Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Long Day...

Thursday was a VERY long day for me and Ann.  To kick things off we attended our weekly staff meeting (which is a quick shot of PD in the arm), and then we entered into a LONG day with no Preps with Starbucks in hand.  We do love these days, though, because of the uninterrupted learning time.
Our day was crammed full of engagement… providing our students with time to read and reflect, work on their “Write to Inspire” choices, explore the properties of objects, and work on individual math goals, along with unlimited access to conversations and collaboration… a typical, eventful Thursday.  And somehow, in the middle of all this we were able to stuff in 30 minutes of additional PD- A Webinar provided by SimpleK12 instructed by Pernille Ripp entitled “Let Them Film- Promote Student Ownership in Learning with Video Cameras.”  Our students knew we were participating in this and were very excited as we are preparing to incorporate student-led videoing projects into our daily work.  This Webinar inspired us with MANY ideas to get us started on our newest endeavor.

Then after school we had about 30 minutes to debrief and clean-up before we had to jet off to a workshop 40 minutes away.  We did carpool and eat dinner together (and yes, another stop at Starbucks) which provided us with additional collaboration time.
Our Workshop was regarding the Common Core Standards, and we were attending on behalf of our District Literacy and Math Steering Committees (as well as representatives of our building).  This 3 hour seminar was informative and provided us time to collaborate with our colleagues and various administrators to work out a plan of action for our District. We then spent the 40 minute drive (wait 50 because Ann took a wrong turn) laughing hysterically because we were so delirious from the long day.  {Oh, and I should mention the stress then added to Ann’s night after leaving her laptop at the conference, and the lack of sleep to mine after caring for my two young children who were up most of the night with fevers and the flu.}  Then we returned bright and early Friday morning to do it all over again.

How many of you have had a day like this one?  The ironic part is this is often a typical jaunt within our journey as educators.  We can easily spend 12-14 hours of a day learning, teaching, collaborating, and reflecting.  And these days often also occur throughout our summer and winter breaks.  There is a lot of talk, within our nation, of educators getting paid too much for the amount of time/days worked.  The bummer is our “contracted hours” are extremely lower than the hours we actually commit to within our positions.  The credit we get in the public eye is only for our job on paper, not the extra effort that comes from our own personal commitment to do what needs to be done regardless of the clock. We know budgets are tight within a rapidly changing era when time spent on PD is needed more than ever.  So, we keep on working and learning for the kids because there is no other option.  
To be completely honest, though, the reason Ann and I are able to continue plowing on at this rate is because we have each other.  Two like-minded individuals who can offer each other daily support, discussion, laughter, and coffee J.  Have you found your like-minded soul to travel through these crazy days with? 

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