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I, Enemy: Project 180, Day 17

Sometimes I think my mantra, Do. Reflect. Do Better., is more a convenient rationalization to my wandering than a beacon of inspiration on my horizon. In part, it’s due to the allure and blur of my ideals, a mirage of confidence in my dreamt-up, drawn-up plans as I head down the trail with my not-yet-tested “better do” in hand. In other part, it’s due to my Superman-shirt-wearing-induced ego, which compels me to believe I can achieve superhuman feats. Put together, the parts create a crazy whole, a madman pushed to his limits, forced to confront the confounding reality that he is human after all.

This has been a hard week. My ideals and realities have collided, and the aftermath has placed me in a state of super stress, affecting both my professional and personal lives. And that’s not okay. So I had to get better. It’s all I know, and after a week of reflecting, yesterday, I found better. Yesterday, I got better.

The Problem

I bit off more than I could chew. Suffering from “Supermanshirtis,” I thought I could somehow get a feedback form filled out for each of my 120 kids, indicating hits, misses, and next steps on four learning targets. FOUR. Hmmm. Well, turns out there are only so many hours in a day, and only so much energy in the human body, even for those humans who wear Superman shirts. And even an extra helping of grit did little to help the situation. So, after days of delay and spontaneous surges of “feedbacking,” I found my better. Had to. The edge was near.

The Solution

It was in front of me the whole time. The kids. I was trying to do all the lifting. So, I came up with a plan to share the load.

  • I created a model with an example and non-example. Ideally, I would have used a student model, but this is our first go; I have not yet a bank of models.
  • I made the criteria for the targets as student and first-time friendly as I possibly could, reducing them down to yes/no responses.
  • I then shared my model, matching it against the criteria, and I asked the kids to do the same. If the answer was “yes,” they wrote it on the “hit” side of the form, “no” on the miss.
  • I then had the kids determine their own next steps based on their own feedback.
  • Finally, I told the kids that if they wanted more feedback, they could submit it to the feedback folder, and I would take a look and respond. As of yet, no one has exercised this option; I hope that’s a sign that our shared approach was effective.

Importantly, the kids will have an opportunity today to apply their learning to an identical practice opportunity with this week’s Life is Lit text, which should reveal if growth is occurring. We’ll see. If not…well, there’s always my mantra.

Today’s Trail

Along today’s trail we will…

…begin with Smiles and Frowns.

…apply new learning to our Claim, Cite, Clarify task.

…clear the clutter from the trail.

…read in our personal reading books.

...reflect in our Journey Journals.

Hard week. But a hard week full of lessons. Felt so much better yesterday after I gave myself a break. Glad I leaned on the kids. Glad, too, they leaned back. We make a pretty good team. Have a great weekend, all.

Do. Reflect. Do Better. (for realsies this week).


4 Replies to “I, Enemy: Project 180, Day 17”

  • I’m glad you found something that works! Remember that it’s okay to just be human. You don’t have to be superman every day. Good luck! 🙂

  • Monte,
    I am glad that you were able to sit with the stress until the solution presented itself. I too, had my kids do some feedback before I looked at their work. My kids told me it is better to get feedback from people who actually did the same work. That is a good lesson for me. The fact that your kids haven’t asked for more feedback is heartening. When I remember that I am a guide and mentor more than dispenser of knowledge, it gives my kids a more authentic place in the process.

    Bravo, your do better is excellent!

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