The Right Work, The Right Direction

Today was a HUGE day! At least I think it was. Today was a district professional development day. We were fortunate to have a large chunk of time together as a building staff on this very rainy Michigan morning following a long weekend.  And boy did we jump in with both feet.

One of the things that I always try to keep in the forefront of my mind when it comes to teaching and learning is, “Am I Doing The Right Work?”  One of the many parts to this work is understanding exactly what the work is. And by “work” today I mean standards. What exactly are the standards that my students need to learn?  Where are they in my teaching materials?  Are they in my teaching materials?  If they are not, what am I going to do about that?  What do the standards in the grade before me look like?  And where are students going after they leave me?  Am I getting them there the best way possible?Having and understanding that global view is priceless.

So we began this exact work today. Together. Looking at the learning progression of just one part of one strand allowed us to frame our minds for “the right work” and the “right direction”.  And it got messy. The best kind of messy. The kind of messy that makes you take deep breaths, sigh, walk away, come back, and challenge each other. The good work. The right work.

Kind of ironic that it was a muddy Tuesday. This was the picture that I shared with the staff at the end of our standards analysis. The right work  gets messy before it gets pretty.  To quote the book Holes, “The first hole is the hardest.”  Start digging!

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