11 September 2014

#ReflectiveTeacher Blogging Challenge Day 11: The well-pondered epiphany

What is your favorite part of the school day and why?

The end. No, seriously.

Not "Well THAT's finally over!" though. It usually involves three responses:

  • Well that was awesome! How can I get that to happen again?
  • Well that was dreadful! How can I keep that from happening again--at least for other people?
  • OK, now what?

Now that I have fourth period planning after 2 straight years of planning first, I have time to reflect and collect myself. I don't have to spend planning scrambling for copies I should have made hours--if not days--ago. I have time to evaluate the day's events and assessments and build something for tomorrow based on demonstrated needs. I have the evening and that tranquil time between snooze buttons to let my mind wrap around how to address those needs  I suppose that sweet spot for innovation between 4:30 AM and when that first bell would ring--if we had one--would be pleasant, too, were it not so...morning. Also the high of the well-pondered epiphany is not a guarantee, and, in fact, didn't creep up on me until, oh, about the end of third period yesterday after I was almost done with the teaching part.

But then I got to kind of revel in that moment we had in Film & Literature, when a bunch of goofy seniors admitted some things that had been bothering them--and it tied into exactly what the film was saying. I also got to kind of stew on how I could keep that going, keep them thinking about how they talk to each other and what Lorraine Hansberry was telling them about how people talk to them, by rewriting the speech from the Clybourne Park representative who wants to buy the Youngers' house back from them so they don't move into a white neighborhood.

I also got to go ahead and write objectives on the board for today so they'll be ready and figure out--and arrange--what I need to get together to make portfolio assembly and reflection possible for today. I got to look ahead and rearrange my impending lesson plans to fit the pace of the kids I've been working with for a few weeks now, to reach out to an international amiga to think ahead for the next unit, to reach out to my colleagues to help motivate the seniors in their leadership roles with thank you cards.

It's true I could sleep until 6:00 when I had first period planning, and I could even make it to appointments or my son's school during school hours sometimes without missing class.

But I missed so much pondering time.

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