Usually I am up way before I have to be but yesterday morning I struggled to leave my warm womb. Christine would be texting me at 7 with a weather update and I was hoping that we might have to cancel and I could enjoy our Saturday movie afternoon with more energy. But when I got the text announcing that we were on, I left my dreams behind for a reality that I knew I would love even more.
Sunshine and clear roads all the way up the NYS Thruway and mental planning for the start of our post Summer Institute whetted my appetite for a morning of reconnection. I had my cameras along but really not thinking much about the need to capture anything.
I arrived at 9:02 and made my way up the stairs with Heather and inside the room, Mary was bursting with energy, moving the furniture to accommodate our sense of community- breaking down the traditional rows for a U, easier to do now that the new furniture is on wheels. Slowly we had almost everyone by 9:30 and sitting in between Christine and Andrea I felt that this was the only place I wanted to be. I shared an edited piece of our interview with Viljo Kohonen, a well-respected ed professor from Tampere U in Finland, a perfect person to kick-off my documentation of the Finn approach to education. On my very first day in Finland, he sat with us for 2 1/2 hours for this first piece.
Our SI group this interview to write and consider what we could learn from the Finns. Viljo, fueled the issues we deal with now and as Mary led the follow-up conversation on an article by NWP director, Anne Leberman, it was clear that our approach to PD is on Vijo’s wavelength and to think, I was hoping for a snow day.
On this Saturday morning in December, when many people were probably out shopping for the big holidays to come, we were here in a classroom, sharing our work, planning for more.
Downstairs, Tom and Denise were working with another group of HVWP teachers, as they considered assessment for a student writing contest sponsored by another Hudson Valley PD group. I stopped by to find lots of familiar faces who cooperated with me as I had them pose for me.
As we left from our morning session with groups poised to write and share together and then meet up for lunch, another HVWP group was beginning work on unpacking the CCSS modules. Sorry, I didn’t stop them for a picture.
Three HVWP groups collaborating on a morning in December. There were probably some who, like me, hoped that the weather might allow them to enjoy a few more hours of a Saturday morning, but now in the light of day, like me were happy to be and engaged with amazingly committed teachers. Too bad we didn’t invite Arne or Barack to the parties.
Here’s a few moments of the morning: