adam Peterson 25:36 

How many post-it notes do you have in that thing?


Deedee Wills 25:39 

I have 700 post-its in there. One of them, I just had to put permanent tabs because I’m constantly going back to refer to it. Amazing. And then we just added Jan Burkins and Kerry Yates of their, you know, New York Times bestseller book, “Shifting the balance: 6 ways to bring the science of reading into a balanced literacy classroom”. So I’m just, I’m so excited and blessed that they’re going to be part of this. But this isn’t a conference. You know, I’m doing a session. Everybody’s doing a session. So it’s not really focused on one presenter. It’s really an accumulation of talent. Everybody has a different perspective and kind of expertise they’re bringing in. So I’m thrilled.


Adam Peterson 26:27 

I’m glad you brought up the idea of the extended access to and how teachers can go back and go back and get because same way I would listen to you know, let’s say it’s the beginning of June I watched them or maybe I was listening to them in the car. And that’s what I love about it being online sometimes is, I’ve, Trisha more so than me, because she’s still in the classroom has, you know, signed up for an online workshop, and she’ll just throw it on her phone and listen while we’re driving. Not watch the video, obviously, while we’re driving. But the fact that…


Deedee Wills 26:56

It doesn’t always work out well.


Adam Peterson 26:57 

It doesn’t work out well, you’re right. This access to go back. I had a lady that goes to our church last year after Educator Summit. Didn’t even know she was I mean, I knew she’s a teacher, but we’re not like super close friends. I know who she is. She knows who I am. Came up to me. It was like started the school year, and she had listened to our podcast and she goes, hey, next time you talk to Deedee just tell her thank you. And I think we talked about this before. And I was like, what and she goes, I watched Educator Summit, I was an attendee for it, but I’m going back and watching them again now that I’m back in my classroom, because I watched them in June. Got awesome ideas, but now I get that refresh of oh, yeah, I want to set up this spot in my room, because so and so talks about it in this session. So if you’re not signed up for Educator Summit, make sure you get that done. If you’re listening to this, and it’s past June of 2022, sorry, get jump on board next year. But hopefully you’re listening this before June of 2022. Is there a timeline they have to sign up by?


Deedee Wills 27:57 

No they can, you know, we had several people who kind of like this situation, heard about it, maybe from a friend or from I don’t know, maybe we talked about it or they saw something old posted on social media. So we had people signing up in June. No, obviously, June, July and August, and even somebody who signed up. We had extended the access and offered people an opportunity to get extended access, and we had people who did that as well. But then you’ve got to cram it all in in 30 days, you know, if it’s, I don’t know that we’ll do that this year. We just did it last year, because last summer, people were coming off the hardest year of their life. And for some of them, they just weren’t in a space to absorb everything that they wanted to absorb. You know what I mean? So giving them a little extra time, I thought was something that they needed. So yeah, I mean, it’s, I know that I, I tried to get and watch everybody’s session. But it’s a lot. It’s a lot to try to get through. So, you know, most times…


Adam Peterson 29:03 

I think that’s where you’ve done it. You’ve done a great job with it of finding while you’re not repeating any sessions, there are multiple sessions that kind of cover the same…


Deedee Wills 29:16 

Same kind of thread of instruction.


Adam Peterson 29:18 

Right, like so if you can’t watch one, maybe you’ve watched another and then that sparks you to watch one but you’re getting as much content as you can, and over time you can and again, I brought that up. Did you not tell me to bring that up? I brought it up because I want all of you to know about it. It is a great way to learn while you’re, I mean, because it’s digital, you can sit by the pool, have a drink in your hand and watch some sessions, you know.


Deedee Wills 29:41 

I’m just going to say this. The educators Summit is like a buffet. There is a ton of food there, right? You do not need to eat all of the food. Now this is a conversation I should have had with myself before I went to the all-inclusive resort, right? Because I ate all of the food. People feel pressured. Uh, oh my gosh, I have to have it all. You do not. You can just pick and choose the things that you want. You don’t have to have it all.


Adam Peterson 30:06 

And we’re going on another cruise in June and I, we’ve done a couple. And I always tell myself like, I’m not going to eat everything because it’s there. And then we get off the boat. Holy cow, I gained ten pounds.



Deedee Wills 30:16 

You’re like, good thing I’m wearing sweat pants.


Adam Peterson 30:19 

Because for some reason, you leave a show on a cruise ship at 10 o’clock at night and you’re like, hey, the nacho bar is open. Let’s go get some. I’m like at home, I would need nachos at dinner. But because…


Deedee Wills 30:29 

It’s like, I’m still full from dinner, but I could fit something else in there, right? [Crosstalk 30:34]. It’s like, I’m not hungry. Its like, how full am I? If I’m eight out of ten, I still have two more things I can put in there.


Adam Peterson 30:41 

This is a great analogy for the way teachers are feeling right now. And teachers think about this in May. You don’t have to do it all. I know, I stressed at this time of year like, oh my gosh, you’re going to get memory books done, and we should probably take this picture and we need to make sure we do this field trip and we should, I forgot to read this book this year, I got it. You know, here’s the thing. Your kids in your classroom aren’t going to know the difference of what you did last year that you’re not doing this year. And as you wind down this school year, remember that your kids don’t know the difference.


Deedee Wills 31:11 

Just hug them. Just hug them and love them.


Adam Peterson 31:14

Let’s talk about all that time. Like oh my gosh, I forgot to read you know this book, but it was great last year. Guess what? Your students are not going to know that it was great last year so…


Deedee Wills 31:24 

It’ll be alright.

Adam Peterson 31:25 

Thank you teachers for what you’ve done these last nine months. Wind down. Enjoy these last few weeks. God that’s weird, a few weeks. That’s really hitting home with me this year knowing that it’s my daughter’s eighth grade here. A few weeks. She goes to high school, but enjoy it. Enjoy it and do what you can with what time you have.


Deedee Wills 31:46 

All right, you guys take care.


Adam Peterson 31:48 

All right, see ya.


Deedee Wills 31:51 

Bye. Hey, thanks for listening to the “Classroom Collaborative Podcast”.


Adam Peterson 31:54 

If you are enjoying these episodes, please make sure that you subscribe wherever you are finding them.


Deedee Wills 31:58 

And share and rate it, so others could find it as well.


Adam Peterson 32:00 

We’ll see you guys in the next episode. Thanks for listening.


Deedee Wills 32:02 


About the Podcast

The Classroom Collaborative Podcast is a show about teaching, classroom, and education. We tackle new classroom tips and tricks in every episode.

About Your Hosts

Deedee Wills is an early childhood educator, instructional coach, and international educational consultant. She is also the author of the award-winning blog, Mrs. Wills Kindergarten.

Adam Peterson is a kindergarten teacher, nationally recognized speaker, and educational consultant. He also the creator of the popular YouTube channel,

I hope you enjoyed this episode! See you on the next one!

Deedee & Adam

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