Even with all the masks, face shields, social distancing, and awkward conversations, it feels great to be back in person. I didn’t realize how much I missed working with students in a face to face until I started doing so today. I’m sure I have said this before, but I cannot stand distance learning. There is just something so mind bogglingly dull about it.
But beyond getting to see my students again, it was nice to be back on a new project. I have been asked to take on an afterschool program for students who are falling behind and may be at risk for not graduating on time. This is where I thrive. I love the problem solving aspect of it all. I spent most of today trying to gather lists from our student management system, testing different ad hoc reporting combinations until I landed on one I felt would give me the most bang for the buck. There is something satisfying in solving technical problems and discovering what works best. Now I just have to put the data into action and start calling families and setting schedules.
It was in doing this work that I firmed up my feelings about where I want my career to go. I love the classroom, and I love working with students. But if I am being honest with myself, I love working problems and projects that impact students more. I get excited when I am designing lessons or testing aspects of those lessons against other data.
Today I am also proud of the limits I am setting myself. When I closed my computer at work, it was closed, both literally and figuratively. Usually, I check my email a few times a night on my phone. Sometimes I even respond. Today, I refuse. Not because I don’t want to help students, but because I know that my brain will not shut off once I start it back up. I know that my sleep will suffer and that tomorrow would be filled with 3 extra cups of coffee.
I’m feeling like I am growing, and what is more, I feel like I am noticing. I can see where my decisions and actions are different from where they were just last year. I am excited to see what tomorrow will bring.