We are settling back into a normal-ish life again. I had a ton of work to do, to get caught up on grad school. Fortunately, play-dates for the Offspring made that possible. I got a whole bunch of stuff that I needed to get finished - finished. It was nice to focus on something else for a change. Tomorrow, all the teachers go back to school and we get to talk about air quality and how it will effect our school days. If the air hits the hazardous levels again, we won't have school which is smart -- being in hazardous air is a bad idea, but also complicates things. They say that rain is supposed to fall Thursday and possibly Wednesday, which would be wonderful.
As a result of grad school, I was asked to participate in a program through Stanford, which basically involves me sitting in on grad student presentations, and then discussing them. We had our first meeting today, and I have to say it was really interesting. The student was talking about technology in the classroom and ways that it can be truly effective. In other words, it was right up my alley.
Every time that I meet up with a tech teacher like myself, they get excited to meet someone who does what they do. You can find math teachers, English teachers, social studies teachers and science teachers just about everywhere, but a teacher dedicate to only teaching technology is a rarity. It is always so good to talk about what we do in our classrooms, and how we create our curriculum.
If you are curious, and you probably aren't, here's how I planned out my curriculum. I broke the year into seven sections, and created projects for each section. Every project requires tech. I approached things this way because I didn't want my class to be simple, repetitive, lessons on skills, but rather a way for my students to see that technology is a tool that helps you build, create and design. My lessons and projects are MOST DEFINITELY a work in progress. As I learn and grow, my design changes and HOPEFULLY, improves.
Being able to participate in something like I did this afternoon, is another great example of how grad school has really enhanced my life and my experiences. I am meeting another group of educators with high standards and deep intellect. Hanging around smart people is a good idea. I enjoyed hearing the presentation today, and thinking about the questions it posed. I should mention that I like school and learning in general, so this might be an influence on how I view events like this one.
Also, and I know I've mentioned this before, it is also a testament to stepping outside of the familiar and known. I only knew one person in this afternoon's class, and that person was someone I had met during grad school. My brave (or spontaneous) decision to go to grad school has introduced me to an ever widening circle of thoughtful, intelligent educators who push me to become a stronger, more thoughtful teacher myself. Smart people are pretty cool.
Keep moving forward,
P.S. No word yet on my car. Parts could be complicated as their sources were located in Santa Rosa. This is a bummer because I miss my car, but is also good because this means I will get the car back closer to payday -- I hope.