"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


Reality Check

It seems to me that this is all about figuring out what's most important, and pouring focus, energy, commitment, and resources there.

Which means being willing to take a long hard look at what's already actually happening. Not what I believe to be happening, or what I intended, but what's going on right now in my classroom.

The spirit & attitude with which I handle the incredible gift of working with young, creative, active students can help to propel us--my students and myself-- into creative growth or spiral us downward into apathetic flatlining.

For me, at least, it takes an ongoing willingness to choose to grow: to find the resources which help me to sustain energy in the midst of many needs/finite time; to seek out ways to help me to focus on what truly matters and to assess whether that is what I'm actually teaching; to hone my skills and stretch my mind's flexibility in the midst of the daily demands of teaching.

Seth Godin (my favorite business writer) talks about this process as being willing to look at 'the truth just around the corner'. (Read the post here.)

September tends to be a month when the delight, the demands, the responsibilities and the daily realities of teaching are condensed. It helps me to remember, in the midst of all of this, that being able to do this work that I love, within a community that is vibrantly alive, is a tremendous amount of work, an incredible gift, and an opportunity to stretch myself to grow.

We're all students.

No comments: