Friday, October 01, 2004

What Doesn't Kill You...

Our journey continued and when school started up in August, our team met to begin implementing our plan. Little did we know what awaited us! We could have starred in our own reality television show, because the events that unfolded over the next few months were that surreal.

Wednesdays in our district are early release days. Yes, that means EVERY Wednesday! This is so teachers can attend inservices and professional learning communities. In our technology plan, the ISTE team had targeted the Professional Learning Community days at our school for the webpage training. We felt it would be best to instruct a small group of teachers (6), enable them to experience success with their classroom webpages, and then utilize them to assist with carrying out the training for future teachers at our school.

Being that we are a school that lives and breathes the F.I.S.H. Philosophy, our team chose to develop an acronym that would extend this concept. The acronym we developed was L.U.R.E. It stands for Learn IT, Use IT, Run with IT, Explain IT.

We were all set to have our first meeting when the world crashed in on us.

Did I mention that we are located on the east coast of Florida? Well, 2004 brought two sisters to our area, Hurricanes Francis and Jeanne. These two hurricanes shut our school down for a few weeks. Personally, I had ceilings in my home collapse, floors totalled from water damage, and even a convertible car top destroyed. After the second storm, I came home to find the porch roof from the house across the street sitting in my front yard. My principal's home also suffered severe damage. Many of our school families (students, faculty, staff)were displaced due to the storms. Teachers actually started school three times this year. We worked planning week, then a hurricane caused us to close school on our final planning day. Students started the next week and Hurricane Frances came in and shut us down for a few weeks. School started again, then Hurricane Jeanne came in to visit and shut us down again. Eventually, we did start up again AND finish! It should have been an omen of what was to follow in terms of our technology plan, but we just didn't realize it.