"Turn and face the strange changes...Time may change me, but I can't trace time." by David Bowie
When I was....um, younger...I used to spend hours listening to David Bowie. This song in particular, Changes, I felt was written just for me. And as I go through life, the lyrics come back to haunt me every once in awhile. Now is one of those times.
This year I am facing some big changes...personally and professionally. And I am trying hard to face the strange changes with dignity and calm. Not so easy all the time.
South Paris Collaborative is no more. Christine and I are no longer working as partners. I have a new partner, Lauryn Tiedemann, and a new name, The Denton Dynamos. I think bringing new eyes to my program will be a positive change, allowing me to try new things with the students. But I am approaching this change with some trepidation. Will Lauryn be up to the task of working with me and all my demanding ways? I do admit I have very high expectations of both my students and those I work with. So far, our meetings have been positive. Tomorrow I find out how things go with children in the classroom.
Ali is heading into tenth grade. Time to think about driver's licenses, more freedom, college. All while dealing with 15 year old emotions. One thing that isn't changing...our time waiting for high school to end. Each year I hope this will be the year. The one where Ali finds that one teacher who will motivate, excite, and understand her. The one year that will get her reinterested in school and learning. Will Richardson recently wrote a blog about parents that actually got him called out in ISTE's Learning and Leading magazine. In the blog he asked, "why aren’t parents more angry about the education their kids are getting?" A fair question and one I ask myself often. But, by this time in her education, I have given up fighting with my school district and her teachers. Instead, I tell her that things will be better when she is in college. And I supplement her education at home the best I can. Although at her age, this is getting harder and harder, since I am no longer smart enough to teach her anything (at least that's what she hints to me frequently). So, once again, I hope this year brings the changes we both are looking for.
My dear husband has embarked on another Master's degree program. He began the Wilkes/Discovery Masters program online. First I should tell you a bit about my husband. Frank was hired in his district as a computer teacher. He enthusiastically introduced websites and projects to his colleagues and worked with the students in his elementary school. Two years into his career, his district cut their budget by replacing all the computer teachers with aides. He was placed into the classroom as a fourth grade teacher. While disappointed by this change, he was excited to bring his technology knowledge to his classroom. He set up a Ning for his class, started a blog for his students, and sent out letters inviting all his parents into his projects. The administration immediately told him to shut it all down. It wasn't safe. He shut down the computers and has been teaching without technology for all these years. So it is exciting that he is trying again. At this time, he has just begun his degree in Media Technology, starting with his first two classes, one on PBL and one on the brain. It is so much fun talking with him about issues I've been dealing with for years. He is reading Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind and Krauss/Boss's Reinventing Project Based Learning. Both of these books have contributed to my classroom. It's wonderful to see him excited about teaching. This is a change I look forward to.
Conversations is coming back. Okay, so this isn't really a change but Sheila Adams, Maria Knee, and I have all been through some changes this summer and I am sure we will bring our new perspectives on education into our Conversations. For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, we run a show each Sunday morning on EdTechTalk.com. This show is about educational conversations. We choose a different topic each week and discuss, disagree, laugh about, cry about, and dissect it. You should come join us. See the changes in our show this year.
Personal changes: Frank got a new car, we put pavers down on our driveway, patio, and pool area, and I got braces. While these are all good changes, they all cost quite a bit of money. So, for the first time in a long time, we are in debt. I think I will have the pavers paid off by Christmas and the braces paid off by April. But it will mean tightening our belts a bit. Not something I am happy about. So I spend a lot of time in my beautiful new yard and remind myself it was all worth it.
Can I face the changes? I'm certainly going to give it all a try. What changes are you going through this year?
Image: 'David Bowie - ChangesOneBowie'
Image: 'X is for...340/365'
Image: 'Waiting for Time to Pass'
Image: 'Custom Graduation Bot'
Image: 'Piggy savings bank'