Welcome to our new home on the web. When David casually asked me, “Hey, what do you think about building a website?” the other day, I was totally unprepared for the question. I was so unprepared that when I started to ask him what the purpose of the site was for, I stopped with just “What?”. A few hours later, and maybe one or two slipups along the way, and the website for Perfect Chaos was born. I would love to be able to tell you that I know exactly what this site will entail, but I can’t do that at this point. Instead, I can tell you that it will definitively be full of our own brand of Perfect Chaos just like the podcast. True to our own style, we are already having a little bit of chaos in the new office. If you’ve been listening to the podcast, you know that we have been working on creating a space of our own in a shared office that also works for a podcast studio. We finally got the new desk (a floating countertop) installed the week of Christmas, and I went shopping to get a few things. I had already gotten paint (and David painted the Sunday before Christmas) and picked up a blue velvet chair (Seriously, this chair is sweet and so comfy), but I knew there were still a few things that I wanted to get for the office to be a little more functional. One of those things was a couple of whiteboard calendars so we could keep better track of when we needed to record and what we were currently working on because I am a true planner. I found two stick on calendars that were just perfect, or so I thought. Fast forward to Tuesday, one is barely hanging on the wall, and the other is already starting to peel off the wall. I guess I will keep looking for something to go on that wall.
This is just the kind of chaos that you can come to expect. Best laid plans… In my mind, that chaos of finding just the right thing and then that right thing not turning out as expected is so symbolic of education. We spend countless hours planning just the right lesson or designing just the right intervention only to watch it fail. Or we spend time planning exactly how we are going to teach, only to have something major come up that changes everything. For some of you, it may be that you have just the right room setup for your Kindergarten class, only to find out you are moving across the school and you are going to teach third grade instead of Kindergarten. We chase the right fads, go to the right professional developments, and basically flip teaching upside down every few years in an attempt to find a way to make a one size fits all education work for everyone through differentiation, accomodation, modification, and universal design. As teachers, we learn to never be dependent on the latest trend and to never count on things going exactly as planned. In fact, we thrive by our ability to change directions on a dime. That has never been more evident than it has in the year of 2020. The year of changing everything you are doing on an almost daily basis. I can also say that I have never been prouder to be a part of something. From the beginning of the year to the end, teachers across the board have watched what was coming down the pike and said, “What do I need to do to reach my students?” while at the same time trying to figure out how to stay safe and help their own children. I have heard the phrase, “I will work however many hours I need to work, I just want to make sure my kids are okay.” This wasn’t said about that teacher’s personal children, but instead about the students in their classrooms. As we round out 2020, I am honored to call myself a teacher. I am overwhelmed at the amazing things that have happened in the strangest of circumstances that kept students at the forefront. The innovations that have occurred this year are nothing short of miraculous, and I am in awe of every teacher out there who is working hard to make sure students are not left behind. This year has been crazy, but we are a force that will not allow our kids to be left behind. So, for the rest of your break, enjoy yourself. Take at least a few minutes for you to just be. Work on things you want to work on, read the things you want to read, and sleep. The work will be there waiting for us. More importantly, our kids will be there waiting for us. Take care of yourselves.