I’m so sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted (again!). Between two mission trips, lots of professional development courses, and one BIG move, there’s been a lot going on. It’s no excuse, but since you’re here to read what’s going on in my life and in my head, that’s what’s been going on!
I’m sure that at some point, I’ll tell you about the mission trips I went on this summer. Both of them were challenging and remarkable, as all mission trips always are. I learned a lot on both. But the two things most on my mind right now are my move and the fact that school is starting in just two weeks! (At least, for teachers.)
These two things sound like they’re only related in that they both contribute substantially to the amount of stress I’m feeling at any given time, but they’re actually more similar than that. You see, both things are full of hard, uncomfortable, unpleasant, but ultimately good and necessary changes.
This year, my school has decided to standardize the lessons we teach across all five science labs. This was a great move, because it means that we are collaborating on lessons, we’re giving the students a more standard experience across campuses (we have a fair number of students who move schools within the district when their family buys a new house), and we are able to come up with a unified idea for how the lab should function. This is frustrating to me, because I tend to think of the science lab as a chance for the kids to be challenged above and beyond the teaching standards for their grade level, to force them to think about concepts that the state thinks they’re not ready for (they are. I know because they understand the concepts when I teach them), and to give them a chance to push the boundaries of how their minds work. But, the administration of the district wants us to keep our concepts consistent with the grade level standards. No more pushing to higher concepts. No more freedom to switch up the lessons as I see fit. But that doesn’t mean the benefits of the standardized lesson plans go away. In fact, having the entire first semester planned in the first week of summer means that I have the entire next two weeks to rehaul science fair and prepare for all of the extracurriculars I do during the school year! And that’s nothing to sneeze at.
My move to my parents house has worked very similarly. There have been a LOT of issues. I’ve got air conditioning that doesn’t work, internet that doesn’t work, and too much stuff for too small a space. But that doesn’t mean the benefits have disappeared. I’m saving SO MUCH MONEY! I’ve got a yard for my dog to run around in! My cat and I sleep in the same bed without having to worry about the dog worrying the cat or the cat worrying the chinchilla! And I’ve got a waterproof case on my iPad, so I can spend my last two weeks of summer freedom working on science fair and my extracurriculars in the pool! So, if you need me… That’s where I’ll be.