Friday, December 23, 2011


Okay, it's official, I'm done! I've shopped, packed, wrapped and stacked and I'm ready to kick back and enjoy this holiday. But I can't savor the satisfaction for long. As I sit and look at the fruits of my labor I'm suddenly overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that I've managed to acquire over the last few weeks. Stuff to fill stockings and stuff to fill stomachs. Shiny stuff and smelly stuff, stuff to play with, stuff to make, stuff to share and stuff to wear. And the acquisition of it all has sure taken the stuffing out of me over the last few weeks. Is all this stuff really important?

That's a thought I have many times each day while sat at my desk in school. It's constantly cluttered with stuff to grade and stuff to return. Stuff to sign, stuff to read, stuff to apply for and stuff to complete. Stuff for field trips, stuff for P.D., stuff for the office and stuff I need to see. Then there's the technology stuff! The interactive whiteboard, the Doc cam and flips, the laptops ,the netbooks and the PicoCricket kits. There's Evernote and One Note, Kodu and Scratch, voicemails and emails with all sorts attached. There's wikis and Moodle, Prezis and Blogs. There's movies and Bing maps, Google and Glogs. Then there's the new iPad that I've just received , I'm excited about it, but it means I've got to read. I'll be reading a lot of stuff to learn what stuff I need to get the most out of my new classroom toy.

I'll step into my Twitter stream for a quick paddle and before I know it I'll be sucked into a torrent of ...guess what? Really cool stuff! The blog posts, the best apps, the links and the chats, the messages and retweets, the quotes and hashtags. I'll follow more people then make some more lists, favorite a few tweets and look for good tweets I missed. Before I know it, hours will have passed and my head will be buzzing with the stuff I've amassed. And how much of it will enhance my teaching and how much of all this stuff will get in the way of my teaching?

And how much stuff gets in the way of learning? I read a great post by Josh Stumpenhorst about the stuff that some students will have to endure this holiday: fighting, yelling, domestic unrest, caring for younger siblings while parents work, working themselves to support the family, cold, hunger... the list goes on. How much of this sort of stuff do our students have to put aside each day to open up their hearts and minds in order to learn and grow?

Wow! Did I really just use the word stuff thirty times in one post? Well for the next few days the phone goes off, the iPad goes to sleep and the laptop lid goes down. I'm pushing to one side all of the stuff (31) that occupies space in my head so that I can enjoy family, friends and food. You know-the really good stuff (32)

Happy Holidays Everyone!

1 comment:

  1. I'm stuffed!

    So important to keep our perspective and focus on what truly matters as we navigate though all the materialisms of the holiday season and beyond.

    Quite a rhythm to this piece as well, QPG!