Day Two of #NST13: A Teacher’s Reflections

June 26, 2013

Day two of New Schools Training is officially in the books!

Looking back on my twelve hour work day it has been difficult to narrow down my experiences to just a few highlights that anyone would want to read.

Hopefully, if you read day one and came back to read day two I haven’t bored you to death yet. I wanted to start by contrasting the overall feelings of days one and two. Day one felt fast-paced and exciting. Day one was all about feeling the energy of something new and the feeling of urgency to get my feet underneath me and start running with PBL.

By the time my team finished our group work, the custodial staff was preparing the close down the convention center. We were all tired and hungry, but we went back to our hotel rooms with a feeling of satisfaction one can only obtain by pushing one’s limits. Day two still brought the energy but it was more focused on defined goals for the day.

Rather than trying to take in all the sights, sounds and snacks, we were focused on absorbing the practices and strategies we need to make our vision come true. My team decided to spread out in order to experience as many breakout sessions as possible. When the team reconvened for lunch and whole-school work sessions, each member was bubbling with some new strategy or tool they wanted to share. It was amazing to see so much growth in my team in just two days.

While I know we are only two days into the crucial training period, I have never been more encouraged and proud of my team.

In our closing debrief today, I realized that we as a staff were progressing through the adaptive changes we all need to make to achieve our shared vision. I didn’t make this realization until I left my seat to throw away the remains of my third caffeinated beverage of the day. From twenty feet across the room I witnessed the professional norms we created being practiced by all members of the group. I saw all members of my team including guidance counselors and student concern specialists, collaborating to create the details of what our upcoming school year is going to look like. I realized the machine we hoped to build was up and running; and it sounds pretty good. I then realized I’ve been standing there staring at my colleagues for a while and it was getting kind of awkward. I hurried back to add my voice to the conversation.