Another school day comes to a close, and yet again I discover that the earth has shifted beneath my feet. Maybe this is the best thing about teaching, the thing that keeps us coming back every day. You just never know what is going to happen. And be it great, terrible or mind-blowing, it will surely get your attention. Today, the girls who just didn’t care turned out to have spent hours on your assessment piece, simply because it sparked their imagination. And their work was amazing. Today, the kid you really like, one of the good ones, did something so rash and bizarre that it made your head spin. Today, the teacher who resists change asked you to make a change on their behalf.
Sometimes I think I have a handle on this thing called education. This is generally right before it mysteriously slips through my fingers and spins into the distance. But lo, the next day it is back beside me, wagging its tail and begging to play. Sometimes I feel like I can change my students for the better. And then, all of a sudden, I realise they have changed me.
I guess its inevitable. Take a few hundred people of different ages, backgrounds and agendas, mix them together, take a step back and see what happens. In spite of all of the planning, the reflection and the striving, the real action seems to happen in the margins, annotations and footnotes. In the places where we don’t expect them, at the times least anticipated. And wham, there it goes again.
I guess the lesson for me here is to let go of my dreams of perfection and homogeneity, consistency and control. Instead, I will lay down my best plan, hit the play button and hang on for dear life. I will flail, kick, scream and smile. And then I will come back and do it again tomorrow.
*Note: Electric Explosion image by *georgiaheartslosers on DeviantArt, under CC BY-NC-ND