Here are some of my draft opening lines for my experiment…..
One of my favourite moments in the novel, “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time”, by Mark Haddon, is when Christopher is trying to relate that everyone has special needs, so he is not different from everyone else. Although never explicitly stated, many readers place Christopher “on the spectrum” because he exhibits some behaviours similar to others who have been identified. He does not see himself as needing a label of special needs, because, really, everyone has a special need at one point in his of her life. It is his attempt to not be seen as “different” but just a regular kid.
This got me thinking about the whole term. Like many things, we have an umbrella, to try and squeeze a lot of different types of kids under it. Education is changing, so why is it so difficult to see that people have always been changing?
We don’t fit into cookie-cutter divisions, we don’t hold onto the classroom ideals of 1950. We don’t conform in every way possible to be “normal”. I think normal is actually becoming far too narrow a word. Where we used to think most people might fall into normal ranges, I wonder if normal or average limits us too much.
My position on the volleyball court has always been, setter. Aside from the obvious of me being short, I think my earliest coaches saw in me the determination to play and my ability to understand the game. They gave me a position on the team (and court) because I understood how to play. I may not have had the power or height, but I knew what each role on the court was and I could assist in coaching right from the floor. I ended up becoming quite a defensive player, because when other team members were unsure of their position or role, I filled in and covered. I did grow to love this, even though I rarely made the awesome point, I set up many of them.
What does this have to do with education? I’ve been thinking a lot about my role in the classroom. The obvious connection might be that I am too “defensive” (literally) about my functionality; but also wondering as I’ve become a more reflective practitioner if I’m becoming too passive and not scoring enough points.
I’m having a hard time lately being active on Twitter, because I’m finding myself “not on the same page” as a lot of posts I see. The majority of people I follow are educators in some fashion and typically post articles and blogs with which I have interest. The problem I’m facing is that, for many topics, I find myself not always agreeing with current practice and trends.
This could be very challenging for me, in that I do respect most of the opinions of those I follow, but worry that perhaps I am failing as an educator because I don’t view things the same way as many. My year off has clearly affected me in ways I couldn’t imagine or foresee.
And Last for Today:
we are learning so much to implement in our classrooms, but as my title suggests, I hope students are the beneficiaries of all of this, not just the teachers. Is learning truly intrinsic? No matter how many bells and whistles I add to my repertoire, I cannot force a student to join the party.
We talk about engagement and implementing tools. Lots and lots of tools. ( I am still having trouble getting over a comment made 7 months ago about my use of “engage”). Didn’t we used to say, “if I help just one student” and we would feel successful? Our goal is to reach every student every day, but I fear that really isn’t reasonable.
i would like to show parents that the classroom really has changed. We have not been static.
These are a few of my “starting” points of blog entries that I either haven’t finished, or didn’t feel I wanted to publish. I was drafting an experiment to just publish parts of them, warts and all, to see if I can find the pieces I need to finish them.
I like doing things I say I will do, even if I open myself up to scrutiny. I said I would post, so I have. At the very least, you can say Eva stands by her word, even if you don’t agree with those words.