As many know, it is homecoming week at CHS, and spirits are high. I got roped into–well, my mouth got me roped into–wearing this little number yesterday. Not sure it helped the spirit as much as it created visual trauma for my kids and colleagues. Poor people. Probably scarred for life. Hard to unsee this. Thank you Ms. Tamura and Ms. Alderete for calling me on my bluff yesterday morning, making me get into the spirit–this tight-fitting spirit–and letting me be part of the squad. I owe you. No, really, I owe you.
Time for a ten-day update. Every ten days, I will share some of my observations, worries, wonders, struggles, and successes for the project.
- Observation. Kids learn more by doing than listening. I am talking much less–much less, and that has been a hard and unexpected transition for me. I like to talk, and going into this, I did not anticipate that I would turn it over to the kids as much–or as early on–as I have. My general role now basically includes giving direction, clarifying information, and providing feedback on performance. The kids are doing the heavy lifting, and I think it’s making a difference. I’ll keep watch.
- Worry. As we ramp up for the first assessment, I worry about how the kids will respond to my feedback. Will they truly embrace it as part of the learning process and as a necessary component of growth mindset, or will they take it personally? I hope, hope, hope that it’s the former. I hope the fact that it is not about the grade and all about growth is the difference. I have already found it less-worrisome than before when I give feedback on practice, but I still worry about how it will play out with an assessment. We’ll see.
- Wonder. I wonder how informed my kids’ parents really are. I have sent home letters, hosted an open house, and sent home the first round of learning logs to be signed and returned. I want to believe that the majority know about the project, but I am skeptical about how communicative my kids have been with their parents. After 20 years, I have come to know that parents’ signatures on documents is not necessarily an indication that they actually read the documents. Hmmm. I wonder.
- Struggle. So, I am still struggling with the fact that some kids–seemingly–would rather have the familiar, traditional, transactional learning experience over the experience that P-180 offers. And while I know it is hard to break from tradition and the comfort of the familiar, I struggle with this. In truth, it teases me to temptation–calling me back to the familiar, the traditional, the transactional approach of the past–when the kids seem unaffected or impressed with the new approach. But I won’t give in. It is only a few kids, and I hold to hope that they can still be swayed to embrace the new. Hope. It’s all I have.
- Success. Kids are working. They, this far in, continue to diligently dive into the work. Yesterday, in their first substantial team quest, most dug deeply into the work, collaborating on a level that impressed and inspired me. It’s not perfect yet, and some demonstrate more diligence than others, but by and large, the kids are working hard. I want to believe that it’s out of commitment and not compliance. With A’s in hand, they don’t have to do the work. They choose to do the work. So far, they are still choosing to do it. And that for me is no small accomplishment. It keeps me on the path.
Happy Thursday, all. Have a cheerful day. Mine won’t be quite as cheerful as yesterday, but rumor has it that I’ll be making another appearance tomorrow at the pep-con, performing a cheer with the rest of the squad. Might be I feel a sick day coming on.