I have unshakable faith in children. They always show me the way. ♥

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

on writing...

Something I think about...

Why have I taken so well to blogging?

Just recently I was looking over a bunch of my blog entries from November -- a month where I'd committed to (and succeeded!) blogging every single day. Rereading many of the entries re-inspired me, both as a teacher and a blogger. I think one of the reasons it was so empowering was because I was thinking, reflecting again about things that were on my mind in November.

When I was younger I would sporadically write in a journal, but it was never a habit I could develop or maintain for any length of time.

Yet somehow this idea of SHARING writing in blog format has really clicked for me. I don't know if it's the idea of it being public, or the idea that friends and family might read something and come to me to talk more, but something about it makes me aware of what I write in a way that I never was before. As a teenager, sure I was worried that someone might find and read my private thoughts, but I was vaguely aware that I didn't know who my audience was. Was it me? So if it was, why bother to write it down when I could just think it? Now, though, while I write knowing that others might read (which I both love and encourage!), I think I've realized that my audience is, well... me.

As a teacher, so much of my day is spent by myself with my students. One a particularly full day, I might have another teacher with me for two hours, tops. Generally, though, it's my students and me for 90% of the time. So, that's a whole lot of just me to grapple with. When I take the time to write out something about which I'm wondering (academic choice) or something that amazed me, or something I needed to feel... it's out there for me to read, later on. It serves so many purposes, not the least of which is reminding me why I teach, why I love it in spite of the things that dishearten and discourage me. Also, when I reread, it's often just me thinking with myself.

So, maybe that's exactly why I've taken to it so well. I write with the idea that I'm talking to my future self, in anticipation of further thinking.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

random housekeeping:

  • I have an email attached to this blog now: skirted.blog [AT] gmail [DOT] com. It's an easy way to get in touch with me if you'd like to contact me privately, rather than commenting.

  • Second, due to the brilliance of Swampy, it's now possible to receive email notifications when I put up a new post. If you go to the main page of my journal -- here -- you'll see a subscription box in the top right. Type your email, follow the directions, and voila! Messages in your inbox when this blog is updated. Ain't technology grand?

    And, yes, this is mostly for my family. ♥

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

professional dilemmas

A professional dilemma I keep facing:

How do I balance what I truly believe is right for children with the ever-increasing expectations (and standards and mandates, etc...)?


One example: this class. They love books. Love them. Now, it's not odd for children to love books. In fact, it's quite rare when they don't. But often, even during a read aloud, many children zone out, fidget, and etc...

But not this class. Nope. They are many things: young, loud, varied, talkative, curious, challenging -- but if ever I want to regroup them, to calm them down, to amaze them... I read a book. It's amazing to watch. Really. They are always mesmerized. PIcture books, nonfiction, chapter books -- anything. We have two read aloud times per day but I've been trying to find time for at least one or two more.

But, oh... the guilt...

In order to carve in 1-2 more read alouds, I would have to take time away from another subject area. This worries me because there is just so much packed into the curriculum that they have to know (to be tested on in grade 3) and if we don't do it, they might not get it at any other time.

And yet I keep thinking: what is more powerful than delving into literature? What is more powerful than talking, discussing, wondering, counting, thinking, feeling? Should I really have to justify reading aloud more often when my students get so much out of it?

In my heart... I just don't think so.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the world is just awesome

It feels rather apropos that I finally get back to blogging today. I've missed the chance to sit and write and think. Also, that I share someone else's project -- because isn't teaching often the sharing of amazing things that other's have done?

This video is Matt Harding, traveling over the world and dancing a little dance in countries all over the world. It's absolutely incredible. It had me in tears. I want to hug this guy and then dance with him and everyone in the world and then hug him again.

I can't explain why this affected me so... maybe just because it reminded me again of the fact that no matter where we go, we're all just people... humans that laugh and cry and dance and sing.

It's rather amazing to watch people doing so together.

So... watch. And dance. Then come back here and I'll dance with you, too. ♥

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

[the link is here in case the embedding doesn't work]

Happy Inauguration Day!