This week isn’t over yet, but I’m feeling the need to slow it down before its climax on Friday, at Highland Falls with the Science department for one last session to end this PD project, with probably more to come in the fall. Christine and I are opting out from the race to NYC for another day the Columbia’s Teacher’s College and taking a pass on the second day of their Global Ed Conference.
I need time to breathe and reflect and have lunch in Nyack with Tuvia before we travel over the TZ bridge for one last movie ending the Jewish Film Festival and then an interview with its director, SO COOL!
What’s got me thinking and not sleeping at 5:21 is all that rich stimulation I am trying to digest. Saturday kicked off the week, knocked my socks off as I moved from workshop to workshop at our last HVWP Saturday Seminar trying to capture as much of it as I could. Of course, it probably would have been better for me if I made a choice, powered down and just participated in two of the four workshops. Just to begin the week at SUNY, with a bit of spring sunshine and groups of grateful educators soaking up and in the work of 4 HVWP superstar teacher leaders: Christine, Eric, Katelin and Rebecca!!!!
And then I was off, on my own, to return to holy ground- my hometown, my school where I learned as a kid and got to teach as an adult , to leave and make my own way in the world and then…. return and give something back. I was pumped up to take my camera along and document the work of this new community of social studies and English teachers who had responded so positively to two days of our PD sessions.
Two exciting days( for me) sharing workshops nicely aligned with the CCSS in argument and informational writing. Of course, I’d have been happier moving them into digital work but for now our start together was simpler, continuing with pen, paper and conversation. Precious time for these groups to sit around a conference table and learn together and feel they weren’t wasting precious time out of their classrooms. Now I was back to see evidence of our work together. Charged to apply the strategies I had modeled for them, I was sure I’d see great things. I was sure I’d see evidence of our productive time together reworked to make them their own.
I did see some great things but I wanted so much more and initially I was frustrated that I didn’t see more teachers using the strategies but hey, in their world spring is just now appearing after months of snow. And then there’s those pesky TESTS to prep for and just a bit of vacation coming by the end of the week and the team was racing like rats on a wheel.
After those two full days back home I got to digest and reflect with a group of my HVWP community and with their help I remembered just how hard it is to take a risk, make a change, and shift out of the center. We were all psyched to go Global as we met up at the registration tables and welcomed by Columbia’s Erick. With a holy cups of java,we found seats in the auditorium and settled in. Jamie , the Google Evangelist was so charming that I was happy to be exactly where I was. But after he left and I started moving into the workshops presented by a variety of educators I started fading, drifting away, without the essential engagement I have come to take fore granted as member of the NWP/HVWP. I am spoiled by our hands-on model and sorry, I can’t settle for less,
BUT, I had my HVWP team and as we headed out to lunch I took full advantage of the sunshine and NYC streets to feel the energy with friends. Lunch, a few more stimulating talking heads and we were back in the car, digesting together and that was the absolute perfect way to end the day and the Global experience.
Thirty minutes of writing and I’m ready for some OJ and then maybe more sleep?