October 24, 2016

Burn Like A Fire

Today was a full on day back at work:

Taught some classes. Had lunch with friends. Met with my principal about goals. Checked in on teachers. Met with colleagues. Watered my plants. Marked the assessments I didn’t mark over the break. Covered a mentor class. Marked the assessments I didn’t mark over the break. Got reacquainted with my work flow. Marked the assessments I didn’t mark over the break.

It was a full on day after two weeks of slovenly relaxation. At one point, I was looking out over a group of sixth graders and said, “Wow. Good to be back y’all. I miss you guys and your energy.” And that was the truth. One forgets how much kids give back to us everyday.

I also went for a run. Super slow, but eeked out almost 8km. Felt pretty good, hoofin’ it out there. Was thinking a lot about John’s talk at Learning 2 about routine and ritual.

I was thinking about how routine my day was today. Just getting systems back in place. But is this what we want for our classless? Our schools?

Functional routines?

Where is the excitement? The wonder? The OMG? What can I do to make most days super exciting and engaging for my kids? Sure, I can mark a bunch of assessments and give them timely feedback and write their scores on my iPad, but what am I doing this week that will thrill these kids? Make them think about how glad they are to be in my room with me? What can I do that will make them yearn to come back everyday? Not to plod through another well-planned unit, but to burn like a fire?

It was a good day back, but since I am questioning everything in my life these days, why not my practice, my classroom, my school? The kids we teach deserve more than sedate routines.

I still have more to mark tomorrow, but it is manageable, so I feel fine signing off for the night and watching The Walking Dead.

Oh and by the way, The Oakland Raiders are 5-2 and have one of the best records in the league.

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