My husband and I celebrated a milestone anniversary this week! We always go for non-conventional so today we went zip lining in an old limerock mine that they have recently made into an adventure spot for eco-tourism here in central Florida. It was a hidden gem and lots of fun. Getting out of your comfort zone often does the soul a bit of good.
Today was my first day back on the grind for my first teacher workday! Because I once taught for the district and am now returning after four years with our state’s public virtual school, I will be attending new teacher training. I am anxious to see several of my former students starting out in the field. Like zip lining, I am ready for this “new” adventure.
Marzano was the buzz word of the day at teacher training. Quite frankly, it didn’t offer anything new but it did put a lot of really good strategies into a neat little package. If you are part of my #sschat book talk on Why Don’t Students Like School by Daniel Willingham, you will find that it is a lot of bubbe science a.k.a. common sense. As always, I was able to take away some good ideas and bits of information I am anxious to read more about Marzano, his research and how it will help me to become better at my craft.
This year has been an incredible journey for me. I left my post teaching AP US History–something that I had done comfortably for quite a long time. After several warning from those who promised me I would miss the kids and find myself unhappy, I took the plunge anyhow. I quickly moved into the world of writing, alt-tags, 508 compliance, and a totally new world of acronyms in my effort to prepare a new online World History course for Florida’s new standards in a five month period.The course would be written by writers in Anywhere USA, designed in India and the test unloaded in Canada. I knew that I had a huge task ahead of me but being the workaholic I am I knew that I was up for the challenge. In effort to prepare, I was flung into the tail end of an AP Human Geography project.
Along the journey, I have figured out many things. First and foremost, my kids were missing their mom. Even though I work from home I am often mentally checked out worrying about deadlines, my project manager and text versions. Next, after four years teaching online I have found inspiration in an unusual place–Twitter. Through the #sschat PLN, I realize that the classroom that I left in 2008, is not the classroom of 2012. All of those amazing things outside of the box things that I wanted to do with technology that firewalls used to block are becoming realities everyday for teachers. Powerful stuff–powerful stuff that I am eager to try with the students.
So here I am a seasoned teacher with a pretty comfortable position with the nation’s number one online public school. I am ready to cash in my chips to spend more quality time with my own kids and get back into a classroom in my own community to do amazing things with students. I am looking forward to the journey ahead.
Rarely is that that I have a meeting face to face. I was given a charge to make something sweet this week for a meeting. I am no chef but I can make a mean cupcake! I have decided to go with green coconut “grass” and jelly beans. Admittedly, I ate all the black ones. I am thinking to call them Ronald Reagan cupcakes since my fellow nerdy history curriculum folks will get this joke. We might also get good laugh as we watch the math folks scratch their heads wondering why I didn’t just call them Easter cupcakes. I am planning to go with Starbucks cupcakes for the second round once I have gotten all of the good to make them. Thanks to my inspiration Pinterest post, I have a game plan. I am relatively new to this department that really admires creativity so why not. And what group of educators does not like coffee? The best part of all was that my assistant was the most adorable kindergartener ever.