It’s April 12th! It’s my Birthday! What better way to celebrate than a special edition of “My Animated GIF Day“! Come back throughout the day for updates with new GIFs…if you’re into that sort of thing 🙂
I’ve been up for about 30 minutes or so. I woke up before my alarm went off, putting me in a slightly off mood. Sometimes I welcome an early start, and sometimes I feel as though I’ve been cheated out of a few minutes sleep when my body decides it’s time to wake up before the alarm. Regardless, toast helps right any early morning grumpiness, especially toast with butter and jam. Yes, my toaster is a bit grubby. It’s my birthday today, I’ll clean it tomorrow.
In the last year I’ve taken up running 3-4 days a week with 50-60 crunches, 20-30 push ups, and a few other exercises on most days. I’ve lost nearly 25 pounds, so while I’m not terribly fit, I’m getting there. Yes, I know I have terrible form. Yes, I know my bedroom looks cluttered. No, I will not show you my pathetic attempts at push ups.
My wife started teaching nearly full time again this week after 3 years of being laid off and part time teaching gigs. I’ve been trying to pick up some extra chores in the morning to help make sure the family still gets moving and ready for the day. Packing lunch for the kids is one of my new chores in the morning. It’s fun to help pack some healthy lunches for the kids, but today held an extra treat for me; my daughter (7 years old) decided she wanted to make the sandwiches for her and her brother this morning, so we got to pack up lunch together and chat about the day before we all rushed off to school.
After a relatively quiet morning (Friday mornings are when I usually catch up on a lot of emails, paperwork, and other clerical work), I got to help one of our school board members setup his new iPad. Our district purchased the devices for the school board members to ensure they had a simple way to communicate and access all of the important school documents and files through the school’s Google Apps account. After setting up the board member’s email, calendar, and contacts, we chatted a bit about technology in the district (it’s decent), how well our money was being spent (we think we’re getting the best bang for our buck), and what the future holds (we both agreed it looks grim for public schools in Michigan).
The Tech department treated me to lunch and homemade desert for my birthday! It was a great lunch at a local place that makes everything from scratch. Country smoked ham and split pea soup on a chilly rainy April day is poetic lunch perfection. As an added bonus, the Systems Administrator at our school has his birthday on Sunday, so our most wonderful co-worker made flour-less chocolate cake and raspberry cheesecake for dessert. My belly is full as I snuggle into my warm chair; it should help me get through the rest of this report I’ve been trying to digest all day amid my other tasks.
I’ve spent a good portion of my day working through the school district’s Technology Profile Report that Apple helped facilitate for us. It’s not the most exhaustive report I’ve ever seen about technology, but it’s certainly one that you want to look through a couple of times with several highlighters and a full pad of sticky notes. There’s a lot of data covering faculties familiarity with various forms of technology and a great cross section of where staff falls on the continuum of technology infusion with their instructional practices. Some of the data is skewed a bit due to a lack of universal access to the tools that every teacher wants, but it’s still a good look at how far along our teacher are with their technology skills. Besides an overview of the district, I can look at each building’s results of the profile survey, and I’ve been surprised with how well one of our buildings is doing at moving the majority of their staff members through the process together. The other three buildings have bright spots as well, but they’re much more scattered along the continuum of Entry/Adoption/Adaptation/Appropriation/Innovation. The stand-out building seems to be clumped together along the continuum in a positive way. This will certainly help shape some of my strategies in the coming months and into next school year as I look to implement some new professional development with staff.
I’m so close to a 30 minute 5K. Another 30 seconds faster and I’ll be there. For now, let’s pretend I can run as quickly as I can tie my shoes in this GIF. It was a nice birthday treat for my wife to let me run when I got home from work. She’s actually been quite supportive of all the time needed to take up the past time; 60 minutes three to four times a week is a big commitment to getting healthy, and we’ve supported one another as she’s been running more regularly as well.
My family went out for a nice birthday dinner at a local restaurant that usually caters to a slightly more upscale crowd than we’re used to dining with. My wife and I usually reserve such an evening for date-night without the kids, but we took them along and we had a blast. The table was covered with thick brown butcher paper that we wrote all over with crayon, and plates piled with chicken nuggets and french fried were a welcome site on the kids menu. They have a pizza oven near the front on the entrance powered by a gas log burner, so while it isn’t terribly authentic, it still gives off a nice glow as you walk in.