Monday, September 1, 2014


If you work in a school, you know that there is a huge difference in the air at this time of year as compared with the feeling at the end of May. Right now, principals, teachers, and students are full of eager anticipation; they are positive, cheerful, and upbeat about what the coming year holds. From school supplies and new clothes to the first meet-the-teacher night, there is a lot to love about back to school time.

Today is September 1, meaning that we are two-thirds through 2014. To put it in even more tangible terms, it means that there are 123 days left in this year. How does that happen? It seems like it was just a couple of weeks ago that I was stressing out about the holidays, and now that will all be happening again in the blink of an eye. My stepfather, a math teacher who believed that just about everything could be explained with mathematics, used to say that the longer you live, each passing year gets to be a smaller and smaller percentage of your life, and that's why time seems to speed up so as we age. That explanation certainly seems plausible for me, since every year seems to whiz by a little faster.

I know that as teachers actually get into the school year, the pressure mounts, and that first-day-of-school excitement fades away to practically nothing. Maybe it has happened already, after just the first week! The seemingly never-ending assessment testing and curricular mandates take over, and it's easy to lose sight of goals that are not strictly and expressly related to state testing. Teachers are under enormous pressure these days to show proof of achievement, and so are their students. And time keeps on slippin' (slippin', slippin') into the future...

At ETSI, we asked the teachers to create an action plan for implementing what they learned, and one of *my* goals is to help those teachers discover the ways that they will achieve the goals & objectives they identified. Doing this kind of coaching is a new leadership activity for me, and I hope we will all grow from the experience. I'm so looking forward to getting to know "my" group of ETSI participants, now that our department has decided who is assigned to each school. I want to do what I can to help the brilliant ETSI participants become more effective Ed Tech leaders on their campuses.

I'm looking forward to seeing what the next 123 days will bring.


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