If I do, I know its time to change direction-
The rhythm of a school year is quite set- both students and teachers can feel the changes as May arrives- with June, there is a strong sense of completion- down time in the positive sense. Here, in my place, I have one student graduating High-School, another just returned from studying, 5 months, abroad- and as mom, I love noting how these two young adults continue to challenge each other and themselves.
So…we are celebrating!
All it takes to feel a little less stiff is a good belly laugh and hugs all around- school systems being what they are- hugs are rarely possible between students and teachers, so we have to hope that our students do indeed recognize the genuine warmth and best wishes that are offered along with the final reports. Teaching privately to a range of ages gives me the chance to move to a different rhythm, in keeping with a student’s needs, and this in turn keeps me jumping- TRY it! Differentiated direct instruction makes one hyper aware of each student’s challenges and each student brings me a new perspective on what is meant by “learning” objectives. ‘Cause as they grow- so do I.
Tutoring also puts into practice the current “new phrase”, bringing a “flipped” classroom experience to every session. Students bring their questions, their curiousity and even their irritation to a lesson. And while I would like them to “nail it” on quizzes and tests and any form of assignments they may have, I’m most impressed when they exhibit “polish” and shine with excitement as they share ideas-
“Polished”, “refined”, “sophisticated”; all antonyms to the original adjective in question; and the changes that I see over the course of months when working with writing skills. But not at all “done”. The challenge I give myself? To instill a genuine interest in improving, from an evolutionary perspective- at times. stochastic leaps, at other times, subtle, incremental steps towards a genuine understanding of self; not only how one learns best, but also how to keep learning.
Tomorow I will be posting links to annotated book lists, by age, and to interactive websites. So many students bring their cell phones to camp- I wish everyone would bring an empty journal and fill it with …what ever appeals.
I teach throughout the summer, and bring a little bit of the outdoors inside whenever possible. I also am known for encouraging my students and my children to recognize the truly symbiotic relationships between science and art; both require: dedication to a craft, working with tools and technology, practice and experimentation.
Here is a link to an article featuring an artist who is combining the two fields and a potent reminder about the serendipity of innovation.