Monday, September 23, 2019

"Innovate Inside the Box" Book Study, Week 1: Building Learner Agency and Defining Success


This year, my position changed. From my perspective, it’s been for the better. As a result of the change, I have been given the opportunity to pursue interests that I haven’t felt I was able to in the past because there just wasn’t time. At first, I wasn’t exactly sure what to do with this change. I started to make a mental list of all the things professionally I’ve struggled with over the last five years and defined some goals for myself. One of them is to actually blog. I’ve had plenty of false starts over the years mainly because at the end of the day I was tired. I had nothing left to give to the profession and had to put all my energy into my family and relationship with others. I’m not finding myself stretched as thin as I was before and can now focus on reading more, writing more and seeking out/accepting more speaking opportunities. For the first time in awhile, I’m excited about working on me as a professional. It’s time to do something amazing.

While participating in an online book study may not be one person’s definition of amazing, it’s something I never allowed myself to do in the past. So, it’s pretty amazing to me. The, “Innovate Inside the Box” book study came at a great time. Not only am I reading and not thinking about 100 other things I felt I should be doing, I am also finding the encouragement to blog. It’s a double win.

About midway through Chapter 2 of, “Innovate Inside the Box,” I came across this passage:

If we really want students to guide their own path and lead happy and healthy lives, this will require us to define success differently. Rather than approach students with a deficit mentality, we must look for and build on their unique strengths and talents and help them acquire the skills, knowledge, and mindsets they need to see themselves as full of possibility.

This passage resonated with me for two reasons. The first being that I work really hard in my own practice to develop learner agency. Students need to understand who they are learners so they can forge their own path to lead happy and healthy lives. Schools need to embrace the learners’ strengths and foster growth rather than trying to remediate a deficit. Now, being a Special Ed teacher I feel as though every IEP I write goes against this belief. There are somethings I can’t change and paperwork is one of them. However, how IEP meetings are run and the atmosphere created is entirely within my control. I recently wrote a blog post for Make Learning Personal that addresses this very issue. This post outlines my process of using Learner Profiles to develop learner agency and how I use them in student led IEP meetings. This is how I get students involved in their own planning and goal setting.

The second reason this passage resonated with me is success looks different for all students. Here is a brief summary of two students who have very different definitions of success.

I have a student who has recently returned from a five month residential stay in a mental health facility. Not only are mental health issues a concern the student also has an intellectual disability, autism, reactive attachment disorder and trauma. She’s also a student who loves dogs, documentaries, socializing, cooking and learning about other places. Right now, success for her will be learning how to form trusting relationships with people (especially adults) and learning how to self-regulate her emotions/behavior. That skill is far more important to her future than any reading comprehension strategy or math process I can teach her right now. Her success is going to be difficult, if not impossible to grade. 

I have a former student who played drums and planned on being in a band after high school. I never felt that school embraced his interests. When writing his post secondary plan I felt pressured from other team members to focus on a Plan B since Plan A was to, quite literally, play drums in a heavy metal band. This guy did not go to college as his Plan B stated and the school prepared him for. Instead, he has traveled to Europe and all over the United States in several different bands, performed at large music festivals when drummers were needed and has served as a studio drummer for recording acts. Not a single follow up survey on graduates that was done identified him as a success. If you want to check him out on Twitter or Instagram @mitchondrums.

Success looks different for every individual and as teachers we need to know our learners and help nurture their strengths. Classroom practices, like using Learner Profiles, passion projects, 20% time, and choice opportunities for practice and assessment options are all ways teachers can help students build agency AND help them define what success looks like for them.

Friday, December 14, 2018

And it's Inclusive Practices for the Win! Or, Maybe it Was Just Good Education?

Last summer, my school's Applied Tech department went through a major remodel and with the help of community partnerships, grants and the school district a Fabrication Lab became a reality after years in the making. The Fab Lab, as it's known around Brookfield Central, is a place where teachers can bring their classes down to create. The possibilities in the space are endless; there are 3D printers, laser cutters/engravers, CNC tools, video production equipment, vinyl cutters, dye-sublimation, and embroidery (and I'm probably forgetting something) machines that can help you bring your vision to life. I've been pretty excited about this space for some time. I had the opportunity to co-teach with the visionary behind this space last year, Tom Juran, so simply by working in close proximity to him, I got to see some of the planning. When he told me this fall that he was looking for a teacher to be brave and plan a unit that could utilize the FabLab, I volunteered one of my co-taught Physics classes. I figured Mike Mohammad would be fine with it, or at least I hoped he would. After all, we have makerspace in our classroom but the students primarily build out of cardboard, popsicle sticks, plastic cups and anything else that they bring in or that they can find. Mike has a busy semester teaching two sections of Physics with me and then two more to make for an overload. I was a little hesitant given his already large workload but my gamble on Mike's interest was accurate; he was in.

