I left my heart in the classroom…

I have been a PYP Coordinator for two years – and I have truly loved the experience!

It has been amazing to be part of every grade and subject team’s collaborative planning sessions. It has been an exhilarating challenge to design programs of professional development that meet the needs of all of our staff. It has been a honour to be welcomed into so many classrooms to see the learning in action from Pre-K to Grade 5.

And I’ve learned so much! I’ve learned about curriculum development. I’ve learned about inquiry at every age and in every subject. I’ve learned about myself as a leader. I’ve learned about collaboration and teamwork dynamics.

And the most important thing I’ve learned is that I left my heart in the classroom. 

hand hearts

This year I realized how much I miss spending my day with students. This year I realized that my understanding of the PYP has leapfrogged my past attempt at implementing the PYP. This year I realized how much I still need to develop my own teaching craft. This year I realized that I was encouraging teachers to try things I have never tired myself. This year I realized I had unfinished business as a PYP teacher.

And for that reason, this August, I will be heading back into the classroom – and I couldn’t be happier about it! I don’t think I’m done with leadership forever and I don’t think I’m done with being a PYP Coordinator. I just think that I need to take some time to hone my own practice as a PYP teacher before I go back into a role that supports others’ development as PYP teachers.

I’m looking forward to a year of taking crazy risks and trying all the amazing things I have been learning about the past two years. I’m looking forward to a dose of reality and falling flat on my face as I re-discover how hard it is to put some of these shifts in thinking into practice. I’m looking forward to the humbling moment when  a colleague catches me photocopying something. I’m looking forward to year of trial and error.. of risks and reflections… and hopefully coming out the other side with a better balance of PYP knowledge, understanding and experience.

I will still blog here from time to time about inquiry, PYP and good teaching… but I will also be starting a second blog where I document my risks and reflections as I take my PYP journey back to the classroom!

Wish me luck!

21 thoughts on “I left my heart in the classroom…

  1. Paula Baxter May 5, 2016 / 10:30 am

    Hi Taryn, I have read your blog with great interest for some time now, I am slightly disappointed that I will not be reading your many and varied leadership insights for the next little while. But KUDOS to you. I have immense respect for your decision, and your articulation about why you made it. A couple of years ago (after, at the time 11 years in leadership) I considered doing the same, but I just didn’t have the guts. I think all of us in leadership have left our hearts in the classroom to varying degrees, and miss the day-to-day with students that you can only get from being with them all day, every day. I wonder if there is a point when there is no return to the classroom, in the same way that after a number of years teaching and leading overseas, going “home” to continue a teaching career, is no longer an option?


    • tbondclegg May 6, 2016 / 5:44 am

      Hi Paula,
      Thank you so much for the kind words. I can imagine all leaders feel the pull from time to time to go back into the classroom, but the potential impact that leaders have on all students – not limited to one class – is so special and can be so fulfilling. But I do think, anyone could back into the classroom for the right reasons and if the decisions feels right to them. I only had one year PYP teaching experience before transitioning into the role of full-time PYP Coordinator and I feel I left too soon. Over the past two years through professional learning and being in so many wonderful teacher’s classrooms I have learned so much. So much, that I feel a I need a “do-over”! A chance to go back into the classroom and try all the amazing inquiry-based, concept-driven, 21st C approaches to teaching and learning – that I honestly wasn’t aware of or ready for in my first year in the PYP. I do hope to move back into leadership one day, and hopefully a that time I will feel like I reached a point as a teacher where I feel confident with the development of my own practice. 🙂


  2. misslizzs May 5, 2016 / 11:22 am

    Thanks for your two years being a leader, a friend, a shoulder and ear, and cheerleader!!! You have been super great in your role and will be dearly missed, but the kiddos who get you will be a lucky bunch! Enjoy returning to your heart and having each day be a new adventure with our awesome students! 💚💚


    • tbondclegg May 6, 2016 / 5:46 am

      Thanks Lizz!
      The pleasure has been all mine! The two years I have spent in everyone’s classroom and listening to their great ideas at planning sessions has played a huge part in inspiring me to go back into the classroom! I’m excited to catch up to where all of you fabulous PYP teachers are.


  3. msyasmine May 5, 2016 / 2:00 pm

    Best of luck my dear friend:) it’s been an awesome year for us to learn from you and with you but I hear you about having your heart in the classroom and spending your days with those young minds:) these are going to be a bunch of lucky kids that you will teach next year:) thanks for everything you have done for us as a coordinator:) love you


    • tbondclegg May 6, 2016 / 5:48 am

      Thanks Yasmine,
      It’s been an honour to be surrounded by such passionate PYP educators for two years – learning from all of you has played a big part in my decision to go back into the classroom and try to reach the stage of being a PYP teacher that you all are at. 🙂


  4. Beth May 5, 2016 / 8:12 pm

    I wish you good luck! I am happy for you and hope that this too turns into a good experience. I have really enjoyed reading your blogs. Thank you!


