Sunday, November 29, 2015

All I really needed to know...

There's surely plenty to write about and this week (intersession and thus between trimesters at school) promises time for reflection that may help my thoughts mature into something publishable.  But all you need to know about my week, my weekend and my life these days is as follows:

I was leaving the house in the cool, thin light of this late November afternoon to walk the dogs.  In the car, prepared to start up and pull out of the driveway, my phone rings, and it's A's number.  She tells me that Her Wisdom, my eldest daughter, wants to come too, and asks if I'd wait a moment.  I accede, glad to sit in the warm and listen to a podcast for a bit.

Not five minutes later a bright young figure bursts from the side door of the house and runs pell mell towards the car, waving her arms and shouting.  She was moving as though her life depended on making it to the car before I pulled out.  Of course, I'd have waited 'til doomsday if she asked me to.  She was just so excited to be with me, outside, on an adventure together that she couldn't hold it in.  She was grinning as she piled into the car.

So was I.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Give me the Brain...

This past week held a lot for Baxter, and for the 9th grade team.  We got together to decide what to change about the team and what to keep heading into the second of three trimesters.  And I was really worried.  There seems to be a deep separation between Humanities and Modeling right now.  Separate curricula and even separate visions.  I feel like I've asked to connect back together and we've not been able to do so.  But rather than spend time there, in our frustrations and fears, the facilitator asked us to open up.  She gave us the chance to really look at the vision of the 9th grade team.  Three of the four of us are new to Baxter, though not to teaching, and this was the first time we looked hard at what we wanted and needed knowing some of the other factors involved.  I am grateful, because it let me look at the joys and challenges of this particular aspect of this job in a new way.

But I'm afraid, too.  It has become clear to me, over the arc of the past few days, that the visions for the 9th grade team don't align.  I see a blended group, with kids working on projects that partake of standards from each of our disciplines.  That's farther together than at least one of my colleagues is willing to go.  And I don't know what to do with that conflict.

The good news is that I do see the vision of the 9th grade team.  And I do think that we can do this work.  I do not currently see how, but I trust that the next week will bring us new and exciting plans.  Baxter reminds me that I can try new things.  Really new things.  I hope I have the courage to push for them.


[Period Fencing]
I have only two things to say here:  I've been asked to, in essence, apprentice to someone to learn more about how to attain the highest award that our game gives for fencing.  And I'm not at all sure, a month and a half later, what to say.

I'm not going to practice lately.  There are a lot of reasons, but they're not important.  At this moment, I don't feel driven, or called, to be there.  I think, with time, that will change.  I don't know how.  I do know that if I want to be a better fencer, I had better get to practice.  And that there's a lot of conflict in me about that process right now.

Give me the Brain.  I suffer a mix of emotions.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Preview of Difficult Things (and some happy pictures)

I missed my post not only two weekends ago but also this past weekend as well!  I will not bore you with excuses.  I will apologize:

I'm sorry I missed two weekends of posting in a row.

And then move on.  This Friday, look for a post about three difficult things:

Being fully present on the 9th grade team.

Being absent from the 9th grade team.

Grades.  What they are, why we use them, and how they matter to us and to our students.

Talk to you Friday!

Value added pictures of my children, who are the main reason why I miss any posts at all:

See?  See why I never get anything done?  It's a rough life, I tell you.  More Friday.