Friday, July 1, 2011

Looking for an Opening

One of my favorite parts of summer is having the time to take longer walks in the morning.  As I walk, I listen to my iPod and today a Montgomery Gentry song "Something to be Proud Of" came on that I have probably heard this song a 100 times, but today I heard these lines differently:

There's a story that my daddy tells religiously
Like clockwork every time he sees an opening
In a conversation about the way things used to be
Well I'd just roll my eyes and make a bee-line for the door
But I'd always wind up starry-eyed, cross-legged on the floor
Hanging on to every word
Man, the things I heard

And I started reflecting on my classroom as I was walking,  do I take advantage when I see an opening for a conversation or a quick mini lesson to clear up confusion?  Or am I so set on my lesson plans to get through them that I just keep on teaching.  I personally think I am better with the openings in the fall and even probably until Spring Break but once I get back and the TEST gets into my thinking I loose the openings.  There is nothing better than after a conference and you hear a student tell their peer about a strategy that helped them or a new book title that I just shared. 

On the other side, I wonder how many times when I am teaching do my students roll their eyes and wish they could make a bee line towards the door.  I am currently reading Making Learning Whole by David Perkins and I am entranced with the thinking.  He relates education to baseball connecting backyard ball ( the junior version) to the whole game (9 innings).  I am only 5 chapters into the book but WOW the idea of pushing students towards the three overreaching themes:  enlightenment, empowerment and responsibility are concepts that I am really focused on right now.  As the summer continues, I am going to reflect and think about how I can have my students hang on my every word in the classroom.


  1. Maria~
    I enjoyed reading your post. I found myself thinking about living in the moment with my students and my own children. It is so difficult to just be there, no where else but there! With our multitasking nature I am afraid we miss the small moments which we all know are really the BIG moments!
    Thanks for the reminder, looks like I have a new book in my TBR pile.
    Can I get a summer extension please?

  2. For sure it is well worth the read-I am highlighting and thinking so much about how to catch the small moments and make them important! You are correct it is as much about our students as well as our own children. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Adding Making Learning Whole to my list, Maria. Thanks!

  4. So excited Cathy - you can join Deb, Mary Lee and Katie for our book talk on my dock!!

  5. Book talk! I'm there! I'm just getting into looking at new summer reads, and I have just added this one. Thanks, Maria.

  6. Tara that will be great to add you to the list. Are you on twitter? Then I could tweet you some of my comments.
    Have a happy 4th!!

  7. I'm about 3 chapters in -- reading a chapter a day -- so I'll be ready to meet and chat next week...or whenever the growing group decides to meet. Yes, lots for MLH to think about in MLW.

  8. Hooray our group is growing so much we'll have to pick a time to discuss-there is so much there to think about!!