September 2019


Mistakes, making choices that did not result in what we wanted or needed, poor judgement, and whatever other potentially derailing action is your jam are always possible when we dare to take action and to try. But, these things do not have the power to derail us unless we give it to them.

Our students struggle with this 24/7 as they live in a space of constant self-judgement and comparison breeding discouragement and low self-esteem.

The next time you make a mistake, take the advice you give your students... simply begin again. Don't make it a thing by reacting with negative self-talk and judgmental thoughts (that, by the way, are all untrue!)

  • I should have done this instead.
  • I should have known better.
  • I knew that was a mistake.
  • I don't belong here.
  • I am not good at this.

Whether these are true or not is irrelevant (and, they aren't true). What is relevant is that these thoughts do not serve anyone nor do they change anything that has already happened. If we let them, these thoughts can trap us in a space of stagnation, inertia, and unproductive negative thought loops.

Don't react. Respond.

Respond by simply beginning again and moving on. Nope, no "buts". Just begin again without judgement, and a bit wiser this time thanks to you trying it the first time.

That's right, respond by thanking yourself for daring to try and taking action even though it was possible that it wouldn't turn out perfectly! Then, if you choose, simply begin again.

Summer 2019 Recap

This summer several of the fellows served as teacher leaders in a variety of capacity building opportunities. Some served as itslearning Rangers and facilitated itlearning Campouts and Day Camps. Additionally, some of you facilitated Code Camps, facilitated Level Up 2019 sessions, facilitated professional development sessions for your content areas and campuses, and you have been actively learning at a variety of conferences and sharing your learning on Twitter! We are in awe of your passion, inspired by your drive, and your all-in nature around the work of innovating the learning experience.

Annie Mitchell presented Easy as App-le Pie! Three Apps You Need to Increase Oral Language at Elem Tech Conference by TCEA.

19 Vanguard Fellows serve as itslearning Rangers this summer and facilitatate itslearning Campouts and itslearning Day Camps.

Krystal Weiss presented a session in the Google for EDU room titled How Google + itslearning complete the 21st Century Learning Suite at ISTE 2019.

Stephanie Chambers and Gail Dunn facilitated SBISD Code Camps at Bendwood. and Memorial Middle.

Vanguard powered 2 panel sessions titled #EveryChild has a device. Now what? at Level Up 2019.

Vanguard powered 2 elementary panel sessions titled Blended Learning in Elementary at Level Up 2019.

ISTE 2019

Having been to several ISTEs at this point, we have good news and bad news. The good news is---ISTE can be a game changer! The bad news is--- ISTE can be a game changer!

The reality is that as awesome as ISTE is, the best thing about ISTE is what happens after ISTE… what educators do with the potential energy of ISTE. We have learned that ISTE empowers, but not in vain. ISTE empowers educators so that they can in turn empower others. In a perfect world, the passing of the torch of empowerment would continue infinitely, and all our problems would be solved…rainbows and sunshine every day! But, seriously, the path to that perfect world truly starts with you. What will you do with your ISTE experience? How will you be bold and brave in empowering your colleagues and students?

Whether you attended ISTE this year, or in year's past, the learning never ends! Visit our ISTE Notes Doc to check out some of what was learned.

Happy Birthday!

14 - Michelle Carbajal

16 - Jamie Flint

19 - Carrie Estes

20 - Claudia Meza

21 - Seda Dawson

25 - Lauren Sinclair

26 - Christina Carrizales

29 - JR Roberts

Mark Your Calendars!

Vanguard Learning Days & Onboarding Cohort V

We will continue to host half-day learning opportunities. These are optional, but will give you the opportunity to work with your cohort to share ideas, acquire feedback, share challenges and celebrations, and to have a dedicated space work on "the work" of shifting you practice. The dates below are hyperlinked to Kick Up for registration.

October 28 - 12:30-3:30 pm

December 3 - 12:30-3:30 pm

January 17 (Onboarding Day) - 12:30-3:30 pm

February 27 - 12:30-3:30 pm

Computational Thinking Cohort 19-20 Registration is Open!

Computational thinking is a problem solving process that is not isolated to computer science. This problem solving thinking process can be applied across all content areas. Join your colleagues from all across the district serving in grades PK-8 in bringing computational thinking skills into all content area classrooms.

Details -

Application -

Contact Amy Houser for more information.

Twitter Chats

We will continue the great interaction, connection, and conversation with our community Twitter chats. Join in on the Vanguard Twitter chat fun at #sbvanchat at the following dates and times!


October 28, 7-8 p.m.

    • Topic: Authentic Learning Experiences - Why, How, and What
    • Moderators - Melanie Marshall & Maria Luna

January 20, 7-8 p.m.

    • Topic: TBD
    • Moderator: Gail Dunn

April 20, 7-8 p.m.

    • Topic: TBD
    • Moderators: Jeanette Choy & Sarah Chu

Edcamp Spring Branch

Don't miss the 5th annual Edcamp Spring Branch! Join in on sharing and learning on January 18 from 8-11:30 at the Technology Training Center (TTC). Register on Eventbrite.

Follow @EdcampSB on Twitter!

Back to School Meet-Up

It has been a while since we have all connected face-to-face. Let's meet up and catch up before DEVOLSON hits at Chuy's Mexican Restaurant!

Where: 9774 Katy Frwy., 77055

Date: Thursday, September 5

Time: 4-5 p.m.

Future Vanguard Events

Holiday Meet-Up with Festive, Fun Games!

When & Where: 4:30 pm on Thursday, December 5 at TO BE DETERMINED

"Don't Let the Door Hit Ya" Party!

When & Where: 4:30 pm on Thursday, May 21 at TO BE DETERMINED