Write Solutions

Student learning is no accident!

The Wait is Over

What a productive week it has been… in terms of my thinking. I feel like I have made incredible progress, even though nothing tangible has happened… yet! I knew before this school year began that I wanted to get my students blogging. I also knew I was in love with the idea of Genius Hour. Here it is, January- and I cannot check either off of my To Do list. I feel confident though, that all of that will change for me this week. And the best part is, that once we begin, forward motion will ensue no matter what. What happened in the last week to push me forward from dreaming to doing? Just right collaboration, and faith… that’s what! A couple of months ago I brought my nagging “I really want to have a genius hour” plea to my high school teacher friend, who was further along in the process than me. I listened to her stories, her “what I’d do next times” and gained confidence as she reflected. My wheels continued turning, and the fuzzy black and white images I had been visualizing since July began coming into focus. This past week, I met with another colleague to discuss my dream of implementing Genius Hour. This time I had a date in mind. I told him on Tuesday that I planned to introduce Genius Hour on Friday, in just 3 days. He shared his experiences, his reflections and made some recommendations. By the end of our hour long conversation, I could see how this would take shape in my classroom. I realized, as I answered his questions, that I know my students… well. I could anticipate what would work for my students, and what I’d need to rethink. By Friday, I couldn’t wait to get to school and share the idea of Genius Hour with my students. By Saturday morning, I had my first student email waiting for me… looking for more information and thinking aloud, about Genius Hour. I took that positive energy with me to a Saturday morning UnConference, where I brought my classroom blogging plans to fruition. I chatted and brainstormed and listened to amazing teachers from my own district. We sat, energized and ready to take on a challenge, supporting one another’s ideas, teachers of kindergarten through grade 6… all growing and learning together. Since coming back to the classroom in September, I’ve felt so consumed with planning and (the never achievable) catching up.

stress-cartoon

My wheels have not stopped spinning, and I’m not sure I’ve even remembered to take a breath. I’ve been waiting for the moment when everything seems to fit again. All of this spinning and planning and stretching myself to “catch up” has been at the expense of my commitment to my own professional development.  I realize now that my involvement with my Professional Learning Networks has always helped me gain confidence in my practice and take risks. For months I’ve been thinking that if I spend a few more minutes planning, or think through two more assignments- everything will get better. The return on investment I can see now though, is not there. But with every Tweet I exchange, every new relationship I develop with another passionate professional, my practice is impacted directly and positively… I am professionally developed… and that’s good for kids. So for more on my progress with Genius Hour or my class blog, stay tuned! I’ll be here- reflecting, thinking and growing along side all of you…

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