Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wishing for yesterday, hoping for tomorrow, and wondering where the present is.

Once Daylight Savings Time kicks in, it seems like time speeds up. Despite the fact that I haven't yet taken the opportunity to figure out how to change the clock on my dashboard, it's easy to drive home with the sunroof open, with the sun streaming in.   Certainly, I recognize that we basically lost last week to the clutches of Mother Nature, and last week was the "beginning of March," yet suddenly my calendar has me making plans for April.   In my mind, we're halfway through March, and April and May are ruled by the schedules of PSSAs, Keystones, and AP Exams.  And then, BOOM, it's Pomp and Circumstance and tears of goodbye to another class at graduation.

Just yesterday it was September, wasn't it?

Wishing for yesterday, hoping for tomorrow, and wondering where the present is.

Life is rich and rewarding, especially when it's a day where rain was expected, and it ended with sun.  Consider that as metaphorically as you care to, given the speed of education these days, and the never-ending to-do lists.

Today I had one of those days that becomes, in my mind, legendary.  One of the easiest lessons that I teach actually becomes the most powerful lesson, if it works right.  Socratic discussion creates an atmosphere of collaborative respect, while still advancing the lesson.  I remember, several years ago, saying to an administrator who was observing a lesson what I expected.  "How will you know if your lesson was successful?"  he asked. 

My answer was probably not what he expected.  "I will keep my mouth closed the entire time, while the kids explore the topic, recognizing who hasn't been included, and drawing all into the discussion."

While I can't say I kept my mouth shut the entire time, it was a great discussion.  Kids stopped to ask why we don't "do that more often" on the way out the door.  AND THEN, I found them talking to other kids in the library, extending their thinking and discussion.

And what was my role?  Letting them lead the learning.

Am I sitting here wondering why I don't work smarter instead of harder?  absolutely.  And today, with the sunroof open and the sun streaming in, I'm celebrating the PRESENT, even if time is passing too quickly.

Oh, and I'm hoping that the second section of the class will be able to rival the discussion and make tomorrow afternoon as great as today.