My rare privilege

I have enjoyed a rare privilege over the last six years, and now it has come to an end.

My daughter has just completed her education at the school where I work. For the last six years I’ve been able to participate in her education in a way that is not afforded to most parents. I’ve shared a ride to work nearly every morning and many afternoons been there for the return journey too. I’ve been there to share the experience of school assemblies, camp experiences, sports days, house events, and even taught lessons where she has been a participant.

Like I said, it’s been a rare privilege. I know intimately the spaces she’s inhabited and we share memories of school life that we can fondly recall together in the years to come. I may even be able to return for her school reunions, because, after all, I’ll have a legitimate reason to be there too.

I thought her leaving would be easy, just another day, something that wouldn’t affect me all that much. But as I stood in their final Valedictory assembly last week, the opening words of the school song finally took on their true meaning and I found myself unable to sing, tears pouring down my cheeks.

They of the school before us

Now tread the wider ways

Their thoughts to her returning

Who ordered once their days

I suppose most parents feel the same about their children leaving school – it’s a rite of passage and denotes the end of a stage of your life. For me, it’s a little different. I think I’m going to spend the next year experiencing that strange series of ‘firsts’ at my place of work. First day travelling there without her, first event where she’s not a presence, and on and on.

I’m going to miss you Cassidy. I hope my rare privilege was something that you will reflect on warmly in years to come too.

School’s out Friday

Hamish Curry shared this on Google+ and it made me smile. If you’re not familiar with the way many of the social networks and websites represented in this video work, then you’re probably going to be more confused than amused. But, if you are familiar, I’m pretty sure you’ll be thinking this is pretty clever.

It’s nearly the end of October and I’ve only posted once this month. Practically unheard of! Yes, I’ve been busy at work and have really struggled trying to find time to write. I’ve started posts, but find myself paralysed at the keyboard, knowing that if I’m going to do the post justice then I need to invest a couple of hours into its construction and I just don’t have that time available. So I start, then stop, and for the first time ever I have drafts sitting in my dashboard, taunting me, making me anxious that I’m never going to get anything of substance written ever again.

Hopefully, the paralysis will leave me and I’ll find myself writing again soon. Got lots to share, so I hope so!

Enjoy the weekend ahead. The forecast for Melbourne is not pretty. I’ll be seeking sun  – I can feel myself deficient in those Vitamin D stores!

Gearing up: Chromebook Classroom – GAFE Summit presentation

Today I’m presenting about Chromebooks at the Google Apps for Education Conference here in Melbourne. Of course, the presentation is about more than just Chromebooks. It’s also about Google’s approach with Chrome and why you might be thinking about taking this direction in your school. Not all of that is evident from the slides above, but hopefully those who come along will take something from what I have to say and be able to leave with some knowledge that helps them understand Chrome and how Chromebooks work.

Time permitting (seem to be finding less and less of that!) I’ll write a follow up post about the conference and how the session went. Stay posted!