Picking Up Speed, I

Two weeks into the school year in my face-to-face teaching world, things tend to pick up speed.  “The honeymoon is over,” as a friend of mine said on Friday, and both students and teachers are settling into a routine.  That routine is very different in my classes this year, but it’s still a routine – and since many of my colleagues are still firmly entrenched in 20th-century teaching practices, our routine is constantly pulled in that direction both by students’ expectations and by the gravitational force of institutional culture.  It will be interesting to see how well we can hold on to the notion of joyful learning community and building something meaningful together when we’re surrounded by just do the worksheet and will this be on the test or not?

In any case, we’re picking up speed on several fronts:

  • If you’re reading this post on Monday, it will be the day my Latin I and III students present their first piece of “minor assessment” – for the I’s, a thing they designed to show specific similarities and differences between Roman and American families, and for the III’s, a thing they designed to show three different sets of information about a Tres Columnae Project character they’ve come to know.  We’ll see how things go with this first “minor assessment,” but I have a feeling several groups may be repairing and resubmitting their products to be world-class rather than just good enough for class.
  • I have something “extra” every afternoon this week – a committee meeting at school one day, a planning session for a staff-development presentation another, and the list goes on.  So things in the non-teaching areas of my professional life are picking up speed too.
  • Now that EdStartup 101 has resolved its blog syndication issues, I’m working on participating more actively there.  Please take a look at the special blog I started for that course if you’d like – but I realize that these are two very different audiences, so please feel free not to read that one if it doesn’t sound appealing.
  • After a long delay, Steve Blank’s Lean Startup class will be getting underway on September 14, and I’m excited to experience a Udacity course.
  • And we’ll see if I have time for this course, too … and I obviously need time for my family, time to plan and prepare for my face-to-face students, time to work on Tres Columnae Project “stuff,” and maybe even some time to sleep.

I’m looking forward to the courses because they’ll help me remember what it’s like to be a novice again … and as I mentioned several times this summer, it’s really important for us expert teachers to take on that novice role from time to time.  It’s funny, too, how all these opportunities have come along at just the right time for me.  I guess the solutions are inherent in the problems after all.

What unexpected serendipities and new adventures are coming your way as things pick up speed in your world?

quid respondētis, amīcī?

Published in: on September 10, 2012 at 10:20 am  Leave a Comment  

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