Mike has already blogged about the process and lesson design so I'm not going to re-write about the experience from a lesson planning perspective. Instead, I want to share a few stories about the big inclusive practice win took place as we built chariots for our robot spheres, otherwise known as Spheros...

To summarize the project, we looked to build our own Sphero Chariot. A Sphero is a programmable robot sphere. The chariot must hold a rider of at least 50 grams and be able to navigate a course. The Sphero could not be manually controlled but be programmed through the use of the SpheroEdu app. In the FabLab, we wanted each team to design one component of their chariot to be 3D printed and one component to be cut on the laser engraver.

Our class is comprised of 29 students and one peer collaborator for a total of 30 students. The peer collaborator is there to assist a student who receives instruction that's in line to the Common Core Essential Elements (CCEE) and is graded on his progress towards meeting his IEP goals. I'm going to call him Dave. In all of his other classes, he has an adult assistant but in Physics we were able to pair him up with a student. Simply put, it's awesome. There are two other students in the class who have similar goals. We'll call them Kerry and Nichole. There are also five other students in the class who have IEPs and three of those five require a fair amount of advanced planning on our part due to executive functioning deficits and significantly below grade level reading or math skills. Actually having inclusive groups has been something that I've had to work at. It didn't organically happen but by getting to know the students in the class and letting them know how much I appreciate their gentle nature, compassionate spirit and patience I've got a core group of peers that welcomes these students into their lab groups after a little prompting on my part.

The class was instructed to split up into groups of no more than three before we began the project. I usually allow some of the groups to be four if one of our most diverse learners is part of the group. As it turned out, we actually had three girls who work well together approach Kerry and Nicole. For that group, we approved a five person team. Inside, I was doing a happy dance...I didn't even care that group got larger than Mike and I originally planned. These kids were approach by peers and asked to  be in a group. Dave, was asked to be in a group that had included him during previous times. The "neurotypical" crowd is very kind to Kerry, Nichole and Dave but like I wrote earlier, these partnerships don't happen organically. It has taken instruction on my part throughout the semester on how to work, communicate and what to expect. It's not enough to just have Kerry, Dave and Nichole  sit in the group but we need to find meaningful ways for them to participate.

I was pleased that all three really gravitated towards the block programming. One day, I received an email from Kerry that begged, "Can I please come in during block 1? My friend Sami is going to be working on the program and she needs my help."

My friend Sami.

Kerry was begging for a pass to miss one of her other classes so she could come in extra to work on the program. Prior to this school year, Kerry wanted little to do with her regular education peers in a regular class. Now, she viewed this girl as a friend.

Dave really enjoyed controlling the Sphero and spent hours during his Guided Study practicing manually controlling the robot. This gave him some nice background experience so when it was time to program his Sphero he knew how sensitive it was. You can see in this video how his group found a way to include him during the testing.
Another favorite moment occurred with a girl who happens to received special education services. I'm going to call her Melissa. Melissa is not a good group member and I wouldn't say that's a result of her learning disability. Attendance isn't consistent, she doesn't take initiative and is one of those students who is addicted to her phone. She happened to be absent the day groups were set and got left out of the group of 4 she usually works with (I thought they probably would be two groups of two). Instead, Melissa found a group with two other girls who have similar characteristics when it comes to group work. Let's just say that Melissa OWNED this project. She organized the other two and made sure things got done. This group was consistently ahead of schedule and built a solid chariot. They had more time to program than any other group and more opportunities to revise their design. One day, I overheard another student say, "Do you think it's bad that Melissa's chariot is going to be the best one in the class?"

I exercised restraint from going full blown Mama Bear on this boy.

