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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Moving through 2019 (it's all going to be okay)

Blogslacker that I am, I drop in here on a Saturday morning to share with you that I'm actually really blogging more regularly at my classroom blog. To see a few things, head on over to the Falcons Tech Lab blog and subscribe to that one if you want to keep up. More and more, I'm focusing on my work at my work, trying to establish a solid learning environment for my ~800 students who cycle through it in the course of a school year in 9 week chunks.
It's a continually changing set of challenges, with 8 good-sized classes each 9 weeks, coming in in alternating A-day/B-day rotations. Our kids are largely in Hispanic-rooted families. Recently I polled a 9-weeks set of classes to see exactly how the language piece breaks down. This was in the way of an end of quarter reflections poll, using Google Forms as its vehicle. Look at this:
from Falcons Tech Lab classroom poll end of quarter 3, 2019
I do maybe have one little announcement. Those close to me may remember that I have been planning to retire at the end of the school year 2019-2020. Well, I'm rethinking that. Although I will have just turned 70 at the end of that May, I think I'm good to continue teaching, I like to joke, until they haul me out of my lab with a toe tag. I absolutely love my work, and now, after persevering through the extraordinarily challenging and frustrating two years that involved teaching in a very difficult inner-city elementary school and then working in two separate buildings with two less than optimal computer setups I am in a lab that is new (albeit with old, wi-fi connected, PCs) and beautiful and which I am making work to everyone's learning advantage. We got into Minecraft successfully this past quarter, and through initial forays into that platform I am inspired to tweak procedures and lessons to really take kids forward in digital citizenship, empathy, conceptual skills, and coding. Of course we will be elsewhere in each 9 weeks journey, but this development is, as I say, inspirational.

The weather over Spring Break, which ends tomorrow night, has been odd, which kept me off my favorite fishing lake, Lake Marrowbone; but that has led to some new organization of curriculum as well as time with my dear son Colin. Today, Saturday, Miranda and Tim are coming over to hang out and have a big vegetable dinner at home with us, then Colin and I will uber downtown to the Mother Church, Ryman Auditorium, to see and hear a favorite indie performer, Kurt Vile, with his band The Violators, opened by The Sadies. It'll be a great time. Tomorrow will be a good day, then I meet my ~200 new students Monday and we are off to new explorations and adventures in the Falcons Tech Lab. I'm good to go.

May you live and learn. Be Good and Have Fun...

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