Thursday, September 29, 2005
The heat wave has broken - 70 outside, cloudy and windy, probably won't get out of the seventies today and the low tonight will be sixty. I'm not usually a reporter of weather, but after a first week of fall with highs well into the hundreds the change feels signigicant - like a spell has been broken. I'm actually looking forward to my walk to the bus stop this morning. My life right now is in a centering mode - an attempt to find balance (Do it now), every day crossing one or two tasks off a list of things I got behind on, preparing to deep clean the house and change decorations for fall, trying to get back in the habit of sending letters and cards to people I love, getting my inventory of beads priced and ready for a sidewalk sale. As the High Holy Days approach I take my own inventory, feel more contemplative than at other times and more detemined not to let daily activities sweep me along, away from priorities. I talked to Bob last night and he still was exhausted from the physical work of changing classrooms and discouraged by the attitudes of the teacher taking over his second graders - more concerned about being hot and having allergies in his old room than about the kids. He did get to talk one on one with many of his new kids - learn their interests and likes and dislikes, needs and personalities. I'm beginning to be able to match names with stories and am eager to get down there and match faces too. Ruth wrote in her photo journal that many of Chris' high school students are not applying mind to work - writing things that don't make sense and not caring - and in a later chat she said that she thinks too many teachers feel like trying to teach some high schoolers is like teaching to a brick wall - that if you haven't reached them by elementary school you never will. Ruth , Chris, and Bob and I don't believe that and of course many teachers don't, but it shocks me that even a few might feel that way. There has to be a way (ok ways, lots of ways) to put these kids in touch with how exciting real learning (not production for a grade or processing for a test) is. Ruth says some days she thinks about teaching for herself and this morning I have a fantasy of teaching high school English - but that will probably stay a fantasy.