I interjected by saying, "Why would you ask that?" He had nothing. It made him super uncomfortable and I hope he thought about why he'd say such a thing. Did he say it because a group of girls was  dominating this project up to that point? Did he say it because maybe he knows Melissa struggles academically and was dominating this project? Or, did he say it because Melissa turned out to be an amazing group member and any group would have benefitted from her participation in this project? It doesn't matter why, as a female and advocate for students with disabilities I was annoyed he'd say something like that.

The other chariot that made heads turned was also designed and built by students who receive special education. These two boys usually pick on another to be partners and are the youngest in the class. I'm fine with them working together. One of the boys usually has difficulty communicating his thoughts and ideas. He was able to work with a peer from the engineering class to make his 3D vision come to true. He also has a home where parents work third shift and there's no one at home to tell him to stop playing video games and go to bed. Consequently, it's not uncommon for him to be falling asleep in class because he only got a few hours of sleep. He didn't show signs of being tired during this entire two and a half week project. Unbelievable.

I've heard Shelley Moore speak about inclusive practices and she uses the following graphic to illustrate what inclusion should look like. I'll be honest, the physics class doesn't look like inclusion all the time but I really work hard to spread those colored dots out as much time as I can. This was one of those projects where I felt it wasn't just an inclusive practices win but a huge EDUCATION win. Often times I look back on a classroom experience and immediately start thinking about ways to make it better from strictly a special ed perspective. For this project, I can identify things that Mike and I need to do better from a project design perspective but am so proud that the kids with very diverse learning needs were included by their peers, found meaningful ways to participate and felt a connection to the content. Everyone was successful. This is what classroom should be like. Everyone feels successful.




Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Creating Student Agency, Ownership and Empowerment...and the IEP

About four years ago, I began using a Learner Profile that was inspired by Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey's book, "How to Personalize Learning."  In a nutshell, it was a grid that explained strengths, weaknesses, needs and preferences as it related to Universal Design for Learning. Students would go through an interview process with me, we'd fill it out together and then the student explained it at their IEP meeting. If I was lucky, the student would also use it to advocate for themselves in the regular education. After a few iterations of the process, my students began to think more about their learning, develop agency and taking greater ownership in classrooms that were designed around personalized learning principles.

So, here we are several years later. 100% of my caseload now have Learner Profile documents that are presented during IEP meetings to the team. This has been a complete game changer for student and parent engagement during the IEP meeting. The meeting itself has turned into a conversation around the student's strengths, weaknesses and what the student thinks works in terms of support. Now, the IEP meeting has turned into a positive and meaningful conversation that hits many parts of the IEP (strengths, weaknesses, supplementary aides and services). We will spend time talking goals and data but that is not at the center of conversation. At the high school level, we still need to try and close achievement gaps but we also need to teach students to identify what assistive technology, apps, extensions, whatever they need to be successful to overcome the identified weaknesses in the classroom. This is what IEP meetings should be all about and the Learner Profile addresses this.

This week I presented the following presentation at SLATE on engaging IEP meetings and shared out a number of resources to help teachers move in a direction of student led IEP meetings.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Never Miss a Chance to Say Thank You

I loved school when I was young. I had some really inspiring teachers at every level but I can't think of anyone more impactful than my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Blicharz. Seeing as that was 31 years ago and through the eyes and memories of an 11 year old, some details may not be quite accurate, but this is how I remember it....

Sometime in early elementary school I was identified as, "Gifted and Talented." To this day I can't imagine what I was "gifted and talented" in. It sure wasn't math (more on that to come) and I doubt it was reading but nevertheless I, along with eight others, were pulled out of grade level classrooms and met twice (but I think some years it was three times) a week for 45 minutes to do stuff. And, by stuff I mean we put on plays, learned how to play chess, and played Oregon Trail. When we played Oregon Trail, we experienced it through a booklet. After all, this was the mid 80's and my school had four computers on carts. We must have done more but those were the activities that really left an impression. When we, "went to GT" it was the same time; like 10:30 every Monday and Wednesday. While we were gone, class continued. As a result of this routine, I ended up missing the same content instruction twice a week and every year it seemed like I missed math. There were some gaps by the time I reached 5th grade that my "giftedness" was not able to compensate for.

Enter Mrs. Blicharz, my 5th grade teacher. Mrs. Blicharz was not the warm and fuzzy teacher who  wore apple sweaters. She meant business and every student in the lower grades knew that.

