Friday, September 20, 2013


This week was complex. Multiple initiatives were in gear, and I was pulled in many directions including standards-base report card review, Math Institute share, new evaluation system details, PLC protocols/roles discussion, writing unit start, teacher collaboration meetings, and parent meetings.  This was on top of the regular teaching day. I know I'm not alone. The week felt like someone stepped on the gas with a heavy foot as we jerked ahead into the school year.

The calendar next week is much more reasonable.  The choreography of daily work, initiatives, collaboration and more is a delicate process, and it's likely that at times that choreography will liken a mosh pit rather than a symphony.  I survived. All intentions were good--the new year like a new driver includes lots of staccato that hopefully will smooth out as routines and roles take shape.

The week's finale was a great collaborative meeting of the four members of our grade-level team. I was reminded of a conversation I had at a Google round table during last year's Intersection Event which emphasized five with one more or less as a good collaborative number.  We were able to support one another, share perspectives and experience, and create an awesome collective teaching approach for our upcoming persuasive unit, a unit guided by an outside consultant as well as other resources. That's the kind of collaboration that feeds the soul and inspires good work. This successful event reminded me that we need to think carefully about the collaborative groups we form with regard to size, strategy, and goals. Groups need to be sized right for the task at hand.

School transformation and good work create a rocky road--there's so many variables involved in the process, and in many ways little time for thoughtful steps or communication, hence complexity.  Now, on this Friday afternoon, I'll put the week to rest as all work and no play makes teachers dull.  Next week will bring new triumphs and challenge.  Stay tuned.