Wednesday with Tara and her 6th graders was something we were looking forward to. Given all the snow and holidays, we had to be patient and finally I was there with Tara, with kids and as I began to set up tripod etc. my camcorder, my lovely new camcorder, my very expensive new camcorder took a tumble. All my fault and yes it came back on but it was digitally shaken up and would not let me tape no matter how many buttons I pushed. I kept my cool as Tara tried to begin her work slowly, so that I could join in if something started working. Sure I had my good photo camera with video possibilities but I had never used that option and I was sure it wasn’t documenting anything. It wasn’t and finally, I grabbed for my trusty iPhone and yes. was able to capture a few images but it wasn’t what we hoped for and so I left before the second group. We were disappointed, we were all disappointed but no tears, we all moved on. Another day with come, right?
I was on my way to my first PD workshop back in Ellenville, my hometown, my high school where I could point out a room I spent as a first grader and then 7 years later in middle school. Same room, different teachers but the flowery decals on the windowed closet were still there and could be still today.
Yes, you can go home again and still people remember. I was in my past and comfortable to meet familiar and new faces in their present. It all worked. I even included a picture in my intro from my yearbook, my hs graduation picture from 1967 with a hair do that was created by Stan Ruben, still a well known Ellenville guy. He saved my du from ruin after my friend Terry tried her hand at cutting it first. What was I thinking?
Yes is was a grounded start but I had prepped well and offered them a workshop inspired by my buddy Joe from the NYC Writing Project. They actually ate up a fantastically layered workshop on argument writing. Honestly, I couldn’t have done it without Joe!
And as successful as the workshop had been with groups of Social Studies and English teachers I wasn’t confident that my good luck would continue. On Friday I was scheduled to present this same workshop to the high school Science department at Highland Falls. Argument? Do Science teachers teach argument? Guess what, yes, most of them do and like the groups on Thursday, this Friday group was with me as well, taking time to consider how they might use the writing strategies in bio, chemistry, physics etc. Soon I’ll be enjoying their classroom adventures.
And that’s not all. One more action-packed, early morning road trip before I take a breath. A tech conference at Wappengers HS with a group of our HVWP teacher consultants. We had been planning this strand for the last few months and Saturday, without any snow to throw a final monkey wrench into my plans.
I was tired, really tired. Too tired to take a lot of photos and good thing that my presentation time was moved from 2 to 1 and that I didn’t have to take the lead.
Each day was a gem all to itself but as a trio, I have to put my sun glasses on to take it all in.
I want to remember this and thanks for day 2 of the MM to do just that.