Skip to main content

Some Ruminations (not about teaching)

Feb. 12, 2013

It's 11:10 a.m.
I'm sitting on a pool deck in Miami Beach.
Two of my children
     cavort in the water.
The weather report says 27 degrees Celsius
but there's a late morning breeze
and scattered clouds
that occasionally
block the sun.

I'm starting the middle of the second week of
our February vacation.

The weather app on my phone informs me that
it's still raining in Quito,
sunny in Miami,
dead winter in Calgary, Boston and NY.

I send warm rays of
sunshine to the north,
Great White and otherwise.

How do I unravel a childhood
to get at the adolescent -
pre- and young adult - that lies dormant inside me?

My family is no help.

My memories are closed off
locked somewhere:
Access denied.

No journal or diary to read.
No love letters to remember.
No photographs to help
     jar my poor memory,
     atrophied,
     lost in space and time.

So, I must look to the present.
The only way to the past.
But, then again, maybe it's not
     important anymore.
The past, I mean.

So, I stop trying to open that door,
any door.

It's 11:25 a.m.
The sound of boats in the bay.
The voices of my son and daughter.
The soft breeze.
The warm sun.
The blue skies.
Birds skittering over the water
     dipping low for a drink and quickly scooting away.
Tempt me back to the present.

A cliché moment, perhaps.
But my moment nonetheless.

Cross posted to Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Tuesdays



8 comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Teacher I Want to Be

The
I have been dismayed to realize that despite my self-image as a teacher with a learner centered classroom, I am far from truly achieving that goal. 

I have been listening carefully to myself lately, and I don't like what I hear myself saying to the kids. Instead of empowering my students to take ownership of their learning, I am still the director on the stage. I still ask leading questions rather than ones that push the learner to figure things out for herself. I realize I often spoon feed my students hopeful that they will give me the answer I'm looking for. An answer that will make my job easier. Answers that will fit with what I expect students to say despite the fact that 30 years in education has taught me nothing if not that students are unpredictable, and if we prepare for anything, that is what we should be prepared for. 
Teacher
An anecdote. The other day I was talking with a student about the fact that she was abandoning more books than she was finishing. I was as…

Mini Lessons

Sometimes, I plan too many teaching points for one lesson. For example, instead of focusing on one strategy that students need in order to become more proficient readers and writers, I try to teach several strategies at the same time. 

Sometimes, I stretch out a teaching point beyond the 10- or 12-minute time limit I've given myself because I worry that my mini lesson wasn't enough or my students won't have understood what I intended to teach. So, sometimes, I beat the lesson to a pulp one too many times, or forget to have the kids practice the lesson before they go off to read or write. (Asking students to practice a lesson after you teach it, with you right there to observe and help guide students through the process, is very effective. Try not to skip this step!)  

Here's an example of a mini lesson that lasted less than 10 minutes and resulted in better learning.

My students are in the second round of historical fiction book clubs. In a couple of weeks, we will start …

A Confession

I have a confession to make.

I want to write a book. 
A professional book. 
I think I have a lot to say. 
I think others could benefit from my experience.
After all, I have been an educator for over 30 years.

But, what could I possibly say that hasn't been said before?
What new knowledge could I add to the table?
Who would even bother to read what I have to say?

These are questions borne of fear.
Fear of not being good enough.
Fear of not being able to complete such a daunting project. 
(At least, that's what it feels like to me right now.)
Fear that I won't make time.
Fear that I'll run out of time.

But, over the last couple of days, I've gotten some encouraging words of support from the Innovative Teaching Academy - 
#ITA17 Facebook group. 

You can do it!Write for yourself.
But the message that is propelling me forward is this one: 
It doesn't matter how many times something has been said...each time someone else says it, new people hear it...and that's where you make the d…