Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Excitement of a New Year

Originally Published August 1, 2012

The two weeks before school begins have been my unofficial starting time for school for the longest time. It was during this time that I have traditionally flipped my mental switch of getting back into the school mode of things.  Not that I ever really turn it off completely, but there is more focus to what will be coming.  

This year two changes have occurred to this yearly pattern.  The first is my contract changed so that I was officially working in July this year, as opposed to unofficially as in years past.  The second is that this year will be the first year for The School of Inquiry to exist in reality and not just on paper.  This has been an incredibly exciting process, bringing this school into existence that has taken a lot of work from a ton of people.  I have been blessed to work with an incredible staff from the custodians and maintenance crew who have kept the building clean and made many last minute adjustments to our temporary how, to our technical support staff who put all our technology in through a flurry of work last week, to the staff in the traditional school that has answered calls and provided support all last year, to the donors who have enabled us to have an amazing space and outstanding professional development, to my staff who has been amazing in how they have embraced the changes we are undertaking.

The excitement for me really came home yesterday as I watched my staff interact with each other and our coach from the New Tech Network Beth Boetsche-Taylor.  These are my favorite moments.  When I can sit back and watch as these passionate and dedicated professionals debate, argue respectfully, ponder, question, and actively engage in learning how to be a better school, culture, and school.  This is inside teaching at its most intense and highest levels, and it always invigorates me to watch and participate in.  

When we speak of the cornerstones of a New Tech School; Culture that Empowers, Teaching that Engages, and Digital Learning that Enables, it is in these discussions that we lay those cornerstones to build upon.  It is here also that I feel most excited about what is coming.  It will not be all "seashells and balloons" as the late Al McGuire used to say.  There will be times that will challenge all of us, but watching the staff culture we are building, seeing them create the foundation we will build upon with our students, has me confident we will adapt, adjust, and manage those hard times and come out stronger for it.  

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