It’s Labour Day weekend. I’m sitting in my living room wearing a big sweater and getting a bit high off the scent of vanilla and cinnamon from the apple crisp I’m baking. It was 32 degrees two days ago but fall is here now. I know this because I bought a pumpkin spice latte this morning.
Anyway, now that I’ve set the scene, I’ll get to the point. I had my first “back to school” day on Thursday. No kids, but we had a full day of PD involving a scintillating recorded powerpoint presentation (complete with bullets, narrated slides, and improper apostrophes) on CAS reporting practices, memos mandating ugly shoes, reminders about field trip paperwork, and… discussions about cell phones and assessment practices. And this is when I realized that I don’t actually work with the teachers that I talk to on Twitter.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have awesome, dedicated, professional colleagues. But sometimes I forget that we don’t always have the same concerns, philosophies, and passions. Sometimes I get caught up in a passionate discussion about assessment policies (yes, I know. I’m a geek) and the person I’m talking to is smiling and nodding and then slowly I see her face glaze over and I realize I may have gone too far. I also have to remember that just because I’m passionate about something doesn’t mean I’m right. I think I’m right, but I could be wrong, and even if I’m not wrong, that doesn’t mean that I won’t learn something by listening (with an open mind) to someone who doesn’t share my beliefs.
Even when they say cell phones need to be banned.
Even when they say technology is distracting and unnecessary.
Even when they say if we have to deduct late marks to prepare students for university.
All that being said, I’m looking forward to an exciting year. I get to go see Damian Cooper in November, I’m presenting at two conferences, I’m starting my master’s, and apparently I’m helping to coach cross country. I’m not really sure how that last one happened.
The only downside I see is this ridiculous health and safety policy banning pretty much every pair of shoes I own. I don’t understand how standing in front of a class of 17 year-olds and walking down the hallway suddenly became activities that require rubber-soled steel-toed shoes. I’m usually a very rule-abiding person. That may have to change.