"The free play of art is the result of mastery. " --Ernst Fischer, The Necessity of Art

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." --Ladybird Johnson

"...a well-trained ear, a well-trained intelligence, a well-trained heart, and a well-trained hand...." --Zoltan Kodaly


Thinking about Quitting

Hey J,

So today was easily one of my most difficult days in a lifetime of teaching.

Why? Why is it, that a challenge which should be met with energy and thoughtfulness, becomes instead an impasse, a barrier, a castle wall that feels  too high to climb over--and for which there seems to be  no drawbridge?

I'm reminded of  fairytales and folk stories---facing the dragons, figuring out the password, finding the hidden treasures.

Teaching is a lot like living in those hero/adventure stories.  It is a daily story---one which involves joy,  delight, and deep responsibility.

 What an incredible gift we, as teachers, have  been given: to be able to use everything we've got, in work which directly impacts the stories of children's lives.

And on the days like today, J? The times when I seem to spend most of the day trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong, and how I can do things better? Days when everything seems to go wrong, and I struggle to stay upbeat?

 Those kinds of days are hard. (Good thing they're infrequent!)  Still,  I thought a lot about quitting, today.

Decided that yes: I am going to quit.

Quit worrying about results, and focus only on process.
Quit thinking about what could happen, and focus on what IS happening.
Quit rushing kids--and myself!--through activities, and allow for some rich 'steeping' time.

It is hard.  It is challenging.  And I am grateful to be one of the storytellers.

more, later.

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