Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lily Pads for Zen, or Twenty.

One goal for the year.

Stay ZEN.

Honestly, I don't know exactly what the world's definition of "zen" truly is, any more than I know whether the world's definition of "love" is the same as mine.  This summer has been the Summer of Zen.

I've done thing purposefully, I've done things with no intended purpose.  I've scheduled a week full of planned days, only to let each and every plan change, allowing something else to happen.  I've taken moments to sit with people I've never chatted with before, and dined with people I've only known prior to this summer of social media.  I've taken almost every day with a calmness that has allowed me to go back to school feeling refreshed and ready to challenge the juggling that awaits me.

I've seen the emails from administrators, I know there are schedules that must be followed.  A syllabus is expected in each class, along with an Essential Question, and Activating Strategy, and a Summarizing Event to tie everything up in a neat little bow, to be carried forth by the students as they leave my classroom.  There will be assemblies, class meetings, and rules to be reviewed.

But first, I will sit with my students, in chairs the color of that relaxing frog up at the top of this page.  And we'll find our zen in the first day of school from our lily pad chairs, as we plot and share dreams for the year.   

It's been a summer of magical thinking, and teachers shouldn't be the only ones in control.

So on Wednesday I will say, "We'll have 89 other days to do the learning, but Day #1 is about finding yourself, sharing who you are, and where you want to go."

Because this summer I learned that every good adventure begins with a road map -- even if you toss it aside along the journey.