I’m a nerd.

Posted: August 15, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

The title says it all. I’m a nerd.  A quick check in at dictionary.com gives us this definition of the word:

“boring or unpopular person, esp one obsessed with something specific”

Yep, that sounds about right.

My something specific these days has been teaching. I’m not sure when this happened to me. When I first started teaching, I used to not think about my job all the time. I left work at work. I actually had a summer vacation. It was nice.

Of course I was a crappy teacher.

(For the record, I’m not saying you’re a crappy teacher if you don’t think about your job 24/7 or anything like that. I’m just saying that *I* happened to be a less than wonderful teacher at the time. Please don’t think I’m speaking about anyone other than myself, K?)

I can’t pinpoint when the switch flipped for me. It took a little longer than it probably should have. Looking back, a combination of sub jobs, changing counties, and child birth probably prolonged my transformation into nerd girl. It started simply…a book here…an extra PD there…Next think I knew I had twice the number of PD hours than the next highest person at my school. #oops!

I can however pinpoint the event that was the “no going back” thing that made me accept my nerd moniker. In 2009, I attended my first summer institute for the National Writing Project. It was there that I heard the term “PD whore” and knew it fit me. I was among folks that were just as nerdy as I was…if not nerdier. For the last 3 summers, my home in June has been at that summer institute. It’s a big time investment, but I love it 🙂

This summer has been the pinnacle of teacher nerd girl.

June-3 week summer institute with NWP, district tech conference.

July-2 weeks off, a week of majorette camp, and a week long Teacher Leadership Institute.

(FYI, during those 2 weeks “off” I was constantly planning and jotting down ideas to use in my classes.)

August-band camp and assorted PD sessions offered by my county.

I’ve also been reading like a mad woman. I’ve plowed through books by Sir Ken Robinson, Kelly Gallagher. I’ve started google docs for a collaboration project I hope gets off the ground. I’ve talked to one of our new teachers (fresh out of college) about assessment in his PE classes. I’ve gotten into some heated discussions on Twitter…the most recent one centered around MSNBC’s Making The Grade, which aired live yesterday. I can’t stop myself from looking for books/texts to bring into my music class to help boost my kids’ reading comprehension. I search for new music to hook them.

I just immerse myself in my practice.

Maybe I should get a life?

This is one of those things that’s in the back of my mind. Will I be that teacher? You know the one that’s ALWAYS at school…the one always working the gate at athletic events and always chaperones EVERY dance. The one with seemingly no home life? I don’t want to be that teacher.

(Not that there’s anything wrong with being that teacher either, I swear.)

I just need to find a balance. Right now, it’s easy to be obsessive about the work. With small kids at home, I try to limit my childcare need to work-related activities and my occasional Corey Smith stalking trips. I think, once my crew is older and can be left to their own devices, I’ll be a little less nerdy. Well, a little less obsessive 😉

  1. Go read a little “On Becoming A Critically Reflective Teacher” by Brookfield (http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Critically-Reflective-Teacher-Education/dp/0787901318) or a little “Scrooge Meets Dick and Jane” by Schank (http://www.amazon.com/Scrooge-Meets-Dick-Roger-Schank/dp/0805838775/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313414022&sr=1-9).

    Gonna blow your mind.

    • aprilestep says:

      I’ll add them to my wish list on Amazon, lol. I still have quite a few books in my “to read” pile.

      If you had to pick, which one of those should I read first?

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