Monday, April 25, 2011

The End of an Era (This may be too sentimental for some people.)

Today I presented what is probably my last inservice presentation as an Instructional Coach. I am really going to miss this particular duty. I know... I'm an education nerd but I just can't help it!

I have always felt fortunate that the people that make up the staff at my school are very patient and supportive. I try to engage the staff with useful and timely information, humor, interesting activities or media but these people have also sat patiently through some less than perfect sessions, technical difficulties and an assortment of other misadventures. Sometimes the speakers aren't working well and they must lean in and listen intently to the soft sounds coming from my computer. My bright ideas don't always work out exactly the way I had planned but they display flexibility and understanding and it works out. Inservice and PD days are never long enough for what I'd like to get accomplished. What I have to present isn't always what teachers want to hear but they laugh at my jokes, ask honest questions, speak their mind without attacking and take it all seriously. (Well, as seriously as they should.)

Researching, connecting, preparing, PowerPointing, creating, introducing, instructing, discussing, questioning, directing, facilitating, wrapping it up - I love it all.

It's a really good thing that I don't have to give up any of those favorite things.

Next year... I will be in a different setting. My students will be younger. The topics will be from a different point of view.

Next year... I will be able to research the best teaching strategies and interesting content to use with my own students, make connections from learning to my students' lives, prepare engaging lessons, choose just the right technology, create a successful learning environment, introduce my students to new concepts, teach them how to learn, lead them into discussions so they can learn from each other, invite them to question, direct their activities, facilitate opportunities for my students to feel successful, and wrap it all in a love of learning.

Next year... I will rejoin the ranks of the hardest working people I know. And... I'll continue to teach.

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