powerful moments in education
It’s a new world.
Perhaps you can relate. As a person who avoids change whenever possible, I am beginning to recognize change and at times even embrace it, albeit years delayed. Out of nowhere I am exploring emotions, actions, and reactions through writing. Last night, I was reading ferociously about the changes and updates to Apple technology via iOS 5 and anyone who knows me will tell you I actually could not really explain to you what that really is. My sister Facebooked me to say, after I noted that I was geeking out on iPad updates: “Who are you and why are you wearing shoes?” Which I didn’t understand for a few hours…. Instead of cuddling with my husband or exploring new art techniques in my altered books or playing my flute or piano…. I am reading blogs, investigating Twitter, and forming posts in my head as I read. The fact remains that I desire to encounter experiences which I can pass on to students- yet many I know very little to nothing about. This can’t be. As an elementary teacher, one must strive explore everything.
Truly, my brain moves too quickly for my thoughts to form wholly, in an intelligent, organized fashion, and for this reason blogging has attracted me. The more I read other blogs, the more I receive models for quick, organized, thoughtful writing. It even makes me slow down, think ahead, plan my writing, revise, revise, edit, revise, re-read…GASP! Real writing! What I teach every day.
Models. Someone once asked me what I thought the most important things was to tell a new, first-year teacher and I said- model, model, model. Even when you think they possibly might know? Model it anyway. Then model it again, as needed. And yet, I still break my own rule, and am reminded of it with every failed subsequent activity. If this is good teaching, then I am finally self-exploring what I always believed to be true- children between the ages of 9 and 99 need modeling. If you are over 99 then good for you. Live it up.
Just a few weeks ago, I had a student who would not put up his chair for the life of him! Reminders, threats, reasoning…nothing worked. But then, we practiced it. In many ways. Including the whys and hows and transitions involved. And I’ll tell you what- that chair has been up every day since. Does the chair matter? Well, no of course not, but the need reiteration of modeling and remodeling surfaces, like a zit, really, until it is popped, at the “owners” expense.
When I lack progress in something in my personal life, I lack modeling. The challenge is, one must seek out modeling when she/he realizes it is a missing element blocking progress….writing, teaching, blogging, communicating, praying, singing, creating, creating, creating. Who are your models? Without them, one is stagnant. And it was not until I began to search them out, despite the hours of sleep one might lose, that I re-realized, or accepted, how important models are to growth of all ages.