Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Tightrope and a Full Plate

It's late. I can't fall asleep even though I'm exhausted. . My head is spinning with ideas and thoughts Thoughts about TIME or the lack of it so it seems.  We make time for what's important to us- what we value. We all have the same 24 hours a day. Making time to do those things that we value is a constant challenge and balancing act.

Image by Leo Reynolds

Today I have been reading, reading, reading. I've read blogs, articles, tweets, chapters from professional development books, and even a little from my stack of kids' books. When my eyes could no longer handle the strain, I played podcasts or Youtube clips and closed my eyes and listened.  My brain is on overload! There's so much information to absorb! There are so many great ideas from other teachers that I'd love to try.  There's so much technology that I have to learn! There is so much information playing in my head that is causing me to question everything that I've ever done in the classroom.

I took the time today to read. I wanted to. I needed to. But now I feel like I'm on a tightrope trying to balance a huge plate that's full of "things to do and learn". When will I have the time?

This year, the district purchased a new "basal" reading program and dumped it our laps a few days before school began. Why? It baffles me to think that in our digital age, when we desperately need computers/devices that the district would spend thousands on a basal program. What a waste! But that's not my point. I haven't had the time (or made the time) to hardly even crack open the book. (District people would not be happy to hear me say that!) We're supposed to use MasteryConnect. Luckily, I knew how to use it a little bit. I'm supposed to be using a host of other programs and initiatives. Oh, yea, teach the standards for the state Core (Common Core) which I'm still learning and trying to understand with some clarity.

I haven't even mentioned the normal responsibilities of teaching like planning, meetings, grading, etc.  Truthfully, I feel like the Grinch complaining about Christmas.

And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise! That's one thing he hated Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!

What I really want to do is learn more about Genius Hour, Makerspace, and how better to teach  STEAM. Bottom line- I want to do what I feel like is BEST for my kids! I know them. I know what they need. Those are the things that I'll focus on and make time to learn to implement.

The challenge is to walk the tightrope between playing the district mandates game and what I'm learning and want to provide for my kids. My plate is full. Something has to go!

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