She was perfect for me.

Up until that time, I was really good at, "playing" school. I was compliant and put a lot of effort into what I did. I was a people pleaser and I must have been a decent test taker during elementary school because I kept getting sent to "GT" every year. She, however, saw my gaps in math early in the school year and addressed them in a nurturing way. I remember staying in from recess to get a little more help with long division, fractions and early algebra concepts. I don't remember feeling like it was a punishment. As a teacher myself now, I know she really cared. She probably had two opportunities to use the bathroom a day and she was blowing one of them on me and my math gaps that were creating insecurities.

One day, I remember her saying to me, "You don't have to go down to GT if you don't want to." Maybe my parents were involved behind the scenes or maybe she and the GT person spoke about my lack of math giftedness but the way I remember it is that I had a choice and had just been given responsibility. I didn't always go to GT after that. That empowerment to take control of my own learning was an important lesson in self-advocacy for me. I was in control of my own learning and could make decisions about it.

Mrs. Blicharz was one of the first teacher who I remember seeing as a real person. She talked about her children and her life outside of school. One day, she showed her vulnerable side and it's something that has always stuck with me. As a class, we were getting ready to correct a math assignment and she was notified that she had an important, personal, phone call. A look a worry came over her face and as she was walking out the room she said, "Andi, please correct the homework with the class." Dumbfounded with my new and unexpected responsibility during MATH class, I walked to the front of the room and modeled the behavior I had watched teachers do before with perceived  confidence. We went over answers and did examples on the board. After that, she still wasn't back so I led the class in a game of Around the World...a favorite of our class. I kept that class going until recess at which time we all left. Upon returning from recess it was evident that she had been crying. I updated her on what we did while she was out and learned that there had been a death in her family, I think it was a beloved aunt. That day I saw a strong woman who was my teacher, vulnerable. She was no longer just a super hero in my daily life but a super hero who was hurting. I just loved her even more that day.

It's been 31 years since I walked through the doors of Mrs. Blicharz's classroom. I can't tell you one learning target I mastered in 5th grade however, I did leave that classroom in June with some bigger life lessons. I found a sense of ownership for my own learning and education. I discovered that I had confidence in front of others and began to think I wanted to be a teacher too. I also began to see teachers differently. They were real people with lives and loved ones outside of work. As a parent now, I realize that children this age are incredibly ego-centric and that's developmentally normal. That's why we teach perspective taking and empathy to young children. I think 5th grade was a time my brain really started to develop and I began seeing the world bigger than just what happened in my day.

I've been thinking about this post for a few years and only this week really put some effort into tracking down my beloved 5th grade teacher. With the help of Facebook, I was able to locate one of her sons who is going to share this with her.

My current principal sends the students and staff off at the end of the day with announcements and this saying:  Always search the world for the positive and never miss a chance to say thank you. Yesterday, he challenged the entire school to take 10 minutes and send an email of gratitude to someone. It felt like the time had come to finally get this post written and shared. Thank you Mrs. Blicharz for your years of service to public education. If there was ever a question about a life you touched, know you touched mine.



Sunday, November 18, 2018

Personalization vs. Individualization and Special Education

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the 9th Annual Convening on Personalized Learning and present alongside Mike Mohammad, Shannon Maki, Stephanie Radomski, Matt Schroeder and Ryan Milbrath. Our session was titled, "All Mean All, An Epic Smackdown of UDL Strategies." Mike put together a comprehensive blog post right here with all our resources. The presentation went really well and we were even approached by a local administrator who asked if we'd be available to present to their staff. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive.

The other highlight of my week was having the opportunity to sit down with Andrew Easton, the host of the Westside Personalized Podcast, and talk about the work I do with Learner Profiles and co-teaching in a Personalized Learning classroom. The topic of personalization vs. individualization came up and that's something I really haven't thought deeply about for a few years - not since Shannon Maki and I did a full staff development around this chart a few years ago. At the time, the term personalized learning was new to our staff and we needed to provided some PD around the use of the words, personalization, differentiation and individualization.


