Round Peg, Square Hole

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She’s a mess. A hot mess. A hot, crazy mess.

A hot, sleepless, thinking all the time, always starting projects, crazy MESS. Yes, she has flaws…plenty.

She’s here and she’s there. She has lost her mind, yet she has a calming spirit. She’s sarcastic but caring. She’ll drop some mad cash on a good bra, otherwise she’s pretty resourceful.

She drinks a little… Well… I don’t have a counter for that one.

She likes tacky glitter as well as a beautiful set of pearls. She enjoys country concerts but raps some Iggy Azalea in her car. Today she’s on edge. Tomorrow she’s sweet as pie.

She went from teenage mother to graduate student.

She encourages, has warm conversations, changes lives, and makes some pretty cool stuff 🙂

Quite frankly, I love that she’s all over the place…

because she’s me.

My personality runs in circles, sorry if I’m making you dizzy.

Forever I couldn’t figure out why I would spend 6-8 months out of the year feeling inspired, then…nothing. A few months pass. Oh! Oh! She’s back. Finally, I realized something…

That’s just how I am.

What an epiphany. I had just discovered what I already knew. No, I accepted it. There’s nothing wrong with not fitting in a mold. As a matter of fact, I can’t find a single stereotype where I belong. And I LOVE it.

You. Can’t. Put. Me. In. A. Box.

I’m the round peg. The world is a square hole.

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Discoveries…

Starting to blog again has taken me far too long to get back in the swing of it. Far too long because I know how beneficial it is to be growing, stretching, reflecting, and building on what I have learned through any process. I disciplined myself to sit down tonight, read everyone’s blogs from this semester, and like or comment on each one. Level I…check. Now let’s start on Level II…

After reading everyone’s reflections about writing across the curriculum, there is not much more that I can add. All of my thoughts were addressed, but what I can share is the strategy I used during the last couple of months. Laura and I purchased math journals for writing, and she shared with me a ‘set of rules’ for this process. The ‘rules’ were kid-friendly and inspired them to become real life mathematicians. I was very animated and enthusiastic when I shared the guidelines with them. In turn, my little innovators have been aflame for “making new mathematical discoveries.” At first, I didn’t give them a topic to write about but encouraged them to just write what they were thinking. I used the statement, “Let me read your mind” when I asked to see their journals. Since then, they have been excited to make new ‘discoveries’ and be the mathematicians of Innovation Academy. I would like to transition into more provoking and essential questions that really get them thinking.

As I told my little thinkers, “Who knows, you may make the greatest discovery of the 21st century. Don’t deprive the world of that.”

Head First…

In a room full of ‘J’s, I know we haven’t gotten as far as we want to in our first PBL. At the start of our campus meetings, there was a need to tackle some “beginning of school” processes like going over the rules and procedures. Honestly, I felt a little uneasy of the idea because it seemed so “traditional” and not fully aligned with our philosophy, but I had a hard time articulating my emotion. Through the task of nailing down our ‘first day’ today, the Tyler team discovered that every expectation or workshop that we planned to implement the first day was built into our social studies PBL! Needless to say, we are diving in head first on day one. Thank you Jaclyn for such great facilitating questions!

It runs through my veins…

I CANNOT STAND BEING AWAY FROM INNOVATION ACADEMY! The very thought of everyone setting up the classrooms for camps and having meetings without me drives me crazy. I don’t want to miss a thing. I know this is just the beginning of my career, but I have never cared so much about a job. When Chesley and I were applying for the position, we were so intrigued by the philosophy that we joked, “Eat, sleep, breathe Innovation Academy.” Then, we thought that was an understatement when training began. Feed it to me, play the IA anthem while I sleep, put PBL in my oxygen tank, I was ready. Now, all jokes aside, this school has become a part of me, it runs through my veins. I missed everyone today!

Back to Angela

It has been amazing nailing some things down for the school year. For some reason it takes me all the way back to Angela’s insightful introduction the first day of PBL boot camp. She talked about how the leadership team has been putting their heart and soul into creating this school, and how soon we would take the reins. Angela’s speech was powerful that day, but it all seemed like a dream, something to look forward to. Well…we have arrived. It’s time to start making decisions and being trusted to do so. There are a few words to articulate how I feel now…humbled, valued, and respected.

Moved…

Wow. What was wrong with me yesterday? As Betsy illustrated, I was in a drooling stupor. I felt frustrated, and I couldn’t stay focused. After therapy (blogging) last night, I realized that I had hit a wall of fear and anxiety. I must have hit a brick building face first because it knocked me smooth out! Instead of panicking and running around like a crazy person screaming that I broke my nose, being unconscious was my way of coping.

I woke up this morning refreshed, had a fantastic day, and WORKED through the problems at hand (with a great attitude).

Going through the T-STEM blueprint this morning, again, reminded me of the incredible opportunity we have.  I have hungered to teach for a long time! When I finally get to eat, my meal is an education system in which I whole-heartedly believe.  I am determined to be worthy and worthwhile…

Boo Woo…

Not too many times during IA’s teacher training have I really felt like I wanted one of our leaders sitting directly next to me telling me if we’re “right” or “wrong.”  Mostly, I have snagged a PBL ninja or curriculum connoisseur to ask if my fellow PBL authors and me are on a healthy track.  Their questions and facial expressions, or lack there of, have been enough for me.  However, today was another story.  Isn’t it ironic?  The day we are taught how to write rubrics and checklists I crave so much feedback. Maybe my need for affirmation derives from the red overload light flashing in my head, or vise versa. Also, I feel this dire want to “get something done.”  I’m trying to be flexible in my personality type; be a “P” when my team needs to process or “hash it out,” or an “I” when I notice that I am having projectile thoughts onto my group.  Although, I have noticed that I inadvertently flip back and forth between details and big picture.  My greatest internal brawl this afternoon was feeling versus judgment.  I wanted to get something done that, innately, made me want to cry.  In other words, I didn’t do a good job at being a chameleon today, and I want to apologize to my crew. I will be back tomorrow with my boxing gloves on!