    • tbondclegg May 6, 2016 / 5:50 am

      Thanks so much Beth! I will still be blogging. I am thinking of starting a classroom specific Grade 4 blog where I can share the different things I am doing in my classroom, but I will also keep Making Good Humans going where I share general ideas and reflections about the PYP and inquiry in general – not neccesarily specific to only grade 4. So hopefully, we can stay connected. 🙂


  5. Michelle XIE May 6, 2016 / 2:52 am

    Hi Taryn, maybe you never know how much i was inspired by your thoughts and practice after being a PYP coordinator for over 10 years. I totally understand your situation and strongly feel the same as you. I also wish I could have the guts to follow my heart.
    Looking forward to your new story in the coming future.
    Best of luck!


    • tbondclegg May 6, 2016 / 5:54 am

      Hi Michelle,
      Thank you so much for the kind words. That is such an honour coming from someone who has been in the role for 10 years – most days I feel like I’m an imposter trying to make it up as I go along! 😉

      I do hope to be a PYP Coordinator again one day in the future. But at that time, I want to be able to know that all of the things I am encouraging staff to do I have tried myself in my own teaching and that I left the classroom feeling confident in my craft as a PYP teacher. If I think back to the one year I was a PYP teacher, I would do everything differently! So I am excited for a do-over where I can put some of my new thinking and understanding into practice.


  6. mrscortonkuwait May 6, 2016 / 8:31 am

    Absolutely ! The best of luck !


  7. Moly May 9, 2016 / 7:18 am

    I wish you the best of luck going back into the classroom, Taryn! As a PYP Coordinator, you have been such a HUGE inspiration for me. I have learned so much about PYP from you! I am looking forward to your second blog as a 4th grade teacher and I am also glad you will be in the classroom again so I can sneak a peak at you from time to time and see you in action! 🙂


    • tbondclegg May 17, 2016 / 2:53 am

      Thank you Moly, the feeling is mutual! I’m excited to continue to learn and grow with you next year.


  8. Sacha May 16, 2016 / 9:41 pm

    Thank you so much for putting together this blog. This has been my first year as a PYP coordinator, and your blog has really helped me grow into this new role. It changed the way I led professional development at our school for IB and has been a resource that I’ve shared with other coordinators at our district. I wish you the best of luck! Sacha


    • tbondclegg May 17, 2016 / 2:51 am

      Hi Sacha, thank you so much for your kind words. These past two years have been a whirlwind – and I often have felt like I’ve just been making it up as I go along! But blogging has really helped me reflect on my own understanding and connect with others. I’m glad you’ve found it helpful in your first year as coordinator. Good luck!


  9. L. Marek May 20, 2016 / 1:49 pm

    Bravo, Taryn! What a beautiful expression of all the reasons why we are called as leaders back into the classroom to “practice what we preach.” I, too, will be going back into the classroom next year after two years of helping my current school through an MYP authorization. The more I’ve learned about education and shifted my own paradigms since moving abroad, the more I want to go back and be with students and experience it for myself. I look forward to following your new blog and continuing the journey as well. AISK has been absolutely blessed by your talents and leadership. Congratulations on what you have achieved and best of luck in all that is to come!


    • tbondclegg May 21, 2016 / 9:46 am

      Great to hear from you and congratulations on also moving back to the classroom! I couldn’t agree more with your point about shifting your own paradigm and wanting to experience it for yourself… I feel exactly the same way! Thank you for the kind words and support and hopefully we can connect next year and share our experiences of classroom teaching – take two!


  10. Naketa May 25, 2016 / 5:54 pm

    You are a superstar! This is exactly what happened to me when I was a Regional Facilitator for 6 years, I went back to teaching for a year, then took on a leadership role, and taught in an International school for 2 years, I am back in a leadership position and plan to do the back and forth for the rest of my career (or for as long as I can). Just yesterday I ached to be back in the classroom just discussing ‘mathematical concepts’. I love this post and I to have enjoyed reading your blog!


    • tbondclegg May 25, 2016 / 6:32 pm

      Thanks Naketa! It’s nice to hear from someone who went back in the classroom and had such a positive experience. I LOVE the idea of going back and forth throughout your career – so often it seems like moving into a leadership position is one way street, but I can see it being very beneficial keeping a balance between both perspectives. Thanks for the kind words. 🙂


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