Monday, June 8, 2015

Stick a fork in it...

The day began early.  Primarily because today was a day for celebrating retirees, excellence in education, and the "big" anniversaries of colleagues who have worked for the district for five - or a multiple of five - years.  After a delicious breakfast, with the entire faculty and staff in attendance, we would head out to our professional development seminars for the day. So I went in 2 hours before the prescribed 8 am start, hoping to finish the stack of paperwork on my desk, and finish the "summer readiness" look to my room.  

In less than an hour,  the Special Ed Director stopped by to chat.  Honestly, I think today was the first day of the school year that she actually had the opportunity to take a breath, as the scope of her job also includes nurses, counselors, speech pathologists, psychologists, learning support, gifted support, and all of Pupil Services.  (Remember, this is a small district!  Many people wear many hats!)  She was asking questions about competitive colleges, and where our kids are headed, and we scheduled some meetings for late August.

Giftedland is a cycle.  Write a GIEP, revise it a few months later, meet again and write another.  Gather data, Gather input, schedule, and kill trees with the sheer volume of paper required to satisfy the state.  And even with the introduction of computers, online learning, hybrid learning, and anything else requiring a screen or a keyboard, there are still many, many, many, pieces of paper, tangible resources, and projects too good to part with, so the cabinet doors close, at the end of the school year, just a little more full than the year before.
Messiness is part of the educational process. Josh Block had a great article on Edutopia recently that pretty much summed up my understanding of the hazards of Project Based Learning, because when kids get excited, teachers get emotional about final projects.  It's tougher, sometimes, for teachers to dispose of these treasures, having watched the struggles straight through to fruition.

As the DJs say on Friday afternoons, "Stick a fork in it, it's done."  Yes, the year is over.  189 days of 2014-15 are in the books.

Tomorrow, as I attempt to clean out my car of the things deemed "too important to leave at school", the planning for 2015-16 will commence.  (But only after I sleep in.  I think I'll arise at 6:30).