Waking up for the first day of New Schools Training was like waking up for the first day of my senior year of high school.  When my alarm sounded this morning I sprang into action thinking of all the opportunities awaiting me.  I packed my laptop, laced up a new pair of shoes then dragged myself to Starbucks.  Meeting my Cougar New Tech team in the hotel lobby for breakfast was like reuniting with classmates after a busy summer.  Our energy levels were unusually high for seven o’clock on a June morning.Like a high school senior I entered the day with a sense of confidence in my prior training and optimism for the future.  After a year spent exploring the New Tech model, I hoped to use New Schools training to gain a deeper understanding of the project planning process.  As I flipped through the schedule of breakout sessions I realized that in just over a month a batch of eighty freshmen will be flooding the halls of Cougar New Tech.  My mindset quickly shifted from that of a senior entering his first day of school to that of a senior in early May for the first time realizing the pending reality awaiting him.  Soon we will be making the move from the world of theoretical project planning to the world of practical application.As the day progressed my anxieties subsided.  Seeing the faces of familiar New Tech coaches put my mind at ease.  It was then that I realized the New Tech coaches who helped us get to this point in our PBL adventure have occupied a similar place in my mind as some of my favorite teachers and professors.  The coaches just emit an aura that makes you believe that everything is going to be alright.  They put you at ease not by telling you they are going to make things easy for you, but by reminding you are very capable of tasks at hand.  With my adolescent fears put to rest, I was able to shift my focus to the reason why I was here:  Creating the best educational experiences for my learners.Many changes are coming, just don’t forget you’re awesome and you’re here because you can handle them.

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