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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A soft landing.

The first day returning from winter break is always a struggle.

If I worked over the break, I feel stressed out, anxious, and tired.

If I didn't. I feel stressed out, anxious, and brain dead.

Either way, getting ready for the new semester is hard.

This year, though, has been better than most.

Partly, it is because I was insanely lucky and got to spend a week in Key Largo.

Sun, swimming, snorkeling, hiking, biking, paddle boarding, and eating and eating and eating and eating.

I seriously think we brought back and extra 15 pounds.

But that doesn't totally explain how relaxed I feel today.

Returning to a PD day instead of students definitely helps.

Though clearing the fog from my brain was a bit of a struggle this morning, it was also much less intense that trying to corral teenagers.

Plus, the learning today was pretty good.

And I am not just saying that because I planned it with my partner either.

This morning, we focused on AFL strategy 4 (for those not familiar with that particular parlance, that is student self-assessment and goal setting).

It was a useful, thoughtful, more or less painless morning.

I helped write the presentation and I still felt like I learned something.

My PLC shared some thoughtful insights.

It felt like we took it seriously. Between the time we had in the morning and the time we had in the afternoon, we also got a lot accomplished.

The end of the day, we had over an hour to work on our required data tasks. Because of our morning work, we had a solid agenda.

In the middle, I had an amazing Thai lunch with a colleague.

Then I went to a round table session on how 1:1 changes the role of the teacher.

It was intense. We had a frank, thoughtful discussion that surfaced some real struggles we are facing as we continue to improve our teaching to support student learning.

I know some people were stressed out today and felt a lot of pressure to prepare for tomorrow.

Having to meet outside our classrooms for most of the day did not help.

I would rather have been in my room.

Honestly, though it pains me to admit it, being forced to sit in another location free of many of my common distractions, probably contributed to how productive we were this afternoon.

Either way, today was a good day.

For whatever reason or reasons, a soft landing for the new semester is totally a good thing.

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