Last Thursday this was my view from the plane. I was very excited when the pilot announced that if you were on the right side, then you could look out your window and see the Grand Canyon. Yes. I was on the right side! Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to visit the Grand Canyon with my mother. And I can say, whether you are viewing it from the ground or viewing it from the air, it is truly an awe-inspiring sight.
This got me thinking about how we view the work we do everyday with our kids. Most of the time our view is from the ground. We see what is happening that day at that time in our classroom. In the moment, we may see when it suddenly clicks for a students or we may see a student struggling to understand. In the moment, we react and respond to kids' thoughts and questions. In the moment, sometimes our lesson veers off track or we realize a teachable moment. Hopefully in the moment, we are always challenging our kids to think instead of doing all the thinking for them. We can certainly do this kind of teaching where we go day by day and lesson by lesson and recognize little victories with some students. But we also need to view our work from the plane. We need to make sure that we are continually pulling back and looking down from the window of the plane. It is crucial that we see the big picture, the landforms that we just can't see if we always stay on the ground. A lot of times this view is the one we are taking when we are working with our teams or the coaches. We need to see what all of those day to day moments look like when we put them together. We need to get a good picture of what we can do and where we can lead the students. It is not always easy to take this view because sometimes it means that we need to change how we do our day to day work or it means setting deadlines for ourselves or it means doing more in depth planning. Just because this kind of work is not easy does not mean we can not do. In fact, it is necessary for our all of our students' to achieve success.
So please make sure that you continue to stop and take a look at the view from above. It is awe-inspiring work that you are doing in your classrooms.
On my flight out on Thursday, I finished reading Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin. A good fractured fairy tale; let me know if you want to borrow my copy! Next book on the list for me: Summer of the Gypsy Moths. At the ASCD conference, there was a room full of brand new books for sale. Guess who visited that room twice during the conference! And since I volunteered at the conference, I even got a gift certificate to use while book shopping. One book that I purchased and am looking forward to skimming through during my flight home was Getting to Got It: Helping Struggling Students Learn How to Learn. Another book that I brought along on my trip is called Letting Go of the Status Quo. I am very excited about reading this book because one of the authors is a good friend of mine who I went to college with and still keep in touch with.
Monday - Liz out at conference
Wednesday - Kindergarten chorus @ 2:25 in the gym, Staff meeting @ 3:30
(Can it be possible that we have a week with not many events going on?!
Great things I noticed last week:
- I saw lots of students and staff showing their school spirit last week on our different dress up days. Miss Frizzle even made an appearance on book character day!
- The 4th grade team invited me to a team meeting where we had a great dialogue about the new way that they are working on the best way to teach struggling math students. Looking forward to continual discussions about the way we have math support set up in 4th grade; hopefully we will have some good ideas to share with the rest of the teams.
- Grace and Sharon spent part of one day collaborating and planning with our TLA consultant, Joia. She gave me some more ideas of titles to order as we continue to improve our classroom libraries.
I have to go catch a plane, so here is a quick, simple read that reminds us what quality readers do...
See you all back at school on Tuesday!