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Education Opinion

Lull Before the Storm

By Emmet Rosenfeld — August 21, 2007 2 min read

The fan is whirring in my trailer, the grit of chocolate-covered espresso beans coats my teeth, and our sort of new puppy, Bee, rests at my feet.

Doesn’t quite feel like school, yet here I am a full week earlier than most of my colleagues, sifting through text books and syllabi in order to get ready for the first day. Turns out, National Board had me so twisted last year that I agreed all the way back in January to a beach week with the wife’s family for this upcoming week before school.

Before that fan has things hit it, this not lonely for long learning cottage seems a good place to take stock of things. So here’s what’s on my horizon for the upcoming school year.

1. I could write a book. I met with the good folks at ASCD this summer to talk about some ideas, and they encouraged me to submit a proposal. Now all I have to do is rough out a table of contents and write a few sample chapters. I’ve cleared the fall schedule (no night school, anyway), and you should see me working that material out here in the coming months, as I explore the principle that “School should not be a place where kids go to watch teachers work hard.”

2. The Truth Window. Here’s a sneak peek: I’m considering a career move, specifically, trying to become the head of a small independent school. I’ve found one that seems promising, and have sent materials to the search firm. The school has a new green building, and there’s a window in the lobby that shows the hay bales inside its 20-inch thick stucco walls. I have a zillion thoughts about this new direction, but for a number of reasons, for now I think I’ll just sit with it.

3. Tech mojo. It’s time to 2.0, as I wrote last post. At least, time to take another few baby steps towards integrating the best of today’s technology into my teaching repertoire. While I’m confident that writing well won’t become obsolete, I can’t in good conscience continue to teach digital natives without employing tools that are the most effective available. To this end, I plan to renew my goal of incorporating blogs and wikis in the class in a meaningful way. The fact that blackboard now offers these tools as course options should help.

4. Mo’ better... man, dad, husband. The perennial desire to be mindful of all my mitzvot and do them, as best I can, in this imperfect world. Say sorry more, don’t lose my temper, and generally guide my little ship through the rough seas of life in such a way that I can look in the mirror every morning without disgust.

Pardon my waxing philosophical. Next time I write, it will be from the eye of the storm. As for now, I’m off to OBX. I’ll try to get over my guilt at missing the pre-school meetings. Should pangs arise at the beach, I’ll dig my toes into the sand and reach for a sweating Corona until they pass.

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