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Monday, August 22, 2016

Plan parties are fun.

My NaNo-partner and I have plan parties.

Let me explain.

My classroom is being used by another teacher during my planning period.

This is a bit awkward for me.

Not that I mind, I volunteered.

I was a traveling teacher my first year.

It sucked.

And the teacher using my room is also traveling between buildings.

My room is the only one available two hours in a row, so if I can give her at least that much of break, I am happy to do so.

Anyway, because of this, my work habits will have to adjust.

I can stay in my room and work at my desk.

In fact, I often do so for a while. Then I get bored and wander off.

One advantage of this situation: my previous students can't come bother me or try to hang out in my room to avoid class or a million other annoying things.

One disadvantage: I feel a little homeless during those hours.

My teammates have offered to let me work in their rooms.

Whatever path I chose, I know in time I will develop new habits that are, hopefully, productive.
One of the habits that is emerging is plan parties with my NaNo-partner.

Because we are trying NaNoWriMo for the first time, there is a lot of new.

The plan parties seem to happen organically.

I wander into his room to ask a question or sit and work or whatever.

We start chatting.

The next thing you know we are laughing and planning and scrambling to write down our thoughts.

Usually we scribble all over his white board and then take pictures so we can keep working individually.

We have a very divide and conquer method.

We plan the overarching structures and ideas and progression together.

Then we split up the actual tasks like making flipped lessons or creating electronic writing prompts.

The next week, we will reunite to share the materials we have created, check plans, make adjustments and keep planning.

These plan parties are fun.

To be honest, they are a lot more fun the more formal Data Team meetings.

What I love the most is how much we are learning from each other.

How much we develop each other's ideas into a stronger whole.

I love that kind of collaboration that emerges from mutual respect, honesty, and hard work.

Whether the fruits of our labors result in successful novels is still up for debate.

But I am hopeful.

If our students have half as much fun and get half as much done as we do, this year is going to be a blast.

So, yeah, we have NaNo-partner plan parties.

Definitely a good thing!

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