Practice What You Teach

I often find myself looking up examples for activities that I want to do in class and hesitant to write my own. Now usually this is mainly because of time but sometimes it is because I am intimidated to create my own example and share it with the class. But then what do I ask my students to do? Create their own and sometimes share it with the class or a small group…

Learning is a vulnerable place.

It is hard to be “wrong” in a culture that demands we are “right.” It is hard to “just try” when we are ingrained to wait until we can succeed. It is hard to share our imperfections when our schools and society want perfection.

When we don’t put ourselves in that place of practicing, we may forget what can be scary and intimidating for our students. So my goal moving forward is to practice what I teach, to put myself in the place of vulnerability in learning. If I expect my students to share their work then I will share my work. If I expect them to be okay with getting an answer wrong then I will be corrected without apologizing for making a mistake. In this way I hope to model this messy, vulnerable process that learning is for us all.

In order to show my commitment to this process I am going to share a poem with you today because a) poetry is very far outside my comfort zone and b) April is poetry month. So without further ado….

Anywhere Else

A small town in a city,

Too small, nothing new.

I am bored by the sameness – the everyone knows you.

Grey skies, rain falling down, day after day…

Some days I’m desperate to break out –

To seek out a new place with new adventures:

Anywhere else.

And then the sun peaks through,

A soft ocean breeze blows cherry blossom petals in swirls down the street.

Ocean and mountain views peak out through the clouds:

Beauty on every corner.

Friends passing by with smiles to greet you.

This small town in a city

Has a heart and soul

I’ve yet to find

Anywhere else