Thursday, November 27, 2014

I Just Realized "I Ruined Thanksgiving."

Perfection is something that we hope our students strive for, but something that as a teacher I find is rarely achieved for me as a teacher.  In addition to THAT statement, I can go a step further in shooting my career in the foot by saying that for me, a perfect day - or a perfect lesson - is one that goes so far off the original lesson plan that the kids learn more than anticipated, through their own questioning and driving of a particular discussion.  As a teacher, the perfect day is when I find out that the discussion in class continued in the hallway, the cafeteria, and on the bus on the way home.  Because that is when I know that the questioning and engagement has truly worked -- no matter what Charlotte Danielson defines as a distinguished lesson.

Oh, and on those days when the lesson gets highjacked for the better?  I learn as well.

 

The Te@chthought Blog Challenge question for today, November 27 

If you could bottle up the perfect day, what would it look like?

Having done the perfect setup for a lengthy post on the wonders of the perfect day in the classroom, I shift gears for just a second to remind you that today is Thanksgiving, schools everywhere are closed, and we're all silently, or not so silently, breathing and stretching after a really good night's sleep in anticipation of a really good meal this afternoon.  As I am a "glass half full" kind of person, it's difficult to define a  perfect day because perfect days with different people vary drastically.  As I've already outlined the perfect day academically, let's consider some other perfect day scenarios:

1.  Perfect Day in the Sewing Room -- no seam ripping, straight seams, and beautiful new fabric to fondle and cut. Creating something wonderful to give to someone wonderful (who may even be yourself) is such a glorious experience.  If you're not a quilter, you don't get it.  I know. It's okay.

2.  Perfect Day Antiquing - Before you go making snide comments about this next comment -- and you know who you are -- I love the feel of wood.  OLD wood.  tables and cutlery trays that have been smoothed by generations of handling.  There is something magical for me that connects me to the past as I celebrate the workmanship and marvel at the silkiness of the present day form.  It helps to have my husband along, as we frequently find things that make us go "hmmm" that we can post on Facebook to amaze and delight our antiquing friends, and puzzle those who don't know us well enough to get the fact that we are surreptitiously snapping pictures of things that we think are either insane or hideous.

3.  Perfect Day with Family - My family is warped. They have the same sense of humor that I do, fortunately.  The picture to the left is an impromptu dare reaction after a video blog entry by my daughter last Easter to spice things up to make the holidays more bearable.  Oh, yes, that is a golden crown fashioned out of the wrapper of the spiral cut ham on Kristin's head.  (And for those who follow the blog regularly and remember the competition for the center space in the shelf of grandchildren, note that Sarah's 8 x 10 is in the center space).  

 Last year's Thanksgiving featured an intense game of Jeopardy Trivia between Team USA and Team Canada.  And yes, the trivia is a legit display on the wall of the dining room with my sister at the helm of the projector.   

Pictured below, the teams, and Bruce holding the Tim Russert White Board with the totals.





 I'm off to make a vegetable turkey tray, and a cheese turkey, and have just realized that I neglected to purchase the turkey shaped butter. 

My kids will be relieved.  This recent revelation means that "I ruined Thanksgiving" this year, leaving everyone else in the clear.