Calibrating - 9/15/19

Every year I forget how tiring the beginning of the school year is. I forget how much there is to do and how exhausting it can be. There is always so much to do at school, not to mention all the Back to School Nights the season brings.

To add to that, for the past few years, it has been the first year for me in one school or another. Five years ago, I was moved from my fifth grade position to a fourth grade position at my school. That was followed by four years ago, I decided that I had had enough of my commute from Virginia to Maryland every day and took a job in Virginia.

The year after that, I decided that I also wanted to be on the same schedule as my kids and got a job in Fairfax County Public Schools. Due to some amazing people, I was encouraged to apply as a School Based Technology Specialist (SBTS) that year and began as a SBTS the following year. I finally thought that I was all set. But when I got destaffed at the end of the past year, I once again found myself starting a year in a new place.

Starting in a new place is both an exciting and overwhelming process. If you know anything about me, I am a go-getter. I have a vision of how I want to empower both staff and students to use technology and I am eager to start the process. In my mind, I am in year 2 of being a tech coach, but some times, I forget in many ways, I am starting over again.

Not only am I starting over in a new school, but starting again to build relationships with my colleagues, my administration, my students and much more. My new school is much larger than my previous school. We have over 1000 students in grades K to 6 and 100 staff members. There is always so much to do and so much that I don't know.

I start each week, full of energy- ready to tackle the job and make it my own. At the beginning of the week, that seems doable. I truly love my job- love working with my colleagues and students as we discover amazing ways technology can amplify learning. But as the week goes on, my stamina diminishes and by Friday, I am utterly exhausted.

I feel like I am continually trying to calibrate myself. I am trying to adjust myself just right for my job. I keep expecting myself to "get it right," do better. Part of me feels like I am being too hard on myself- this is only my first year at my school- real change takes three to five years. I try to acknowledge all that I have done, but like most people, I am far too critical of myself and it is way too easy to see what hasn't been done, instead of what has been accomplished.

So in an attempt to "calibrate" myself, I believe reflection is key. I need to take stock of what I am proud of and where I have room to grow. My principal keeps trying to remind me that the first year is a gift and I should use it to see the lay of the land and then use that knowledge in subsequent years, but that is easier said than done.

So here it reflection of my first few weeks- maybe I have more to be proud of than I thought- after all- tomorrow only starts the 4th instructional week of school.

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