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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Writing Windstorm: Pushing Me Forward

I know, it's been a windstorm of writing in the past few days.

This is not uncommon after I attend a dynamic teaching/learning event and then return to the reality of school. There's always great disruption, and just think, last week I attended four days in a row of steady, dynamic, positively challenging professional learning. I suspect I'll engage in a similar writing windstorm after I attend Educon in January so beware.

Perhaps in other environments, there's time on task to digest the learning and discuss it with colleagues, but in busy schools, there's little time to even acknowledge that you were gone. Also when a teacher is gone, others have more work to do which doesn't always result in the most positive feelings with respect to the new learning. Yet, many welcomed me back with positivity and interest.

I can't move through the disruption without thinking deeply and writing. I feel a strong need to tell my story and reason through the many challenges I face each day when it comes to doing a good job. For example, I had what I thought was a great idea yesterday. I put a significant amount of energy into it only to be told that, at this time, it's unacceptable. That was discouraging, but as some would say, I work with a team and I can't make all the decisions myself.

Throughout last year's Teacher Leadership Initiative (TLI), I learned a lot about process and advocacy. It was great learning and training, but also learning and training that takes practice in the field, practice I'm working on now.

The challenge right now is to do the following:
  • Focus on being a positive, contributing member of the great teaching team I work with every day.
  • Focus in on a few areas of positive change and advocacy. There are so many aspects of school I'd like to change, but if I try to change them all, I probably won't change any so I have to be thoughtful about what changes will have the best impact on what I can do with and for students and families. With this in mind, I'll focus in on math, cultural proficiency, and SEL teaching/learning goals.
  • I'll also continue to advocate for greater system-wide communication, transparency, lead time, and inclusion. I think we can make time by creating more dynamic systems of share. Systems like this will lessen the questions, confusion, and delay we sometimes face when it comes to good teaching and learning. Of course this effort will include the work and efforts of many. I hope that my work with the union can support these changes.
  • Seek balance with regard to time and energy--good balance leads to successful work and service. 
Not surprisingly, I'm home with a chest cold after all this disruption, but tomorrow I'll be back with my wonderful students ready to meet the challenges and positivity the teaching/learning path holds.