Sunday, September 8, 2013

What I learned in the first week of school – again.

  1. You can never, never, never plan for kids you haven’t met.  
  2. You need to get to know - and love - kids quickly.  (Speed dating has nothing on teaching.)
  3. You need to remember to break it down, slow it down, repeat, pause, start again, stay calm.
  4. You must not become discouraged (or not for long), even when all your careful plans (that you shouldn't have made) crumble as students refuse to fit.
  5. You need to relearn the flexibility to adjust, think, organize, respond, decide in the moment.  
  6. You must regain your peripheral vision. (Critical!)
  7. You can’t expect to sleep the first week back; if you do, it’s a bonus.
  8. You must not give up on the bigger picture – everything falls apart, kids have challenges a mile high and as deep as their lifetime, the hours in the day seem impossibly short (and ridiculously long), but finding a path to a meaningful education for each child is enough to get up for each morning to start the search again.  (But it isn't easy.)
  9. In the search for meaningful education for each child, you must not seek “the answer.”  There isn't one.  As my colleague Twila Konynenbelt said in a recent blogpost, the only thing certain is doubt.  
I’m looking forward to next week.

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