Any teacher’s break is the epicenter of pipe dreams…we create deals with ourselves: “I’ll catch up with that [grading] during break,” “I’ll replan this [unit] during break,” or even “I’ll do [blank] for myself during break and because I do [blank] during break I will be better doing [blank].” Hogwash…all of it…hogwash. Breaks are for teachers to catch up on life, not to be proactive for the next bit of life to come. Whether you are traveling to new places, or binge watching The Daredevil on Netflix…breaks should not be spent in order to allow teachers to the time to catch up or even get ahead…though many of us try…but instead to recuperate, to find inspiration, or to create an experience. The latter bit, the creation of an experience this should be the teacher’s creed, to create a memorable piece to the day. Just take a second and think back to to your experience of school. What do you remember? Was it a worksheet or a mini-lesson? Or was it the science fair? The pioneer diorama? The group project on The Outsiders? And much like the slice of life challenge that asks teachers of writing to better their instruction by being writers themselves, doesn’t our ability to create memorable moments in class hinge on our ability to find, seek out,or create those moments in our everyday lives? Do we miss out on finding inspiration for a unit or lesson by scouring the internet for a resource or creating one our selves rather than engaging in the world and letting it provide the natural experience?
I aim this week to allow my world to write my lesson plans. To find authentic tasks that beg the student to engage in learning.