Friday, March 7, 2014

Excited and Daunted: Back into the Classroom

     After spring break I'm going to teach a special writing course to our seventh graders. I'm very excited about it; but I have to admit, I'm also kind of daunted by the prospect. It really hit me yesterday as one of our tech folks was helping me set things up on KidBlog and Google Drive. Sure, I quickly saw loads of possibilities, but suddenly I felt all kinds pressure to practice what I've been preaching for so long. That, and continue to fulfill my other duties as head of school.
     In spare moments I've been doing planning, gathering and re-thinking materials, reworking schedules. It's been quite invigorating in many ways, and it's tempting to spend all my time working on it. I'm not, but I could. I also think that these next couple of months should help make me a better head, as it's always helpful to see things from the perspective of those you lead. I initiated our 1:1 iPad program, but this will be the first time I teach in it. Having to re-design and re-invent my pedagogy will be healthy and already has prompted extensive reflection. So--and maybe I'm just trying to convince myself--I'm seeing this not so much as an add-on but as a great opportunity. Plus the best part is that I'll have the chance to work closely with some awesome kids for an extended period for the first time in a few years.
     The reflection also has been good because it's provided affirmation of some core beliefs. I have limited time with them, so I've pondered one key question more than the other dozen smaller ones: What is my main objective? Yes, I want to improve their skills in terms of basic composition. But more than anything, I want them to come to see writing as a means to express their unique, creative voices and to enjoy the process. Can I accomplish that by the end of this school year? Not totally. But I can make a great start.
     In the meantime, I plan to enjoy spring break. After all, I'm going to have an even busier than usual final couple of months...and an even more fulfilling time.

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