PDI chart v3 from Kathleen McClaskey

Special education teachers are masters of individualization and differentiation but where does personalization fit into the equation? Mike Mohammad, my co-teacher, and I re-evaluate where our classroom is headed often to make sure we aren't slipping into legacy practices...which are comfortable. I heard a speaker last summer ask the question, "how many of you are masters at a practice you don't really believe in?" The speaker was referring to inclusive practices so not exactly this context of personalized learning but I think the question is still relevant. We provide a lot of choice in assessment options that challenge learners to connect learning to interests, talents and aspirations. We put students at a starting point with content and let them decide what direction they want to go and make them responsible for identifying their needs (to which we respond). We make reflection a valued part of our class and set aside time for students to reflect on their learning.

So, where do my skills as a special education teacher fit into all of this?

Recently, our students began their passion project, which will end up being the "final exam" grade for the term. They can pick anything, it doesn't even have to relate to physics because we are looking at the process they take, not so much what their topic is. One day a week is going to be devoted to this project. There are three learners in the class who fall into the category of, "alternate curriculum." I'll be honest, a lot gets individualized  for them. When the class is reflecting, this group is also reflecting but is provided sentence stems and word banks. They have also chosen the option to voice record their reflections (actually, any learner in the class could do this but they don't). Back to the passion project...My three learners who, several years ago, would have been in self-contained classrooms all day, embraced this passion project. They had no problems coming up with something they wanted to learn more about. As a teacher, I totally lucked out when two of the three picked making cookies from scratch (they mostly just have experience with frozen cookie dough and I say lucked out because the number of IEP/transition goals/objectives I'm going to be able to hit is astounding) and the third picked learning more about the baritone and woodwind instruments. I bounced between the three of them and guided their thinking to help them determine what the learning goals are going to be and what the end product was going to look like so they could start planning a map to get there. The learner who identified the music project had his mind blown when I shared with him an app on the iPad that will help him analyze decibels and then started a conversation about sound waves. In general, I feel pretty good about how learner driven everything was to this point.

This last week, the class had to do research on their topic using databases. This is where I stepped in and did a lot of individualization. To be frank, it doesn't matter if I have a way create an audio option for any articles found, they aren't going to be appropriately leveled for these learners. For these learners to be independent with their work the reading levels need to be at the elementary level. Otherwise, an adult is reading out loud, paraphrasing and honestly just telling them what they need to know. There's too much on the shoulders of the teacher and leaves the learner with very little responsibility. To combat this, I use resources like Newsela and ReadWorks.org to find articles and then assign them to students. The student logs in and often can even listen to the article. I provide some guided inquiry questions and they responded. Again, I do the searches and learners read what I find for them. Sounds a lot like a legacy classroom. The reality is, it would take an unreasonable amount of time to have the learners do the searches. This activity was completed on a day I was out of the classroom and I was thrilled to see that they did it independently. Huge win. Based on the emails I received from the learners, they were clearly engaged and started to ask new questions that can be weaved into their project.

I'm truly excited to see where these projects take these learners. They are actively designing what they want to learn about and I'm on the side making sure the route is accessible.

Stepping back and really thinking about personalized learning again, I think that my role as a special education teacher is to make sure the path the student wants to take is accessible. My role is not to tell them what they need to learn but making sure what they want to learn is available to them. We still have an obligation to make sure learning is accessible to ALL learners through UDL principles. That might mean spending time differentiating and individualizing but making sure our starting point is driven by the learner. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

It's the Law... (Day 2 of #iSummitWisco)

Today I attended Day 2 of the iSummit. I heard some powerful ideas and had great conversations with my co-workers but it was far from the most impactful part of my day.

About a week ago, I received an email from our assistant superintendent asking if I'd be interested and available to be part of a teacher panel to meet a delegation of administrators and principals from China. The panel was going to meet during Day 2 of the iSummit but since I was just down the street and wouldn't be missing very much I said, yes. The delegation was specifically interested in how we meet the needs of students with disabilities. Since students with disabilities aren't included in the traditional classroom, they had a lot of questions.

I wasn't alone on the panel, my co-teacher and collaborator, Mike Mohammad was there too. We have worked together for nearly 10 years making the science classroom and curriculum accessible to all learners. We've learned together, failed together and succeeded together. We've also presented and shared our story plenty of times...I understand why we were asked to speak. 

