I just had the most amazing week. I went to Edmonton to mark provincial exams. It was a great PD experience!
The first day was training and I lucked into being in a group with a great woman named Joan. I remembered her from the IRA meeting I went to in June. Turns out she has just retired from teaching and loves books and reading and children's writing. She was a real inspiration. She really took the time to talk through the process and we marked a number of stories together. It was a great experience. Just working with her set me up with an air of respect and love for what these children had written.
It wasn't all roses and birds singing. It was actually a real exercise in self-discipline. I've never done such focused marking for such a long period of time in my life. By the end I was getting a little stir crazy - but I made it. The people at my table were a lot of fun though. I was glad to get to know them.. We had a lot of good laughs.
The story this year had a picture prompt with two children going into a castle. There were some rats running around and some guards in amour along the hallway. We read lots of stories about Jack and Annie, Jack and Lilly (must have been the Asian version) or Jack and Shreya (the Indian version?). It was pretty comical to see how often Jack was the character in the story. Also, lots of portals. Kids were often on a field trip, often would get separated from their group or would go into a portal. Minecraft be damned!!!
Jill also had provincials during this week. Every morning, bright and early, we'd park at the pool and I'd walk to where the marking was happening. It was a great walk. Luckily on the way there, it was uphill. I'd rather do that in the morning than at the end of the day. I got to cross this amazing bridge every day. Loved the walk!
This is the road I walked up. It was only about 5 blocks - but almost all of it was uphill! The way up was a great hamstring workout - and the way down was an equally good quad workout.
And here is the bridge. There is something about water and walking that brings great serenity to my life.