Having grown up in West Texas, I often heard the phrase, "It's gettin' down to the nut cuttin' time." This came from the cattle industry. And at particular times of the year when the calves were starting to grow up, decisions had to be made about which were to become steers, and which would be left a bull. The euphemism referred to any situation where it was time to make some hard decisions.
Tomorrow will be full of those sorts of things. It is our third---and perhaps final---Scope and Sequence meeting. (See Parts I and II for more details.) We will be making some hard and fast decisions tomorrow about what sort of standards-based science courses we'll be offering in the future. Will we increase our courses to two semesters---even though it means teachers in other areas will lose jobs due to the decreased enrollment in their programs? Will we ask the district to spend money to bring in and set up portable buildings for those schools that don't have space for more science classes? Will we choose an "integrated" format for delivering content or stick with a more traditional and discipline-based program? I have my hunches as to what the answers to the questions (and others) will be, but they're not my decision. They belong to the whole committee.
I have been working on guiding this process since October, and it is nice to contemplate that tomorrow, it will be finished. Mind you, it's just a stepping off point to the next phase in building our science program. I feel, however, that I have been able to develop a lot of skills to use in the future. I have also strengthened my ties with the various schools in our district---I may even have a fan or two in each school. This would make future endeavours so much simpler.
So, tomorrow, it's nut-cuttin' time. For awhile, I worried that mine (in terms of credibility) would the ones lost. Now I think that whatever happens, the kids will definitely win.