Today, we had an in-service day after a two-week break. We started an hour later than usual and ended an hour early. In between, teachers mainly talked shop. They talked about approaches to what they teach and how they teach. They talked about observations they had made of other teachers, often in other disciplines. They talked about what they learned from videotaping their teaching or being observed or evaluated. It was an outstanding way to re-start school.
In part, I think it worked because it wasn’t over-programmed. We “designed” for slow conversations, gentle collisions, catching-up, being together. Tomorrow, when the students show up, I expect the school to feel warmed up and a bit warmer. Ready to convince 425+ young people to begin learning — in high school — again.