When I left my classroom for the final time in June at the end of the last school year I was in truth exhausted. It had been a busy and often turbulent year not only for me but for the colleagues around me. The goodbyes were said (one of the downsides to working in an international school), my classroom was reasonably packed up (if you count throwing everything that is left into a rubbermaid tub promising to figure it out when I got back) and best of all a list of all of the fun things I was going to do, learn and read about my IT passion. My list involved completing the incredible Flat Classroom Certified Teachers Course, reading and participating in a book club for the book The Passion Driven Classroom, watching webinars that I couldn’t access readily in China, investigating new technology and overall just having a great learning and relaxing summer. Unfortunately, now of that happened.
While I did have a wonderful time in San Francisco and then spending two weeks some of my closest friends who live in Dallas I was unable to do any of the list. Why? Well, it turns out that I needed serious downtime and whenever I began to do anything on my list I got physically nauseous. After about two weeks of fighting this reaction I decided that maybe my body and mind were trying to tell me something I had better listen. So I did. I still played around with my computer but didn’t really learn anything new. I read but nothing that had anything to do with school or IT. What I did do was spend time with friends, sleep, SHOP, eat incredible food, travel and even spend two days off of the grid when I went to visit my friend’s mother in Waco who did not have an internet connection.
My constant companion was my iPad2 and I did search a lot for wireless connections though there were not as many as I thought there would be. I actually have better luck in Beijing then around Dallas but I did survive.
So now it is six days before I return to those rubbermaid tubs, a bunch of new teachers, a new teaching member of our Year Four team and quite probably my last year in China (age restrictions and all). How do I feel????? Better, not perfect and not 100% but at least the nausea has stopped whenever I think of school and the future. I was at the school the other day picking up some banking forms and I felt fine but I didn’t go to the classroom – still on vacation….
I have been working this week though. I have updated my class website, got Edmodo ready for this coming year and updated our class blog on Weebly. Those things are ready to go….I have also learned a lot about my MacBook Pro as our school is moving to an Apple School this coming year and I am one of the lead teachers in this endeavour. I have learned how to use iPhoto, Keynote and iMovie. That means I just need to investigate Garage Band for now and I will have a handle on things for myself and the other teachers. All told not bad.
Oh yes, I have also been moving around in Second Life a bit as we are possibly incorporating that into Flat Classroom and learning about Tumblr. Nice to get to know Siobhan Oceanlane again.
So am I ready to go????? Not yet but getting there as I know once the kids arrive it will all work. I have been doing this since 1974. Exciting possibilities.