A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Tough Week

Kendall won't be a problem for me much longer. Enough data has been collected from enough different settings for reasonable people to conclude that, at this time, a more restrictive setting is more appropriate for both the student and the school.

With state testing 7 weeks ago, the challenge of preparing my 4th period by breaking down the heavy cognitive load of evaluative thinking in 6th grade Geometry, as well as assembling the mental resources and strategies needed for applied level thinking of Probability and Statistics, without a solid foundation, which few had developed throughout elementary school, and still don't have, feels a little overwhelming. With so many different kinds of responsibilities, all on different deadlines, and with so little time, I have been operating on about 5 hours of sleep, not ideal, but manageable, although by the end of the week, I noticed I was slurring my words. Yesterday at about 5 pm, I fell asleep with all of my clothes on, woke up a few hours later and watched Revolution, then slept for a full 8 hours. I feel terrific.

Yesterday, after the final bell, I made an executive decision and told Ali that I would have to bail out of our after our normal after school Friday History session, because both he and I were visibly exhausted. Today, on Saturday, after I help hang baseball netting around the fence at my son's high school, I will go to Ali's house, pick him up, and take him to the library today. I will buy him McDonald's. We will be efficient and get more done in a short time than we would otherwise.

Maybe it was the 2:45 am IEP Meeting invitation emails I sent to participants on Wednesday and Thursday, as part of the process for conducting meetings for the few students remaining on my caseload for whom I haven't conducted their Annual IEP's -- I don't know -- but it seems that more than a few interpreted these asynchronous emails, which rung on team member smartphones, jarring a few awake, as a cry for help, which was not my intention. As a closet type A squared personality, I have always conducted certain types of business at off-peak times, particularly when it comes to managing a calendar, which is something for which I need to do totally undisturbed by more pressing matters, because it is something I don't like to do. All I was doing was clearing items off my task list. For me, 3 am working times have always been normal.

With 7 weeks of Remediation Time starting next week, time to thin the herd, to separate the got it group, from the getting it, and the likely not to get it group. Time to pull out the 80 - 20 principle and focus on the 20 percent for whom I will get 80 percent of my results.

Fortunately, after Dr. P came to make a surprise inspection of my 4th period class, probably as a result of all the red flags I was sending, some of the students were getting it, and his major suggestion was that I take away the pencil sharpening responsibilities from students, a source of interruption, and keep a supply of sharpened pencils always at hand. I like Dr. P, because he believes in keeping it simple and focusing on outcomes.