Monday, August 9, 2010
My two favorite "captains" (both literally and figuratively) also happen to be the two men who have influenced and enriched my life most in more ways than I can begin to express adequately in this space...My father was and remains a captain of my very being and also of his beloved boat. My husband is the captain of my heart and life and also of his restored Luscombe.
Beyond sailboats and aiplanes, these two have shared their passions, ideas and beliefs with me and TAKEN ME ALONG FOR THE RIDES. They have taken the time to expose me to experiences and ideas I wouldn't have without them. I'm invited into their journeys and learn things about skills, technique, art, craft and life every time.
As I prepare for this school year with brand new students to know, teach and love I've been reflecting on how to be this kind of captain for them. Some captains you never know and they surely don't know you. They simply take charge, provide their expertise and get you where you're going without ever knowing how. Am I guilty of being this kind of teacher when I feel crunched for time and overwhelmed by curriculum demands? I sure don't want to be...
To culminate all of my summer reading and rereading as I prepare for the new year I am convicted anew to slow down, go deeper and make sure my students are invited into the journey of inquiry, discovery, enthusiasm and process so they come away with new ideas, questions, skills, techniques and insights into who they are as learners. As "captain" I want to share my passions, processes and obstacles in order to model for them that I am still learning right along with them.
We all know it comes down to time...the beast of all beasts. There have been many days when I really felt I couldn't afford to take an afternoon for sailing or flying...work, laundry you know the drill! I am always grateful when I do go, and the last time I looked the laundry hasn't filled up the house and the dishes are usually mostly done. Providing my students with the learning time and opportunities they deserve and need is always my goal and dream. Maybe this year I'll figure out even more ways to integrate all of the "musts" with rich learning trails. Maybe they'll get to their destination knowing just how they got there and remember the "sights" and lessons along the way.
How do you beat down the beast of time in your classrooms in order to provide your students with rich, meaningful learning opportunities? Millions of us are all ears...
Here's to my dad and my husband...thanks for being the kind of captains you are and teaching me right along WITH you.