Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What Change Are You Leaving Behind?

One of the best things about summer for this teacher is the opportunity to walk with my dog more frequently. Our mornings together are quiet, filled with mild adventure, and restrained exploring. It is a great way to begin my day and they are good for his ego. He prances a little bit every time he hears how handsome is by passersby on the riverwalk that is our main route. We see all sorts of things that help make our day more interesting and experience things that would otherwise be hidden if we stayed at home.
Misha, a handsome boy.
Once the school year starts, our morning routine is much different. On my way out, I meet him at the back door and give him his first biscuit while balancing my coffee, then we make our way to the gate where I give him 'second biscuit' in my best hobbit accent and a goodbye pet. Returning 10 to 11 hours later, walks with the good dog pup are unfortunately not at the top of my list.

Recently along the our course, I discovered a scattered assortment of coins, pennies, dimes, quarters and  judging by the length of the trail, probably the result of an ill-advised placement in a cyclist's  pocket. I was planning  on power washing my bike later that day so the find was well-timed. I picked up the silver colored coins and left the pennies where they lie and me and good dog pup were on our way again.

It's not that the pennies were entirely without value, I just didn't value them enough. Kinda silly really, now that I think about not picking them up. Why wouldn't I pick up five pennies when I picked up a nickel? Why did I just walk away from the value in those coins and just leave them behind?

How often do my students walk away from the day's lessons and never deposit the learning in their bank? What skills did we learn as class that have no value to an individual. I'll never really know.

I can hope that what we're learning is valuable and that I give my students choices in how they learn and demonstrate what they master. I can hope that they'll find value in what we do and that they'll pick it up and carry with them always. I hope that my kids will continue their love of learning after they leave our classroom, because of the learning that we did in our classroom.

But hope is not a strategy.

Thanks for reading.

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