Driven: Data or Craziness?

There's an adage somewhere that states "If you always do what you've always done, you'll get the results you already have."


The last week and a half in our school has been spent looking deeply at student performance data. Looking for our strengths and weaknesses. Trying to find what we can do differently.   

And here I am wondering what I can do differently than what I've always done. Well, this year is it! The first year of totally flex. The first year of being able to truly be available whenever/for whatever. And well, I'm trying not to feel like I'm going crazy. 

You see, today when something like this:
7:30 start iPad set ups, discover my desktop won't come on, get library set up for the day, finish processing testing materials to be turned in today
8:00 meet with a teacher about a data analysis tool
8:45 students start coming in for early circulation. 
9:05 parents of first graders start coming in for character awards
9:10 award recipients come in
9:11 start morning broadcast of character ed awards (remember- circulation is still going on)
9:12 intercom phone rings: "Do you have time for my class to come down today?" 
9:20 awards/broadcast done- setup for first research group of the day
9:30 2nd grade research group- that integrated project with writing/ss/reading/collaborative work between students....
10:30- research exits, class from 9:12 phone call enters
10:50 - class leaves 
10:55 Kindergarten 1 floats through to check out (they are in a separate building, so for safety they come on a schedule)
11:00 Kindergarten 2 floats in- they missed their time yesterday due to a schedule conflict
11:05- I wonder where my book club is- call the teacher "OH! Sorry, we had a schedule change today"- rescheduled for Monday
Boo: I miss my favorite group (see post from last week)
YEAH: Time to check email/set up an iPad/check in some books
11:30- eat lunch
11:45: 2nd grade research group #2
12:30- group leaves 15 minutes sooner than I thought. 
Trouble shoot the iPad Configurator (again) and set up a few more iPads
12:45-provide Tech Support in the Computer Lab for a program that's not working
(Meanwhile- students coming/going for open circ through all of this.)
1:15- report to Principal for meeting regarding testing info (I'm the school test coordinator)
2:00- mini staff development for the SST chair on a new data collection device
2:30- 3:15 finish the iPads! All 20 done! YESSSS! Determine that the 2 laptops that have been turned in do need a HelpDesk call ~ and remember- I have to turn in my desktop to get looked at too. 
3:30 Leave for the Testing Office to turn in materials. 
(1 parent volunteer for 45 minutes today! That's a win! 1 parent volunteer came to pick up books to take home and cover for me! That's a win!)

I write all this to remind myself what flexible is. That flexible isn't a schedule. It's a mindset. (And I'm a control freak so this is not easy.) It means rolling with what's needed at the time, in that moment. For many years, the data has shown that flexible access to the library and it's resources is part of an effective school, and tied to great gains in student performance.  But, I'm struggling to feel effective. I feel more like I'm slowly going crazy~ crazy busy~ like a juggler with lots of balls in the air. 

The hard part- is when do I throw another ball in there? Add another group? How do I make a difference? Which group needs me the most? Where do I make the biggest impact? Who/what has priority?

And then I breathe- and remember, "One small thing at a time." 


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