It’s Not About Me #sol20
January 28, 2020
So often I think I’m going to write one thing and something completely different bubbles up in the wonderful mix of my consciousness. Within the reading, the podcasts, the experiences, the musing, I do that thing that we strive for with the students, I grow an idea. The title says it, It’s not about me. Well, sure, I already knew it wasn’t about me. All of this is really about the students, but after the students, it’s still not about me. Then it’s about the learning community. When does it get to be about me? When I figure out how I can contribute to the success of all. Where did I get to this philosophical nugget? It started years ago, but let’s just think about yesterday afternoon.
January is about 975 days long, packed with assessments, professional development, meetings, planning, data analysis along with the long New England winter. Days and weeks are loaded with commitments and hopes, struggles and insights. Truly, it’s exhausting. Some genius before my time decided that we would have our monthly curriculum building time on Monday afternoon. Monday?!? So in the midst of kindergarten assessments, progress reports, and the daily commitments that seem to grow mid-year, I planned a workshop for yesterday afternoon. The original title, Mid-Year Literacy Check-In caused me to dump half my slides from the fall’s meetings. Student On-Demand writing examination, how to read a BAS, assessment-driven instruction, all dumped in a ever growing power point.
Then I paused.
I came upon a slide that I had made earlier. A road-map in the background and four interconnected boxes.
Originally, the boxes has said something vaguely similar, but not this message. I thought, what is it that will make the assessments relevant? How will we look at assessments and see the road ahead?
I cut out all the other slides. Well, most of them. I made four single slides with each of these messages:
What will students need to know and do?
What instruction do students still need (based on data)?
Where are the opportunities to develop these skills (within the unit or beyond)?
What’s the plan?
So simple. 5 or 10 minutes there. Twenty minutes here. Dig in, folks.
What a leap of faith. I thought. I thought about all we’ve done this year and years before. I thought about Cornelius Minor and his message, We’ve Got This. Then, I jumped right off into space. Trusting. Hoping. Believing in the journey, not the destination.
About five minutes in, it felt different, like when you are making a sauce and suddenly it just starts to come together. I stopped stirring. I just watched.
I leaned in. I learned. I thought.
I didn’t stress. I didn’t worry. I didn’t over-scaffold.
I checked in. I encouraged. I felt the calm of great work.
So no, no one said they needed the literacy coach to help move them forward. Isn’t that wonderful.