Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Week 4 Reading: Art of Possibility 9 - 12
As I pondered this week's reading, I am caught up on the last guide question: Now what do we do?
My personal answer to that is to re-animate our child-like spirit. My action research project focused on implementing more web 2.0 tools in regular classroom teaching. However, my ultimate goal (my goal I give to myself every time I set forth to teach) is to provide the opportunity for all to always have what Einstein had said - that "sense of wonder" and awe for the universe around them. Like a child seeing something new, we all need to appreciate and find a love for learning about everything around us. It may seem very sci-fi -ish, but look beyond what we know about the universe and seek dimensions unknown. With this mindset, I carry it over to my teaching. How can I continue my discovery while teaching students to maintain that curiosity? How can I exemplify to the teachers I instruct on how to be a child without acting like one? These are questions I ask myself every time I think of a lesson plan, every time I stand up in front of my students (children and adults alike), every time I prepare my content.
During my freshman year of college I told my mom that I was going to go ahead and get my degree in English. She frowned a little and continued with what she was doing trying not to show her disapproval. "Why? What can you do with an English degree?" she asked.
"I am going to be a teacher." I replied. She probably died a little on the inside. She wanted me to have a career where I would be taken care of, financially. Instead, I chose a career with long hours and extremely little pay (especially, since I knew I wanted to teach in a private school). She supported my decision to the best of her knowledge, saying I would make a wonderful teacher because of the influence I have with children - and people in general.
I tried to plead my case to let her know that this vocation is truly my calling.
Kids listen to me when I talk. Everywhere I go, even kids I don't even know, come up to me to smile and wave. I don't know why...but they do. If I can influence a child to make good choices in life, then I think that's what I am supposed to do. And, I like doing it. It's a personal challenge that makes me feel stronger and more alive. I love the lightbulb that turns on when a child finally understands. I love that moment when a former student returns to say, "You were the teacher that brought me Shakespeare."
Now look at me, I am an English-degreed teacher (certified to teach middle to high school English) teaching primary through middle school students as well as the faculty and staff at the school, basic technology skills hoping to get a degree in the field that I teach. After eleven years of teaching, I often think about what I would tell my mom when she cautiously asks if I ever want to change my career. My answers seems to always be the same: I love to teach. It doesn't matter who I teach or what I have to teach. I just want to teach.