Generally we're questioned about what we do, what our classroom looks like and what sort of supports are in place. Today, we were asked to describe our class make-up, how we group students, a little about teacher evaluations and one other big thing. Something that I've never encountered before. Now, I'm going to preface this with we were communicating through a translator and sometimes I didn't completely understand what was being asked. The question was raised that was something to the effect of, how do we respond to public reaction of these students being included?

I wasn't exactly sure how to respond because, well, it's the law. So, that's what I said.

It was at this point our superintendent interjected and reiterated that here in America, it's the law. He then went on to say that all schools are in the business of promoting excellence. However, what makes America special is that we also strive for excellence but additionally strive for equity and equal access. That's part of our value system.

I know that other countries are different and have a different value system. I know that in some countries people with disabilities don't have the same access to education and opportunities as they do in the United States. However, to be in a room with people who are having a hard time wrapping their minds around this concept was mind blowing, especially since I've been spending my days in a large ballroom at a hotel celebrating inclusive practices and really thinking about ways to move to being wildly inclusive with 500 other educators. The difference between the two crowds couldn't have been more different. It was a reminder that there are different realities for marginalized groups everywhere.

After thinking more about this and my own reaction, I was taken back to when I was a junior in high school. I had the opportunity to attend an American Youth Foundation summer camp at Camp Miniwanka in Michigan. I attended a 10 day session that was attended by high school and college aged youth from all over the world. I met others from Australia, France and South Africa among other countries. None of the people I met had as much of an impact on me as Lorianne, from South Africa. Lorianne was a young adult, early 20s and black. Since this was the mid 90s she had very vivid memories of what it was like to live under apartheid and when people couldn't wrap their heads around it, I remember her looking at us and stating, "It was the law." She also shared with us, with tears in her eyes, what it was like to vote for the first time. Listening to her talk about what it was like to live like that, I couldn't help but be moved. Even though I knew what apartheid was from school and the news, I thought understood. I knew nothing.

I feel like today was sort of like that. I thought I understood what education in other countries for students with disabilities might look like...I have a feeling I have no idea.



Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Reflection from Day 1 of #iSummitWisco18

I have had a jam packed week or so of inspirational PD. I participated in the first ever #HiveSummit and found myself energized after watching each video. To put this in context, I watched most of them while on an elliptical at the gym and felt like I could keep on going, even after the 45 minute or so video was over. Today was day one of the iSummit. This is a conference put on by my district to celebrate and push the conversation towards inclusive education. Being a special education teacher, these are my people, my tribe that I need to learn from so I can be better equipped to have those tough conversations with people who have differing views about inclusive education.

Today, we heard from Julie Causton and Shelley Moore. Oh my goodness...Shelley Moore. I could listen to her speak all day. Her way of telling stories and driving points home was inspirational. I was trying to Tweet, take notes and pay attention all at the same time and couldn't seem to make it all happen because I was too afraid I'd miss something. There was so much to reflect on...I don't possibly have enough time here to dive into all of it so I'm picking my top three take-aways.

First, this is the most powerful reason for the WHY behind inclusive education I've ever seen. As educators, we can't teach to the middle because we'll end with the 7-10 split. You just really need to watch this short 3 minute video.

Second, we were asked to ponder this question:  How many of us are refined at a practice you don't believe in?  YIKES!  How many things to do I do everyday that I don't really believe in but do because of outside pressure to conform, please parents, keep the peace between students, look good in case an evaluator just shows up...I've been in plenty of situations where we were pretending inclusive practices were happening but in reality, it was just integration.
Image result for inclusion exclusion segregation integration

Finally, my third big thought to ponder was being intentional. For inclusive education to be successful, there needs to be intention behind it. What is the personal, social and intellectual purposes behind the learning experiences? This grid was provided to help us organize our thoughts and intentions.



Inclusion is about increasing places with purpose over time. This got me thinking about how I approach IEPs for students with intellectual disabilities, behavior and all the work I do with behavior mapping with one of my students with Autism. I feel like I've done a behavior map for every location at school but I know there will always be more because life doesn't just happen at school. I'm going to need to look at more experiences in the community. By creating these behavior maps, I'm intentionally teaching behavior strategies in an authentic environment, providing opportunities to reflect and am constantly increasing the places with purpose. After hearing Shelley Moore's message, I'm feeling more confident in what I'm doing and am motivated to keep moving forward to find more places.