powerful moments in education
If you are an elementary school teacher, and it is the day of Open House, and the laminator and copy machine are both broken, you mostly likely want to stop time and just go find a bar…Not to mention you realize that it is only the 11th day of school and display-able projects truly have not come to fruition quite yet…
Regardless, I have to say the break in weather from the recent humidity seemed to have a profound calming effect on myself, my colleagues, and my students. Or maybe it is because I felt like laughing that afternoon because I had the kind of day that is the definition of who I am in the classroom.
A mentor of sorts expressed the desire to come in and do some chatting and video recording, with the purpose of capturing intuitive teaching. I responded initially with a laid back, “Sure whenever! Come on in!” and then a few days later got wide eyed at the idea of being so raw during such a loaded week. I mean, seriously, between Cross Country practice, a PTO meeting, daily typical planning, Open House, reading, blogging, and-oh yeah- being a wife- (how DO people do this with children!?! That is another blog I think) I freaked at the idea of not being able to show my true self, fearing that the overload would throw me into survival mode and I would end up looking like a lunatic on roller skates.
What I forgot is that it is the true nature of this profession, the heart of teaching, that fuels my ability to teach intuitively. I have to. I have no choice. It does not often matter how much I plan, but rather how much I am paying attention to my kids and listening to the deafening silence of their loss of meaning, recognizing that these beings are intellectual sponges which are waiting to soak up the opportunities I am expected to provide. These moments happen so quickly, often with 6 minutes to spare before they return to the room from recess, but I can whip out a graphic organizer, step by step plan, complete with modeling, to create magic for the following few hours. Out of nowhere, a series of organic lessons appeared that incorporated more literacy and social skills than I would have been able to encompass through planning ahead, sprinkled with artful expressions, learning opportunities allowing for individual reflection and expansion…I know I am on the right track when I hear things like this: Student: “Mrs. K- do you think I could try watercolors for this?” Me: “Go for it!” Student: “YES! I am going to go with water color resist…I LOVE watercolor resist.”
I am not sharing this to look for praise or a pat on the back. As my dad always said, “I don’t take myself too seriously. I take what I do seriously.” This magic is possible for anyone in a teaching and learning situation- parenting…book editing…discussion leading…artwork creating…song writing…
Be alert. Trust yourself. I should have allowed you to come in today, Tomasen. How silly of me to think that intuitive teaching adheres to any sort of schedule.