i feel like i'm stuck in a little bit of a mental rut at the moment, as i'm more than eager for the school year to come to a close. it's been an exhausting year, and hopefully i'll get to rest and recharge for the upcoming school year. i found the end of this school year exhausting, as i was involved in looking at such thrilling documents as a homework policy, snippets of an accreditation visit report, a continuing scope and sequence review, and the ever popular curriculum map.
what worries me is that i can't wait for the summer because i just want a break. i shouldn't want that, at least not so earnestly. i used to like the summer — it was my lab time, a three-month window to really go nuts with the research and development, the monkeying around with new stuff, the selling new stuff to eager faculty members. but i'm just tired and need a break. i'd imagine this isn't too different from our kids so looking forward to summer — not to explore parks and camps, to try out new stuff, to do something *different* but instead to just get away from regimented study, final examinations, the same old papers and quizzes and deadlines. we're supposed to encourage our students to be lifelong learners. and i feel like i want a break from that for myself, at least for a bit. this is the first year that, professionally, i don't feel encouraged to find something transformative to investigate over the summer, to try and change the game next year, to try and make some brains explode and probably a couple of eyes roll.
i've been caught up with this feeling that, at least at my school, we're not encouraging as much of a sense of wonder as we should. everything is about meeting a deadline, referencing a criterion, keeping to a regulation. i feel like things need a shake-up. our students should be running out of the school doors on the last day to investigate a world of "new," and our faculty should too. instead, i just want a break.
well… just a little one.
Time for some 20% time exercises. Encourage your administration to do something like this http://www.marshmallowchallenge.com/Welcome.htmlI know what you mean about that feeling, but keeping wonder and fun exercises in your daily activities is critical. Writing about it helps too:)
Thanks for that, Alex! I was looking for something to center an all-faculty PD session on Thursday around and I’m going to give this a try. It fits so well with the kind of thing that we all should be thinking about, and the TED Talk could almost be a 7-minute intro to the International Baccalaureate MYP Technology program my department has to teach to.
Let me know how it goes… I could not get my school to do it with the entire faculty… Maybe next year!
Thanks for the suggestion, Alex. I used the Marshmallow Challenge as an introduction to a PD session on collaboration across and outside of school. It went pretty well, though some folks definitely had a “what the heck does this have to do with anything” look at first. Pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/self-explanatory/sets/72157624140902419/