Open letter to my co-teachers today

I felt the need to hold my own private pep rally as we prepare for another year at the Home of the Otters…I’ve just made the switch at my school to full-time S.T.E.A.M. coordinator (that means, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math for those who think I’ve just managed to get a day spa doing in the school…not a bad idea though…ask any teacher!) and I feel like a kid myself getting ready to start a new school.  Totally excited and terrified at the same time: what if it doesn’t work? What if the kids don’t like me or think I’m boring? What if the other teachers think I’m stupid?  EEEKKKK!!!!  Now what?  We’ve even got 4 out of 6 classes starting off the year with new teachers! We could teach the current US administration a few things about “Hope and Change”!  So as you head back to the classroom, or prepare to send your youngun’s back to school, enjoy this little peek into what went through my heavily caffeinated brain this evening. (names changed to initials to protect my co-workers from embarrassment) Image

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Right, it just wouldn’t be “Back to School” time without your resident nerd bombarding you with “stuff”  🙂  But this topic is just me sharing what I can see “down the road a piece” as we prepare for an exciting NEW school year (see what I did there?!)  I mean seriously? How much more “NEW” can we get? Four NEW grade level teachers, a NEW music program, a NEW art space, a NEW lab space for collaboration and exploration, a NEW approach to ACE, a NEW science program…I could go on and on, but I’ll rein it in a bit.

I’m sure you’re all dying to know just what I’ve got up my sleeve with all the rearranging and sorting and such going on the in the lab.  You know what?  I’m dying to find out too!  No, this doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about (okay, obsessed about) how to make this the best experience possible for everyone.  I have.  Trust me.  But you know what I realized as I read more blogs, books, articles and Tweet-ups (look it up…it’s really cool) than even my geeky self wants to admit, I knew this couldn’t be “Dell’s baby”…this has to be OUR journey.  Okay, perhaps I was gifted (thanks Dad), with more than my fair share of “Dude! What would happen if we do THIS?!”, but I want to know….strike that….I NEED to know how I can help YOU make your day to day teaching more exciting, more engaging, more…just MORE what you want it to be!
So, what on earth does this crazy chick who lives in the lab, guzzles coffee by the gallon, and frankly, would be happy teaching classes all day with a bucket of junk from a recycle bin, a chest full of tools, and a lesson plan that read simply “What can we learn from THIS?”  want from ya’ll?  Simple really…it’s a REALLY short list….ready?
1. Your topics for the next couple of weeks at a time.  No, not your lesson plans, but your general topics and themes for all subjects.  T has a GREAT system she used to communicate with Title 1 and me last year in tech.  So simple, but perfect.  Bribe her with chocolate.  I bet she’ll share 🙂
2. Share #1 with me, A., G…..believe it or not, we talk and like to swap ideas for how to support each other and tie lessons together.  Might not work all the time, but when it does…WOW!!!  Case in point…think about the 4th grade trout project.  We made art, related to trout habitats, that got turned into a quilt…a REAL piece of quilt art!  It will be shared soon 🙂
3. Send ME cool ideas, clips from Pintrest, Facebook, whatever ya got, I want to see it!!
4. Indulge me a bit…I raised by an engineer for a dad and an incredibly patient saint of a mom who managed to side step all manner of projects, models, piles of books, animals….so I’m a bit “weird”…but in a “Let’s see what happens if we do this—what do YOU think will happen if—I’m not going to tell you the answer, YOU come up with a solution and see if it works” kind of way.  If you will all make me these promises, in return, I will promise you…..
Our students will be:
– Problem-solvers
– Innovative thinkers
– Communicating experts
– Productive team members
– Multiple idea-producing whizzes
– Confident decision-makers
I can’t think of any greater measure of our success as teachers, than to have students graduate St. Andrew’s, with THOSE skills!  WE can make that happen!
End of pep rally…see you Wednesday 🙂
K