My second year of consulting is drawing to a close. I’ve been to Edson, Yellowknife, Fort McMurray, Stony Plain, Parkland, and many schools within Edmonton. I’ve presented at conferences and attended conferences. All that’s left are sessions to deliver in exotic places like Ponoka, Whitecourt, Spruce Grove, and Calgary. As the second year winds down, I can’t help but reflect on the year.
Once again, a year in consulting has been a year of incredible professional growth. I have improved my tech skills. I have blogged more. I have tweeted more. I attended so many professional learning sessions, I lost count. Here are some of them.
- Meeting the Literacy Challenge with Dr. Carol Rolheiser
- MCATA Math Conference
- Solution Tree Assessment Conference
- AAC Assessment Conference
- Learning and Leading our Way into the Future with Dr. Joe Pascarelli
- Perplexity in Math with Dan Meyer
- Teaching Strategies for Math 20-2 – Nelson Publisher
- Coaching and Mentoring Beginning Teachers with the Santa Cruz New Teacher Center
- Differentiation in Math with Dr. Marian Small
- ISTE International Society for Technology in Education Conference
I read many books on education, math and leadership. A few of them are listed below.
- More Good Questions – Great Ways to Differentiate Secondary Math by Dr. Marian Small
- Drive by Daniel Pink
- The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow
- Experience and Education by John Dewey
- Never Work Harder Than Your Students & Other Principles of Great Teaching by Robyn Renee Jackson
- Mathematics as a Constructive Activity: Learners Generating Examples by Anne Watson, John H. Mason
The work I do with teachers seems to be well received, for the most part. The feedback they give me helps make it better every time. I feel like I have really grown into the role.
I have one big fear, though. I worry that I am starting to sound too much like a consultant. I cite experts. I make a ridiculous thoughtful face to show how deeply I am considering a question from a participant in a session. I dance around hard questions like a skilled politician. Those things all used to drive me nuts in sessions I attended as a teacher. I think what endeared me to people in my first year was my clumsy awkwardness and honest admissions of my own inadequacy. I sounded like a reflective teacher. I fear I’m starting to sound like an expert (which we all know I’m not).
I still miss day-to-day interactions with students. I do get into schools occasionally to teach lessons. I taught numerous lessons this year, but it’s different when you are in a classroom full of students who aren’t yours. You’re in, and then you’re out. The real connections aren’t made.
I’ve committed to this job for one more year. Beyond that, I don’t know where I’ll go. It might be time to get back to the reality of a school before I become too much of an expert.