Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Home Office

I'm very excited to go back to the classroom next year. I've been out on "special assignment" for more than three years....which is about 2 years longer than I thought I would last!

This year, sixty percent of my time is bought by a really amazing and interesting group that has done more for the teaching of mathematics (K-12) than I can possibly fathom. And the fact that I've been able to contribute to that body of work? Mind boggling.

And as much as I'm ready to get back into my very own classroom (I'm thinking 2nd grade? 3rd grade? It's more complex and sophisticated than most people realize!) there are some things I am really going to miss about this job. It's not just the people I work with; though they are amazing. It's not just the work I've been able to do with them; though it has been life-altering. It's not even all about the amazing professional opportunities, or the visibility I've earned from doing this work the last few years. Those are all great things, and I've managed to build up a nice little outside consulting business from it.

Yes, I'll miss all those things, but not one of them is the thing I will miss the most. The thing I will miss the most is working for my boss. He'll never read this, so you'll have to trust me that the only reason to mention this is to say out loud what a great experience working with him has been. He'll toss off some completely mind-blowing mathematical or pedagogical idea, and it will spin me for weeks. I can't get it out of my head, yet there's no pressure at all. He'll mention something and then be like, "Eh, maybe you could do something with that." He pays for my time, but when he wants me to do something, he always asks. "Hey, do you think you could mmm on the mmmth of next month in the city of mmm?" I mean, he's paying for me to do these things, but I swear if I said, "Oh, sorry, not this time" he'd totally be okay with that. (Of course, I'll never know if that's actually true, as I am completely incapable of telling him 'no'.) I've never met somebody so authentically respectful of other people's ideas and time and energy. I've never heard him complain or even get grumpy. This, in and of itself, is a super-human feat in the world of education.

There are plenty of times he's scheduled me to be in a town 70 miles from my house by 6 in the morning, so it's not all fun and games, and he once tried to kill me with a writing deadline that required me to work 70 hourse straight (I did manage a 45 minute nap during that time), but when he's not doing that, he never asks me what I'm working on ~ he knows I'm always working on something ~ and he never asks me where I am. I am, usually, sitting on my patio, in my 'home office'.

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to our outdoor stone wall and patio. It won't be a "home office", though. I'll just sit out there with my coffee and enjoy the garden. However, the stone wall and patio design is still in my head. But, I do have 2 pallets of stone in the backyard just waiting to be strategically placed in order to complete my design. Enjoy your return to the classroom! Moose