I first learned about the book, Fortunately by Remy Charlip in a professional development about the six traits of writing. The book begins…Fortunately he is invited to a birthday party, unfortunately the party was in Florida and he lived in New York. Fortunately a friend loans him an airplane; unfortunately the motor exploded. Fortunately there was a parachute on the airplane; unfortunately there was a hole in the parachute. The book continues with this same pattern throughout. This story makes me think about the state of education today.

Fortunately, our district adopted a new curriculum framework supporting and sequencing the standards; unfortunately teachers received implementation training one day before school started.

Fortunately, teachers use current data to inform their instruction, teaching skills and standards to mastery; unfortunately our benchmark assessments measure all grade level standards whether or not they have been taught.

Fortunately, we have early release time every Wednesday; unfortunately district and state mandates and initiatives substantially limit time spent on teacher collaboration, planning and reflection.

Fortunately, teachers implemented and taught the state common core standards; unfortunately we assessed on the old state standards.

Fortunately, we piloted the PARRC assessments this past spring; unfortunately our state pulled out of the consortium and it is unknown what state assessments we will use next year.

Fortunately, we are changing the existing teacher evaluation models to reflect teaching and learning; unfortunately we failed to take into account the toll implementation of new standards, a new evaluation tool and new state testing would take on our teachers.

What would your fortunately / unfortunately education sentence stem sound like?


Jen Robinson

Jen Robinson

Maricopa, Arizona

Hello, my name is Jen Robinson. I have been in education for over 20 years. I began teaching in Buffalo, NY in 1992, as a pre-school special education teacher. My experience ranges from primary grades through high school. My husband and I moved to Arizona in 2001, where we were fortunate enough to teach at the same school. In 2004, I achieved National Board Certification and currently support candidates. In 2011 I completed my Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation. My dissertation research focused on supporting National Board candidates through their certification process. During the 2012-2013 school year, I completed my National Board renewal process. It was humbling and very powerful to step back into a classroom. I am currently an elementary principal. I am excited and hopeful for the new school year. I also serve on the Arizona Teacher Solutions Team where we are solutions focused in an effort to transform and elevate the teaching profession.

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