Monday, December 8, 2014

Newest Learning

Time for the weekly Slice of Life at the Two Writing Teachers blog.  Tweet at #SOL14  

       Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Beth, Anna and Betsy for the special support of this community!


        I started this year in my fifth year as the Literacy Coach, and two months later, I'm back handling a classroom again. Some things have been amusing, some startling. I soon realized in the early days that I was in a different mindset as a coach than as a teacher. Oh, I'm still coaching, but there are those other things I had forgotten:
          First, it suddenly occurred to me that I had to do recess duty! While I don't dislike it, I just hadn't remembered to go.



          I have had to re-create the way I take notes for student work and conferences. It's coming back, but slowly. There are many things to manage, and now I have remembered that some days are like the 'whack-a-mole' game at carnivals. Things keep popping up!
          In addition to conferring with students, and, like with adults, keeping as quiet as possible, instead of "thinking" something is a good idea and discussing it with colleagues, I have to plan lessons part by part. As I plan, my brain re-activates, and I think, "oh, yeah, that's how I did it."
         The constant conversations, interactions, input of information is both helpful and alarming. I am in awe of what I used to do, and am now re-learning. 
          There is more, more, more. If you are in the classroom, you know! The funniest moment is when, desk piled high, I knew I had returned when I was looking for something, knew that it was somewhere in those piles, BUT WHERE?

           Happy Teaching!  

A final thought: "The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Robert J. Meehan

25 comments:

  1. Oh, the desk piles! I frightened myself earlier this year thinking I had lost some student work for good--luckily I found it, and of course I made resolutions about keeping my desk more clear........hasn't happened yet!

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    1. Obviously you know I understand. Happy to hear the work was found!

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  2. It is exactly like Whack-a-Mole! Thanks for the great comparison.

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    1. You're welcome. It is something that often hits me, one down, more on their way!

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  3. I definitely *get* that frantic feeling. You make it sound fun and energizing. Have a great year!

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    1. Thanks, Vanessa, lots to think about!

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  4. Yes! I LOLed (whack-a-mole) several times in this post. I love the perspective you bring: the part-by-part planning, the figuring out the conferring notes (still working on that one) and the oh-yeah moments. One of the hardest parts is keeping that bigger perspective and not getting lost in the papers on the desk!

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    1. Agreed, sometimes I just want to move them around, trying to find the "right" place for them. It's challenging for sure.

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  5. Linda, I am eager to follow you on this journey from coach to classroom. I have been coaching now for six years, and I am 90% sure I'd be happier back in the classroom. I have to decide soon. I really miss it, but like you, I think I forgot everything that goes along with it!

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  6. My desk always looked so organized on the first day of school and the last. I won't mention what it looked like on the days in between. Usually I was able to find just what I needed right before I needed it. Lucky I guess.

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  7. It's amazing how much we store away in our teaching tool box - I see this in the way I need to explain things to my student teacher. So much becomes reflex!

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  8. Oh the desk, the duties, the planning, the grading...Whack-a-Mole indeed!!

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  9. The piles! The neverending piles! I'm planning to clean my desk tomorrow and not looking forward to it. Maybe I'll have lots of students show up for conferences instead! There is so much that becomes second nature and reflex, as Tara says. Teaching is such a complex action. Interesting to see your thoughts on the transition and relearning!

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  10. I think changing roles would be so difficult. Kudos to you for stepping in and tackling this challenge with such a good spirit. We do forget what is involved in a daily class load.

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  11. Most of my days feel like a whack-a-mole game, Linda! :) Glad to hear you are settling in.

    Jennifer

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  12. I love that you forgot recess duty! I hope you are loving your teaching - I know your students are loving having you as their teacher. Thank you for your final quote!!

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  13. Four years ago, after many years as a coach, I went back to a fourth grade position. Boy oh boy, had I forgotten a lot! Would love another classroom experience in the next few years!

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  14. A dear friend who is retired and subs for us often described our days as a game of Whack-a-Mole the other day. :) I forget recess duty too! Happy Piles and Happy Teaching!

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  15. That whack-a-mole is a perfect analogy! As I look at my desk, I chuckle because it is one big pile right now! Oh Christmas Break, Oh Christmas Break...

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  16. This is funny. I have been teaching gifted for a while now which means I do morning duty only. No more recess or lunches! I love the idea of whack the mole. Today was that kind of day for me. I am finally sitting down at 8:20 to read slices.

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  17. Mel and I have talked about how great it would be to have a rotation of coaches so that we keep the teacher mindset in addition to the coaching one. When I am in classrooms, I am always in awe of the teachers when I try to envision them doing the work alone. It really is like a Whack-a-mole game at times!

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  18. Enjoy your time in the classroom! There are times when I think, maybe I would like to be back in there... but then I remember math and think, nah!
    I like the whack a mole reference, reminds me of whack a duck in my favorite Bink and Gollie!!!

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  19. Thanks for all the wishes and replies, everyone. Clearly you all know what I'm talking about. The best thing of all when being back in the classroom is the students, absolutely number one!

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  20. I was forever looking for something on my desk and now my desk at home looks just like the one used to at school. Your post reminds me why I love popping in occasionally. We held our first Mock Newbery after school book club today - 12 students showed up. It was great fun!

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  21. Coaching and classroom teaching are so different. They're both hard work, but in very unique ways. Your students are lucky to have you, Linda!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!