Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lesson Two: There's Always Growing Pains

The race at King's Island was it's first. There were so many problems and issues to count from registration to where the restrooms were located. It was postponed for 30-45 minutes because they could not get everyone checked in. There were two lines you needed to go through: getting your number and checking in for King's Island. There were 3 races that day: 10k, 5k, and a kids' race. Yet, the start of each was at different locales, not marked very clear. The race course was horrendous. It included hills, which is tough. But after a series of hills, there was a vertical climb marked STEEP! Were they serious? 5k/10k runners lost track of which path to follow. I had to walk a long way for the restrooms after the race. They ran out of water. Lack of communication between the racing organization and King's Island. And the list goes on and on. It was great idea, but lacked strong execution.

This experience represents all the new initiatives sent down to teachers from above. We are in the trenches trying to manage all the new programs, technology, and initiatives while maintaining our focus. In our district alone, we have over 4 different initiatives this year. There will be "growing pains." Some things have not been worked out, yet we need to figure out how this fits into our classroom.

My goal this year is to take everything, learn it, and make it fit my needs. Whether I agree or disagree, does not matter. It's here. How do I implement it into my classroom? How do I make it fit my needs and not adapt my teaching to it? It needs to work for my students and myself. There will always be "growing pains." It's a guarantee. How I react to those "growing pains" will be the difference. Am I reactive or proactive?

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