Monday, August 25, 2014

Here We Go!

Ready or not, here we go!

Day 1 is in the books, and it never ceases to amaze me just how much energy is coursing through the hallways of the school. The new sixth graders come in energized, wide-eyed, and just a bit unsure of how things are going to play out. Seeing former students during the day is also wonderful, while everyone is still smiling, comparing summers, happy to see each other.

Last week, during our staff development workshop, there was a great presentation that centered on the premise of 'living in beta.' In other words, having comfort in trying new things, fixing on the fly, and not being afraid to fail and learn from those experiences. My goal is to live in that as much as I can, while also pushing my students to that mindset. I think so often the kids get consumed with being perfect, what their percentage correct is, and what it takes to get the desired grade. A fantastic progression would be to have them embrace a truer learning...something authentic that transcends a single test or topic.

There will be many days to work on getting to that point. For now, I'm celebrating all the small Day 1 victories, and looking forward to tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Time...Just Kinda Flies

I had to do a double-take when I saw the last time I had posted. Seriously - October?! The only thing up for debate is what is crazier: that it's been that long, or the time went by that quickly.

This has without a doubt been the fastest year I've ever experienced as a teacher. Maybe the general rule is they continue to go faster the older you get. Perhaps age and time just act more and more like unrelenting forces - a la gravity - that will continue to accelerate the years, whether I like it or not.

Beyond all that, I think a big reason for the fast school year was the group of students I have had the pleasure of teaching. Like every single class that's ever gone through a school building, this class has its challenges, struggles, and unique personalities. But to their credit, the students have been up for any new challenge I've thrown at them. Also, their flexibility and willingness to learn new things and increase the amount they've done digitally has been wonderful.

I'm not sure what my mobile Chromebook Classroom experience will look like going forward. Some things are changing, and I'm a little nervous, not to mention feeling a little like a small piece of the rug has been pulled out from under...

But I know that I will continue to get ongoing, consistent support from people that really matter: my principal, who always has my back and champions my work; our tech integration specialists, who are downright awesome and knowledgeable; and my colleagues, who are supportive, brilliant, and dedicated people.

I have to write more. It's just occurring to me now how much I miss it and even need it. Maybe its due to how busy things have been, and I do find it a little ironic that I did the least amount of writing during the year when my students did more digital writing than ever before.

Well, as Chicago Cubs fans say, "There's always next year."