A fine Saturday morning to the six people who read this! I’ve been up since 5:30 A.M. on a Saturday not because I want to, no, my daughter has swim practice at 7:00. We’ve made the 35 minute drive, I’ve washed and vaccumed my car, and now am at a local coffee house (a s/o to the Magpie in Decorah for having simply AWESOME lemon scones and free WiFi!) to correct papers and write.
Some of the topics I’ve been thinking about writing about just aren’t really publishable, but yet, I’ve still got some brain purging to take pace, so bear with me as we go along here! 🙂
My sixth graders took their laptops home last night for the first time. I don’t know why this scares me to death, but it does. I think part of it is I don’t know what the expectation for me are. The kids have the technology in their hands now, so now what?? They don’t necessarily train you for that moment when suddenly that technology finally leaves. My own daughters complained many times that all the 1 to 1 program means is “more homework” and I don’t want that. But I want to push, to pull, to force their thinking outside of the box. My biggest thing: engagement. Having this group all ready, they are the hardest class I’ve had in terms of grabbing and keeping engagement. My hope is that the technology will be the hook and we can go from there. We’ll see.
As a coach, there are times where I tire of parents telling me about how to coach. It’s not happened often in the 12 years I’ve coached, but it happens. That’s what makes what’s going on right now with my daughter and her swim team so difficult for me. My daughter won’t be the fastest swimmer in the pool, but the gains she’s made in the last year have been amazing. When pushed, the child puts her head down and gets things done, which I love about her. Last year, she began developing a pretty good breast stroke. She scored points for her varsity team and earned the nickname “The Closer” because of her ability to close out races, winning a couple different heats in the last 25 meters. Her goal this year is to swim on the Regional team, which will be tough, but she can do it. However, she’s swimming breast stroke hardly at all. She’s swam free style more in the first three meets this year then she ever did last year. When put into the 100 breast stroke, her coach put her seed time at 1:34, a time she moved past in the her second meet LAST year (she got ticked off about this, and set a personal best). I’m biting my tongue right now because my daughter is asking me to wait one more meet, then she’ll talk. It’s so hard for me because my daughter loves this sport and loves the team atmosphere. It’s a new coach and she’s “mixing things up” which is her perogative, but why with my daughter?? 🙂
I had a friend ask me “how are you doing” and I really couldn’t find an answer to that question. This is the most isolated I’ve felt as a teacher, ever. We are now in single sections, and I’ve got the smallest class by far, so it’s hard for me to complain much about my students as my class of 17 walks by a class of 31. Yet, that feeling of connection is not there right now with hardly anyone which makes things difficult. In the past, I’ve been the person to push Friday after school get togethers, and I’ve just not been able to because of other activities, and no one else has picked that torch up. We just aren’t as close as a staff anymore, and it’s hard to watch those bonds dissipate a bit. I know things like this ebb and flow, but the ebb part is tough right now. Without being able to keep digitally connected, it would be very hard, that is for certain. I keep trying to explain that to my staff, but I just don’t think they get it. Baby steps I know!
Thanks for listening to me ramble on. My cafe mocha is very tasty right now, but there are papers to correct and a gosh darn web site to get up and running! Enjoy your Saturday and enjoy those you are with. It’s those relationships and connections that keep us going!