25 September 2006

If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Second Grade

One of the double-edged swords I traverse in my job comes from being the k-12 science person. I get this wonderful big picture viewpoint. I can see how all of the different pieces (should) fit together and the connections between grade levels and ideas. No one else in the department has this sort of assignment and, at times, their myopia becomes a hindrance; however, it also means that they can concentrate on a very discrete amount of information. I am particularly jealous of that ability this week.

Tomorrow, I have second grade teachers all day...followed by third grade teachers all of Wednesday...and then sixth grade teachers until noon on Thursday. I then get to run out to a meeting with grades 7, 8, and 9 science teachers for 30 minutes before leading a grades 10 - 12 science meeting at one of the high schools. It's a bit nuts, to say the least, but I am doing my best to gracefully eat this elephant one dainty bite at a time.

I am grateful for the help I was able to round up for the 7 - 9 meeting. There may be a couple of contentious moments at that meeting that my helpers are just going to have to field for themselves. I am asking each grade level to choose one activity in common to do before we meet again in January. I'll make all the copies and we'll take time to score things and talk about them in January---in other words, teachers only have to agree to set aside time for this activity during one class period. The goal in all of this is to help get some common points of conversation going. Each teacher has some specific things they like to do with their kids---which is fine---but since all students have to get to the same end point, shouldn't we have some way to tell what is and isn't working? This whole idea may well go over like a lead balloon on Thursday afternoon.

I'm looking forward to Friday. It's a non-student day and schools will be working on various initiatives. I haven't been asked to present anywhere or work with anyone...a fact that I'm keeping very quiet. I need some quiet time to figure out where I am and where I'm going next.

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