Monday, August 07, 2006

9.5 Hours

The first day of school is technically here and there's so much to do. So much. I need to be trying to sleep. Much like the night before a marathon, I have trouble sleeping the night before school starts.
Open house was a success this year. We had more parents come through than I've seen in 3 years of teaching. It was odd that I always forget how animated I get when I'm in a classroom. There's an electricity attached to it. At some point, parents were clapping and muttering "Uh-huh, that's right." One mother stopped me and asked if I could give my speech at another district school.
It wasn't until I got started with the first group that I realized what I was going to say. That's the improvisor in me. It turns out I was driven by the question Alan November asked us when he came to speak to the NeXt Gen teachers and again when I was up at the BLC06 conference, "Who owns the learning?" Well, it turns out I'm determined to have the students own the learning this year and I told them and their parents that. In fact, I flat out refused to own the learning anymore.
Now, I qualified it by confessing that I would kill myself to make sure they had everything they needed to succeed, but admitted that actually succeeding would be on them. A friend of mine stopped by Phoenix to pick me up Friday night (we'll not talk about how late I was in my room). Enamored by all of the technology with which we are equipped, she noted, "I guess you really do need to be following the technology, huh?" It triggered something, we shouldn't be following the technology. Playing catch up will leave us winded and grasping. We have to be on the edge. We have to be pulling technology, thinking of what we need it to do next and then finding ways for our students to demand more rather than patiently waiting to find out what we're supposed to be excited about next.
Web 2.0 came without a clarion call. We must set our own alarms for what comes next. Speaking of which, I should set mine so that I'm well-rested for what comes next.
More later.

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