Thursday, June 13, 2013

What Happened and What It Might Mean

1. We're getting a new principal, and each grade level/department met with him for about a half an hour this week. My answer to his question about why I don't do book clubs anymore came out sounding weak and off-handed. Defeatist. Like I make instructional decisions based on what someone else is doing. Which TOTALLY isn't true. ...Or is it?

2. I didn't apply for a grant to get iPads for my classroom because the guidelines clearly (to me) said that the grant money couldn't be used for that purpose. "Someone I Know" applied for a variety of devices, and was praised, welcomed and at least partially funded. Am I becoming the kind of person who accepts the rules as barriers, or am I still the kind of person with the energy and conviction to do what I believe is right no matter what?

3. Beginning yesterday morning, the media was in an absolute lather about the storms that were headed our way. While TV weathermen hyped up the storms with color maps and nonstop predictions of doom, the National Weather Service kept it real with just the facts. And so at about 8:00 PM, we walked down to Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza and Live Music (without raincoats or even an umbrella), ate a light dinner, and listened to Juanito Pascual play Flamenco guitar. As far as I can tell, the storms didn't get to Columbus until about 1:00 AM. We got thunder, lightning and rain.

1A. I look forward to having a principal who is an instructional leader and who will require me to be ready to verbalize (not just know for myself) the strong, sound reasons for my practices. Bring it on! It's been...maybe never...that I've worked with this kind of principal!

2A. Next round grant applications, here I come!

3A. I'm trying to apply this Storm Warning logic to my approach to the Common Core -- be informed, try not to get caught up in the panic, and move towards the goal one step at a time no matter how hot and humid it is.


  1. Mary Lee - love the format of your post and found myself nodding along, having "been" there myself. And 1C - I'm with you.

    1. Katherine, thanks for the nods. Good to know I'm not alone in my wonderings. After I read your comment, I realized that the logic of my numbering/lettering was a bit off, so I updated the post. Your 1C is now 3A.

  2. Anonymous1:51 PM

    Thank you for your honest, reflective post! The instructional leader that pushed me the most in my career encouraged us to say/write our beliefs in our classroom...then find evidence that revealed those beliefs in our structures, schedules, management, etc...Talk about being vulnerable!!! Happy to read that you are embracing this change in leadership! Happy Summer! :)

  3. Whadda wonderful post, Mary Lee! I love that you are putting yourself out there like this. I'm nodding, too.

    I really, really understand how a push can help move from knowing something in your head to being able to articulate it well. Who knows where the rigor of articulating some position will lead you? With your kind of integrity, I can only imagine that it will be in even more wonderful directions for your students.

    And I totally get it about the CCS. Said like the poet you are: " matter how hot and humid it is."

    By the way, cool and sunny today in Iowa, which means delightful weather should arrive tomorrow.

  4. A very brave post! Now I'm reflecting on my practice.

  5. Thank you for this post. I find myself in all 3 of your scenarios. I don't think I've ever worked for a principal like that either. It certainly will push you, but in the end will be to your advantage. Like the others, I am with you on 3A. 4th and 5th grade implement the CCSS this next school year. Like you, I want to be informed, but not panic (especially as OTES rolls out too).

  6. You are so real and not afraid to admit mistakes. I admire this. My favorite one was "3A. I'm trying to apply this Storm Warning logic to my approach to the Common Core -- be informed, try not to get caught up in the panic, and move towards the goal one step at a time no matter how hot and humid it is."
    One step at a time. Don't panic. Realize that this change is just one more in the life of a teacher. You (We) can do this!

  7. Mary Lee--Loved your post! Love your honesty and for always being real. You inspire me. Thanks for always making me think and helping me be a better teacher and learner.

  8. I would like an instructional leader for a principal as well. :) My principal wouldn't even know what clubs are!

    We will be implementing CCSS this year, too, and I'm the only one that seems concerned at my school. Nobody else is even talking about them. Do they know about them? HA!



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