This year has been all about adapting to change for me. My position was cut at the end of the school year last year due to budget cuts so I went on the job hunt and found a science teaching position at Jardine to move into this year. Well long story short I ended up getting moved into the assessment coordinator and site technology specialist position before the school year ever even got started. Then to make an even longer story short, there ended up not being a coordinator for the assessment coordinators this year, so I kind of had to start “winging it” from the get go. No training or PD available left me feeling like I was a day late and a dollar short pretty much all year but I do feel like I’ve kept my head above water most of the time. But to add to all of this, Jardine is going through restructuring this year due to not making AYP for a number of years. (Although this year’s scores look like we will make it this year – yea!) We’ll have a new principal next year and almost 50% of the staff will not be returning, including me. So now I wait to find out where I’ll be placed next year. This means I’m heading “back to my roots” by teaching kids next year. I’m getting pretty excited about it as I feel that I have learned so much in the last four years in the various roles I’ve filled (technology integration specialist, assessment coordinator, DEN Leadership Council member, site technology specialist, Glogster EDU embassador and others) that I will be such a better teacher than I was. It will be really great to share first hand all the new knowledge I’ve gained directly with students to see their reactions and growth for myself.
So I spend almost every day alone with my thoughts when I am running. In my run yesterday I was thinking about how much time kids (our students) spend time alone with their own thoughts today. Now I love my iPod when I’m running, but I also know I get “my best thinking” done when I forget that iPod on my run. This led me to think, I wonder what a student’s thoughts would be like if they were unplugged from their iPods, cell phones, Myspace/Facebook pages, and were asked to just think for five minutes.
Admittedly, my brain wandered a bit from there but it came back eventually and I started thinking it would be interesting to have students put those thoughts into the “create” screen (www.wordle.net/create) on Wordle and to see what those word clouds would look like.
So with that in mind, I did this for myself. This is the random string of thought I had in about five minutes time:
“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedez~Benz? I wonder where the tilde got it’s name? I got a picture of a photograph. NFL~draft~day who will the Cheifs pick? dogs are barking all night wonder how much money NFL makes from draft~day stories dogs are still barking hope Blogger gets FTP access fixed too many people in my district rely on Blogger to have it down this long husband thinks that my free write will be scary I got a picture of a photograph so much noise going on even though I’m upstairs in my room wonder if INetU will up the importance of our networking ticket and open those IP~addresses for us? how do you spell that? hope it’s right this is going to be such a bizzare mess when it’s done I need to go running wonder if I can get in a 5K~run before it rains did I tell INetU to open up those ports for the IP~addresses need to stretch really well before running because my calves are sore”
I did have some other songs running through my head but I found it difficult to type my thoughts and the song lyrics at the same time. I also learned in this process that Wordle leaves out single letter words (I, a) so if a person uses “I” to start each sentence you wouldn’t really know it by looking at their Wordle. Below is the Wordle from my random string of thoughts: