08 January 2007

Round Two: TKO

Tomorrow is our last grade level meeting of our elementary math/science cadre. I think this round went much more smoothly than the first one, but there have been a few bumps here and there. My biggest area of learning this time was simply being able to study the various group dynamics.

Kindergarten is very chatty and vivacious. They have a singular passion for the little ones in their charge and it shows in their personal lives, too. First grade is all business. They prefer just to get down to work---and earn an early out from the meeting. :) Second grade wants products, not process. This group of teachers gets wound up when they talk about issues and potential problems, but are all smiles if you can do a "make and take" with them, during the day. Third grade is reluctant to talk. There are a few strong personalities there---and others are intimidated. Fifth grade is a lot like kindergarten, but with a stronger sense of humor. They give as much energy as they get. Sixth grade is hungry. These teachers are interested in anything they can do to get their kids ready for junior high. They want to be seen as legitimate contributors in the continuum.

And fourth grade? I'll see them tomorrow...so I don't have a particular bead just yet. I do know that many of them don't like the new kits. I expect some harsh comments at the start of the day, but I'm hoping that they'll move on and get into the day.

There have been great comments from teachers about the professional development we've offered. We've managed to "wow" them with all kinds of information and they leave each day smiling and enthused about what they can take back to colleagues and kids. Some of them see themselves for the teacher leaders that they are. Others are more unsure. Maybe continued work as a group will give them the boost they need to take on a stronger role in their schools.

My guess is that we won't have the cadre next year...something that makes me sad to think about. We've really gotten such a great start to things this year and I hate to think that math and science are going to be swept under the carpet again. For now, I'm going to bask in things. Round Two of our meetings have been successful.

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