To whom it may concern,
I stayed off twitter and the computer yesterday, and here is what I did not miss:
I was able to clean the garage with my daughter. It was quite a struggle to get my daughter to do anything helpful and she whined the entire time. I realized that she had no ownership in this project—she was just doing stuff because I told her to. I actually had to yell to get her moving! I then thought about how I could connect this job and make it personal for her. I came up with a way to make the cleaning beneficial to her…to both of us. She saw the value in it and actually came up with some ideas that would benefit our family. I can’t wait to apply what I thought about and learned to future classes.
I was able to watch Studio 60 with my wife. I really, really look forward to plopping down on the couch each night with her to watch a quick show. It is a behind the scenes drama about the making of a television show similar to Saturday Night Live. After watching the process they go through from Monday to Saturday to create, write, re-write, rehearse, and produce their show each week I had a flash on how to create a unit that would have a similar style and be presented to a live audience on the net on a Friday. I am so excited about planning it and getting it done next year. I can’t wait to apply what I thought about and learned to future classes.
I was able to walk my dog and noticed a tree had moss growing on the south side of tree. I guess not everything you hear is true. Led me to think about how I was using primary sources in my class and some ideas on how to introduce them next year. I can’t wait to apply what I thought about and learned to future classes.
I was able to go for a walk in the woods with my little daughter. A turkey hen was running away with her poults (baby turkeys). The babies disappeared into a pile of sticks. Even when we walked up to the pile we could not see them, they were so well camouflaged. Made me think about some of my kids in school who can so easily blend in and be missed. I thought about being more careful about working with my kids and noticing who might be hiding and why. What do my kids think is dangerous? How do they respond? Do I notice who is scared or do they camouflage it so well that I miss it. I can’t wait to apply what I thought about and learned to future classes.
I was able to pass the ball with my daughter in the driveway. At first the ball was too small and she grew discouraged. No matter how many tips I gave her frustration only grew. I picked up a big ball and threw it to her and she caught it with a big smile and wanted to continue. She suddenly became open to advice. When we were done she asked to throw again today. I thought about how this applies to the way I introduce new skills in my class. I can’t wait to apply what I thought about and learned to future classes.
I was able to work in my garden and dealt with a patch that I haven’t paid much attention to. It was weedy and the plants were droopy and were not doing as well as the rest of the garden. I weeded them and gave them some water. It made me think about a kid who has been falling behind. I didn’t blame the plant for being droopy…so why was I blaming the kid? I can’t wait to apply what I thought about and learned to future classes.
I was able to watch part of a documentary with my daughter called The Cove. Wow did it open my eyes! Let’s just say I won’t be eating dolphin any time soon. I have read a lot about the issues with killing dolphins, but the images I saw were really powerful and made a bigger difference than all of the reading I had ever done. I can’t wait to apply what I thought about and learned to future classes.
I was able to read a chapter in a book on interpreting non-verbal behavior. I started to wonder if I could become skilled enough to assess a kid’s knowledge after asking a question based on just reading their body language. Sometimes I don’t have enough time to ask everyone for the response, but what if I could get a response just by looking at them? I can’t wait to apply what I thought about and learned to future classes.
I was able to listen to a story from my wife. She was telling me about a friend who had a problem and shared it with her. My wife mentioned that all she did was listen. She bit her tongue and didn’t offer advice. She just sat, provided a open ear, and repeated a couple of her friends thoughts back to her. By the end of the conversation the problem no longer seemed so big, and her friend walked away with a plan she developed to fix it. Made me think about how I help students “fix” their problems. Do I listen or automatically start giving my advice on what to do? I can’t wait to apply what I thought about and learned to future classes.
I was able to eat ice cream. There is a quart of chocolate ice cream in our freezer down stairs. No one ever goes down there except me, so I consider it mine. I took down a spoon and very quietly ate some. It was good. It made me happy. I was a better teacher today because of the chocolate ice cream. Sometimes everyone just needs to hunker down in a little corner with something that just feeds our soul. We should all eat more ice cream.*
*The author of this blog does not support everyone eating ice cream and realizes that there are some people who can have adverse reactions to eating ice cream. For those people this author recommends gluten-free peanut butter cookies and lactose free milk.