After a summer of doing my own professional development (twitter chats, texts, exploring augmented reality and uses in the classroom), getting back into a day that I had less control of was a little exhausting. I didn’t mind waking up at 6:00 am and getting back at 6:00 pm, nor did I mind the great conversations with the staff and the students. It is always an exciting time (with a lot of apprehension on that first day) with catching up stories of the summer and the promise of a new start, a new grade and seeing the maturity level changes over the summer. You see, though, I had big plans for this year and I have, sadly, not even started one of them.
Plan #1: I decided, over the summer, to start in the first week with a daily five: visit five classrooms each day. I thought this would be a great way to interact with the students and the staff. It would give me a goal to reach each day: five classrooms for five minutes (or more) during any of the five periods each day.
This did not turn out like I had imagined: I visited one classroom in four days. Knowing that there are at least 50 classes going on each period, I thought this would easy. I forgot, though, that the start up of the school year needs to appear seamless. Teachers need schedules that work and are known to them, students need full timetables that work, rooms need to be correct (so the 250 odd classrooms need to sorted out prior). This is all done over the summer, but if there are any issues, they need to be addressed immediately. We also have all the “little” things like textbooks and technology that need to be available.
Work orders for repairs are put on priority lists, new students registering need spaces, classes without teachers need teachers. Four days, I visited one class. However, I feel that I affected many students and staff. Most didn’t know the behind the scenes chaos that allowed for such a smooth transition from summer to school.
Next week, plan to be in twenty five classrooms (maybe not a daily five, but a weekly 25!).
Next post: Plan #2 Building relationships through SEL