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Where have I been?

I can’t believe that it has been over two months since I posted here. I’ve had lots of good intentions but it has all come to nought! At the end of last term I jotted down some plans for term 3 and in my head I was going to blog about that list, if nothing else it would give me something tangible to work toward/abide by…but life of course got in the way.
About 3 weeks ago I started on a new journey with the Powerful Learning Practice Netbook Trial cohort. It’s a fabulous opportunity, not least because my school is not part of the official DEECD netbook trial (we’re doing our own, funded by our school/parents) – we are very lucky to be included! As part of that I’ve joined the ning and have been following conversations and trying to keep up with acitivities.  Last week Sheryl put out a challenge for members to post a forum discussion or write a blog post.  Last Sunday morning I woke ridiculously early and had a couple of pre-dawn hours to ponder (read panic!) all that I have on my plate at the moment and in particular the crazy week that was in front of me.  It seemed logical to post a discussion around that angst – here it is:

I’m sure I’m not the only person to be feeling overwhelmed at the moment. It’s not just to do with the PLP program – right now I’m:
• leading a Teacher Professional Leave team application process (due August 11)
• part of an AGQTP Professional Learning Leaders Program (presentation due September 11)
• preparing a 23 things type program for teachers on behalf of our curriculum focus group
• managing a year 12 study skills ning, running an uphill battle to get more teachers involved and active
• evaluating our teacher’s IWB use and preparing PD
• running a library for 900 senior students
• supporting our netbook trial teachers
• part of a network of local schools investigating elearning (another AGQTP funded project).

Last week I had meetings after school on four nights and ran a “Brekky bytes” pd session on Friday. There are meetings after school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week; I have a 7.45am meeting on Tuesday and the first Elluminate session from 8pm that day. I’m at pd for the Professional Learning Leaders Program all day Thursday and Friday.
And of course there’s my family, including two primary aged daughters who need help with their homework, reading listened to, being read to, played with, driven to and from activities, clean clothes and healthy food on the table, and a husband who thinks I spend too much time on the computer.
I’m a “yes” person; I never say no automatically; I’m open to new ideas and I see possibilities not problems. People who say they don’t have time for technology frustrate me, I don’t understand how teachers have time to “not” engage with 21st century tools – they aren’t “more” work, they “are” our work.
But, I’m sure I’m not the only person to be feeling overwhelmed at the moment…
Does anyone have any magic recipes for feeling in control, or any secret weapons, or any advice at all?

So this kind of sums up where I am right now, and why I haven’t been writing here nearly as much as I would like.  I have had some lovely responses on the ning and it has been a lesson for me in trusting in the community – everyone wishes each other well and if you ask, you get good advice.

By the way, I got throught the week outlined above without too many scars.  The children are still happy and well-fed and they made it to their various activities.  The two days at the Professional Learning Leaders Program has left me more confident about our progress and writing this has given me a welcome break from writing the TPL application.  But I’m still very open to advice and suggestions and I’d particularly like a magic formula to give me 30 hours in a day and 8 days a week (5 days work, 3 day weekends) – what do you think?

Heather

One Comment

  1. You remind me of our techie scmorgan in philosophy and personality. Several of us participated in Will and Sheryl’s PLP last year and felt how overwhelmed you are now. I guess the bad news is there is no magic formula. The bottom line is you can’t do it all. You can, however, prioritize and ask for help. As you are recruiting interested teachers get them to lead and support other teachers. Enthusiasm is awesome, but your list of things to do above demonstrates that using tech IS an add-on and time consuming. At least that’s how it will be perceived by some. So, keep taking deep breaths, rely on your support communities, and enjoy the ride!

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