Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Just as we have those occasional days or weeks filled with bad news, frustrating experiences, lessons-gone-wrong, we have those days or weeks where the next experience outshines the last. And sometimes, those light-bearing moments are on the not-so-ragged edge of our professional lives; sometimes, that's where  they can be the best experiences ever. I've had such a week so far, and it's only Wednesday!!

Monday evening was World Book Night. When I got wind of this project many months ago, I immediately applied to be a book-giver. The excitement I felt in the winter when chosen to give away 20 copies of Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle increased tenfold when I picked up my books at my local library a few weeks ago. And then, Monday afternoon, it increased one-hundred-fold. It was an overcast afternoon with a cold, brisk wind, but I felt all warm inside (no joke) as my daughter and I distributed the books to people around town. Gratitude - for the shared love of reading, for the getting and the giving of a gift, for the reaching out - can do that, make me feel warm and mushy. Who knew it would continue, with such a force, into Tuesday?

Tuesday afternoon I walked into a 14-person workgroup meeting to find myself sitting down to a chat about teacher evaluation with none other than Charlotte Danielson. Didn't I just mention her a couple days ago in a blog post? I DID!! I think that hour may become one of the seminal moments of the rest of my teaching life. Danielson is intelligent, provocative, self-effacing, insightful, honest, and thoroughly engaging. She "taught" us in just the way she encourages us to teach, which is an incredibly refreshing concept for those of us who have sat through too-many-to-mention workshops-gone-wrong. I found myself scribbling copious notes and scribing complete quotes; she was that brilliant.

I left that meeting and headed to the theatre for the Tuesday night installment of Great Week Gets Greater. I'd been looking forward to seeing Bully since I'd heard about it months ago and followed the print media's coverage of the controversy surrounding its MPAA rating (it's now rated PG-13). This film must be seen. By everyone. Parents. Kids. Teachers. Administrators. Board members. Lawyers. Store clerks. Waitstaff. Truck drivers. CPAs. PAs. The Oakland As. You get it - everyone. It will make you weep, it will make you squirm, and I hope most of all that it makes you take action.

Today hasn't been a letdown, interestingly. I started a Twitter project with a class and had great initial success. Student engagement was high and I'm looking forward to refining what we learned from this first entree into using social media in the classroom.

I'm also looking forward to what Thursday, and Friday, and next week, and next month bring. Maybe I'm on a roll; it sure feels that way and that sure feels good. Might as well go for the super-perfecta!!

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