I had a great meeting with my boss today. It was a one on one check in time with me. And for whatever reason (maybe because it was Tuesday, maybe because I had just spent the entire day with TK kids, maybe because I noticed little hand prints on the edges of my skirt), I admitted that I was having one of “those” weeks where you feel as if the circus has left town and your the clown who is fumbling around.
I still have not planted both my feet firmly into the role and responsibility of coaching. I don’t have that “withitness” that comes from experience or from at least knowing exactly what you should be doing. Everyone else just buzzes about, knowing exactly where they are headed, who they should get on the phone, how many copies to make, and in which room the meeting is happening. I just watch, wondering when I will be able to buzz about as well.
My buzzing about began very badly when I showed up late to a school and had the pleasure of the heel on my shoe breaking. I knew something was wrong when I stepped on the concrete and felt a weird click on the heel as it touched. When I looked down, I saw the heel hanging off the rest of the shoe. I just wish I had been wearing pants instead of a skirt…
Then there is the day when a manager asked me a question that went something like this: “so she wants to know if in unit 5 there is a sequence of writing products that would reflect what we have in our unit 6 but with a focus more on the different types of informational writing than what was presented in unit 3. Do you know if we have that? And in which unit would it be?”
I guess my dumbstruck face said it all because she quickly followed up with: “Don’t you have these memorized by now?” Buzz, buzz.
Yes, it gets worse. I was planning a lesson that would serve as a demonstration lesson for a group of upper grade teachers with a colleague. We were painfully trying to break apart the standard and line it up with an appropriate language objective so that we could then build in metalinguistic awareness. As we pored over the lesson plan and I snacked on junk, my thought partner suddenly burst out, “Oh, I’ve got it! We need to look at the standards guide!” Ker-plop! My head snapped up, “What is that?” I asked. I was shown a matrix full of single capital letters and abbreviations for English and Spanish. She also yanked out a binder and began leafing through each page as she rambled, “We need to look at the focus standards to see if it is taught in English or Spanish or both and then we should check if it has been taught already or if it is a repeat in the unit. We can then look at the Spanish Augmentation to see how it matches up with foundational skills. If it doesn’t then we will have to rethink the language objective or we can check the embedded standards to see what they have as a focus…” I thought my head was going to explode. My colleague then passed the binder to me and had me check how many times the standard came up and with what ELD standards it aligned…buzz, buzz. She announced that she had to go pick up her kids and left me with the duty of following the scent of the standard in the binder…buzz…buzz…bbbbbb – beep! beep! beep! (Imagine a green line going flat like on those heart monitors on TV)
It looks like the flower petals are so far away, but I get days like today when I walk in to a classroom with no sub plans, but plenty of kiddos ready to hug you with their dirty little hands and leave their prints all over your skirt. BUZZ!