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Reflect, Recharge, and Renew

The school year is over for most of us and the day-to-day focus on teaching has been suspended for a few weeks. Summer vacation brings an opportunity for educators to refresh and refocus, and the time to ponder reflective questions that will lead to plans and strategies to make the upcoming school year even better. The theme of this month's issue will help you do just that as you embrace "The Educator's 'Three R's' of Summer: Reflect, Recharge, and Renew."

In this issue, MI Toolkit authors share thoughts and summer strategies for reflecting on the past year—and looking forward to the coming one. Jacquelyn Thompson reflects on school culture and asks us to consider whether we are supporting students with IEPs to achieve in school and succeed in life? Jennifer Paul and Dr. Madeline Mavrogordato invite us to take time to pause and celebrate the victories you’ve had this year with ELL students. Dorinda Carter Andrews reflects on her experience as a former high school math teacher and offers tips and tools for engaging in critical self-reflection about multicultural education and teaching. Toolkit writer Angela Son provides a recap of the 2014 MI Excel Summer Institutes for Priority and Focus Districts and Schools in Lansing, Michigan from June 24 – 27. Ted Ransaw writes an article that reflects upon the role of gender in teaching and learning style preferences. Finally, Christie Poitra writes an article about the importance of healthy and collegial relationships among teachers and administrators, and the critical role that trust plays in building these relationships.

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MI Excel Superintendents Institute

July 30–August 1, 2014 | Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center, East Lansing

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August 15, 2014 | Detroit, Michigan

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August 19–22, 2014 | Detroit, Michigan

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September 16–19, 2014 | Detroit, Michigan