Sunday, August 24, 2014

My first #noofficeday

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At the end of last year, I was inspired by two blog posts I read on Twitter about having a "no office day". To be honest, all of last year was kind of an accidental no-office day because I had to wear a variety of hats- lunchroom supervisor, front desk receptionist, and even janitor from time to time. Our small school, while amazing to me, struggled to keep everything covered with a very limited staff. This year, our little TK-3 school grew to include 355 TK-5th grade students, and with the addition of students, we were able to add some additional support staff. I'm so excited! I love to be in classrooms, but last year I wasn't able to get in as frequently as I would have liked because we were just so busy!

After reading No Office Day by Matthew Arend and Why we love “no office day”  by Jessica Johnson & William King, I was determined to find a way to get into classrooms on a regular basis this year. In looking at my schedule, I decided Monday would be the day! 

Why do No  Office Day? 

Patrick Larkin said in the first comment of David Truss' post on Connected Principals
“…I think I need to schedule a no office day. Every time I visit classrooms, I am filled with positive thoughts and energy from seeing the work of staff and students."

David Truss also had this to say, 
"So why a whole day? Every administrator spends time in classrooms… every one that I know wishes they could spend more time doing it. Permitting yourself to spend the whole day in classes is cathartic. It is a battery charger like no other, and let’s face it, everyone needs a burst of enthusiasm..."

Last Monday was my first "official" #nooffice day and I visited 9 out of our 13 classrooms! For now, I am spending 30 minutes or so in as many classrooms as I can, and starting in September, my plan is to focus on just a few grade levels each Monday of the month. On those days, I might teach a lesson the teacher has planned, or a lesson I design myself. I might work with a small group of students, or I might just be there to dive in to whatever activity happens to be going on in that classroom. 

Every Monday I'll be out of my office and in classrooms learning with students and teachers, I'm putting it on my calendar and sticking to it. I'm even going to commit to blogging about it as one way I can hold myself accountable. I also find when I blog, I reflect and learn and make my learning public to my students, staff, families, and other educators. After all, I found inspiration for #noofficeday by reading the blogs of others, so perhaps I'll inspire someone else along the way! 

Being out of my classroom doesn't mean I will be disconnected from the needs in and around our school. My iPhone is always with me and it allows to me to keep connected to the office, and respond if needed without ever leaving the classroom. It also allows me to capture images of learning in action and I'll be sharing them each week when I blog.

Here is one of our Kindergarten classes doing some hip hop last Monday. You can't see me, but I am right there dancing with them! I'm still smiling about it!

Here is another video I made with some of the images I captured last week.

I can't wait-- tomorrow is another #noofficeday!

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