Started on Monday night, finished Tuesday morning:
I’m playing hooky right now as I should be reading some writing prompts and blogs, but really want to write tonight, so here I am.
Like the title says, it’s been a day with two separate story lines in it. The first, a tale of nerves, tight stomach, and just never ending bumps. My day started out early with a parent meeting that I was uncharacteristically nervous for. The meeting itself went fine, but it was one of those “if you dread it long enough and hard enough, it’s not bad at all” kind of meeting. Good discussion about expectations and communication, all the things we want as both teachers and parents. I’m not sure why I get myself worked up about things like this but I do. After that, it just seemed that the morning was a series of bumps. Technology didn’t work, a student bombed a spelling test, but couldn’t see why they’d have to retake it, making Mt. Kilimanjaro out of a mole hill. Math tests are taking FOREVER to get done and we aren’t doing well on them at all. Just hick-up after hick-up after gosh darn hick-up.
Then, twelve noon, my substitute arrived. 🙂
I had the chance to sit with my principal for the afternoon and have him talk me through what standards based grading looks like in his eyes. We were given the directive of standards based grading in a “3 to 5 year plan” but yet, hadn’t really talked about what it would look like, how to get there, or anything like that. I’m not the guy who asks for help, but when he emailed me about how it was going, I cracked. How was I going to get this done? How does it look like? How do I do it? ACK!!! So, I talked with him and basically said all that (without the ack of course) and he offered release time to work together. Whoa whoa whoa, back things up here, release time? Really?
Sure enough, we talked for an hour about how things might look, what I’d see as the must know kinds of things in sixth grade, and put that list together. I spent the remaining time starting a group of assessments for these standards picked. I walked out of his office with a fried brain, but feeling good about where I was going. I have a plan, and that’s huge for me.
We then met as a staff to discuss ways of getting our class sizes under control. Right now, we average, grades three through six about 28 kids per class in rooms that were build for 22 -24 kids. So, our principal laid out a plan that he saw as doable, getting our class sizes down, just being creative with the staffing we have in place right now. Whoa whoa whoa…you mean we aren’t waiting until May? Until August? I must be in some sort of alternative dimension to have these kinds of things happens.
And finally, I jumped into my first #edtechchat and totally loved it. So many people jumping in that my PLN has swelled up, but great thoughts, great interactions, and new connections made. Some how, I need to find that part of me that pushes those connections further. I’ve got this awesome network, I’m just not sure that I know how to tap into it very well. Either way, I have another great chat that I’ll follow via Twitter. If you aren’t on Twitter as a classroom teacher, you need to get there! Are there other ways to get connected? Sure are! Blogging, Voxer (djohn29994), and a host of others offer connections for those in education, but Twitter is my go to! Each chat I’ve been part of has been useful, even if I’m not pulling an idea out into my classroom!
So, a day, two different feelings, and as I wound down, that’s not all bad. I don’t want it to be too easy….
…..but not too hard either! 😉