One Sunflower

moon landing

on October 7, 2009

I am a child of the 60’s.  I vividly remember sitting in a dark auditorium watching a small tv set broadcasting the adventures of our first astronauts.  It was really exciting, and making models of the solar system became a lot more interesting.   Today I felt like an astronaut landing on the moon. 

My appointment for my ILP – Individual Learning Plan – was to be at 8 am this morning.  Last night I sat with the work sheets in front of me, thinking hard about my own personal “cycle of inquiry,” choosing a driving question about improving my practice with preschoolers in oral language development, identifying how this work would be reflected in Curriculum, Assessment, Instruction and Professional Development.  I had done a bit of thinking already so getting my ideas on paper wasn’t difficult but thinking deeply about my own scope and sequence in this work was more challenging.

So what does this have to do with moon landing?

The moon for me is this elementary school where I work.  At 8 am my eagle landed and I was on the radio to Houston!  I was truly at the table, literally and figuratively, discussing my work, acknowledging my responsibility to my current and future students, to the other teachers in my building and district, to improve performance in this category of language development with the hopes of impacting student reading and writing.  (I have to be fair to my principal, this isn’t the first time I’ve been at the table but I think this year it really feels different, not just like the preschool teacher is along for the ride, more like it is really important that I succeed in my mission.)

It is pretty cool!  But the best part was that this wasn’t just stuff to be talking about, this wasn’t the part where JFK says we’re going to to the moon, no —- this was me talking to mission control – I had to name the components of my curriculum that I intended to use, how I was going to be instructing the children, assessing their work and progress, and continuing to learn about the work in professional development opportunities. 

My mind must have really been in the zone today because I kept this focus throughout my instruction today, carefully setting up experiences for my students to participate in quality oral language practice: identifying letter sounds, reading the pictures in books aloud to themselves, explaining their work and projects to their friends, practicing new vocabulary in our science lesson.  My assistant teacher noticed too because she said, “You do new things every year, I never get bored!”

Small steps, memorable footprints, I’m going to try a few flying leaps!

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2 responses to “moon landing

  1. Trout says:

    Sunflower,

    This is Wonderful!!! Your writing is inspired; “landing on the moon” is the mission you’ve set before you for the benefit of all the children in your room. I want to hear more from you about your journey this year. Please keep your mission log current and filled with both your triumphs and challenges.

    XXOO,
    Trout

    • onesunflower says:

      Of course – and I hope those of you who are part of “Houston” – the mission controls – district admin teams – will continue to work closely with your early childhood staff to help them land on the moon as well!

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