In some ways this year is going to be like watching our new home being built. There will be times when we see incredible changes in a few short days-in 1 week we have gone from an empty shell with an elevator shaft (image above) started to the video I shot Thursday (http://youtu.be/s9Bi6slKPFs)-to today having the atrium cut out and steel being put over the first floor (I was getting looks from the construction guys so no picture or video unfortunately but I will get one tomorrow)-to times when it will seem as if nothing much is being done to move the ball forward that is visible, but incredible work will be getting done in ways we don't see-putting in electrical and floor boxes, wiring for technology, creating the HVAC and other mechanical areas-that are just as important as the flashy stuff we can ew (sp?) and ah over.Saturday morning I read this post by Cale Birk via Connected Principals. In it he speaks of the flow zone. That place where new challenges are at the appropriate level of challenge. Where learners are supported as they reach beyond what they think they can do and go further than they had ever dreamed. It is the place where tasks are not easy, but are not overwhelming. Finding this flow zone for our students, at all the various levels of expertise they have, will be one of our greatest challenges. For me with my staff it means giving them the confidence to leave the site of the shore, without knowing the terror of being lost at sea. It means not simply being the head cheerleader, but also asking tough questions about our practice and being able to guide us as a group to answers to those questions.
Whenever you begin to try something new you are going to have those moments of sure bliss, when everything is working and all seems right with the world. Those moments when you say, "why I have I not been doing this all along". You are also going to have those moments when you want to say, "why did I ever agree to try this. What was I thinking!" With either comment, I want my staff, and myself to focus on what is working, what needs improving, and most importantly to not lose sight of our ultimate goal, creating a great learning environment for students to excel in.