Our superintendent (he used to be my principal) has a saying, "we need to work smarter not harder." He used to say it all the time last year. In fact, he said it so much, I got sick of hearing it.

But, after today, man! I am soooo on-board with this concept. So on board, that I am here at school, "working on working smarter not harder," which, yes, does seem like a slight oxymoron considering I'm at school on a Saturday, but I felt like, while I had the thoughts fresh in my mind, I should come in and get the things done that I need to get done.

Today was the shot in the arm I needed. I gathered with a group of soul mates for our follow up Bluegrass Writing Project, and actually learned from my learning community! Here are some things I plan to do based on all the stuff I gleaned from everyone today.

1. I'm tossing the old lesson plan book. That thing is an albatross around my neck and drives me crazy. I have a new template thanks to two ladies from my group, that I can now actually staple to my bulletin board and look at all week long! The pages will then get stapled into my "old book" at the end of the week, in case someone needs to look at them and verify that I've been doing my job!

2. I'm downsizing on my "teacher bag." I will no longer carry a GIANT bag full of stuff. If it doesn't fit into the small bag I plan to switch to, it doesn't need to be done.

3. I'm going back to the basics. I'm not doing anything wild and crazy ... I'm not trying to blaze a path. I'm doing what works for me and my students, not some crazy "in a perfect world" program.

4. I'm recycling the piles next to my computer. Seriously, they've been buried here for weeks. I doubt, at this point, I'm going to need anything from the piles any more.

5. If it's not absolutely necessary to my personal life or my life as a teacher, it's not being saved ... period.

AHHHH! I feel so free already.

Watch out world! I am on fire once again!


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