The end is nigh…


It’s been a long, and pretty crazy school year. I know it’s not in my usual style, but I’d rather not reflect on what went right or wrong. I’ve had a lot of time to second guess myself to the level of it being crazy-making over the last three months (earlier if truth be told). Since it now appears I do have some rough notion of what next year will bring professionally, I’d rather look forward. I may live to regret this later, but I think further “reflection” now would just be worrying about things that I can’t change now, which were based largely on things I couldn’t control then (getting sick for so long, administrative chaos, etc.) I’m sure as things go forward and I’m working on what to do next year, I will think about how I did specific things this year, and what improvements can be made, but the rest is best left in the dust bin of history.

What will next year be like? I don’t think I’ve fully wrapped my mind around it all yet…

I will still be in the computer lab at the same school site. I’m the only person at my site that can say with any certainty that I’ll be in the same room teaching the same thing (and it’s been a rather bumpy road to that point). At least seven of my co-workers will not be returning (out of 22). We have one teacher who still has a pink-slip, that isn’t in that total. We’re voting this week on contract concessions that while not pleasant to swallow, are much better than other locals have had to take. Since they’re for 2 years, it settles some matters even as our contract opens next year for re-negotiation. The rest have asked to leave. For many it comes down to burning out on the urban teaching thing, and in particular needing a break after some of what has gone on at this site in particular.

Even with some of the same players, it will be a different site for a host of reasons. New administrators for one,  but they are still largely unknown to us. Even though the principals for Superintendent priority schools, like mine, are all in the district already, they are only spending minimal time on our campuses until we get ready for the start of school. Time will tell if this was a wise idea, but it means uncertainty for now. I’m due to discuss what the approach will be in the lab next month, and I expect that will clarify a lot of what I’ll be doing. This could be a time of great possibilities for me, but…I just don’t know what they are yet.

This is also the first time in two years that I don’t have my summer “dance card” crammed full of conferences to attend and trainings to give. I will have a month of trainings to attend in August centered around the reform of our school site, and a trip to Boise to see the in-laws over Fourth of July, but other than that…the summer looms full of possibility? I could start “planning”, and likely will, even though a I shouldn’t because…until I met with the new boss I really don’t have a firm idea of what is needed.

So what I think I will do instead of “planning” is “explore”.  I really enjoyed reading Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit. It influenced me a lot in my early educational blogging because Ms. Tharp does not believe in waiting for inspiration to strike, but instead has a set of practices and a series of steps she takes as she is developing a new dance. Her early process involves collecting information, influences, and items that suggest what she is seeking in terms of look, texture, feel, etc. in a new work. Rather than concentrating on the unit, or the lesson plan, maybe I’ll focus on more diffuse aspects of tech integration. I think I’ve gotten away from experimenting and trying new things this year (I know, I’m reflecting). The other day I was trying to play around with setting my phone up as a remote keyboard mouse for my PC to see how this could be use in a classroom to move about and hand off to students, etc.  My husband looked at me and said, “This is great, you used to do stuff like this all the time, and it seems like you’ve stopped in the last three months. I miss you doing this stuff, you should do it more.” I’ll just end things on that thought. Maybe that is the one lesson from this year?

Photo Credit: marathon sacrifice on Flickr photosharing

2 Comments to

“The end is nigh…”

  1. June 17th, 2010 at 10:26 pm      Reply Vicky Sedgwick Says:

    I still haven’t done an end of year post myself. Still digesting the year I guess and I haven’t had the time. I was wondering how your UbD planning went since I’ve been toying with trying to delve into planning that way next year.

  2. June 18th, 2010 at 7:59 pm      Reply alicemercer Says:

    I liked the UbD. I felt like I knew where things went wrong when things didn’t turn out as I wanted, and it was pretty thorough. The only reason I may let it go is if they go with another planning approach under our new leadership.

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