Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Fill 'er Up!

I live in a geographically isolated place. We're four hours from any major city. Seattle: 4 hours. Portland: 4 hours. Spokane, Boise, 4 hours to everywhere with nothing but amber waves of grain in between. So filling up the gas tank is majorly important. You know it might be a hundred miles before you come across another gas station. In fact, my first week here, I ran out of gas halfway between my home and school. AAA is also majorly important.

The long stretches of asphalt can seem interminable. Wheat rippling outward forever like the ocean from the southernmost point. So those fill-up stations, even when they don't have my Snapple flavor, are like a jolt to the senses. People! Food! There's still a world out there!

The school year in March starts feeling a lot like one of those drives. Are we still waiting on interim assessment scores? When is spring break again? Will we ever get to that learning target that's been on lesson plans all year long? Happily, today was a fill-up kind of day. I met with a group of teacher leaders and coaches from 12 of the districts in our region who comprise our English Language Arts Fellows. The educators in this group are inspiring and inspired. My job is easy because every question or wondering or article I throw out, they dive in together and come back up with new ideas and insights. They work hard all the time to support their colleagues and students, and they remind me what in the world I'm doing out here in the middle of nowhere and where this long road is headed.


  1. The fill up days are the best days of all. I love how you compared "filling up" with your network to the gas tank. It's a draining time of year, for sure!

  2. Now we know you have a thing for Snapple!

    March and so feel that way (and some years February, too). Thankfully Spring Break always gets here and then it is a downhill run to June. Glad you were filled up.