“If I am trying something new, there is a sense of anxious expectation; I pay attention to what happens, assess, and modify.” – Tom Newkirk, The Teacher You Want to Be
“I think I maybe put too many in, but I did do two rows, right here.” He bent down and pointed along the fresh dirt he had tilled earlier. “I don’t know. Let’s see what happens.” He stated optimistically, hopeful, that the spinach crop would produce. We’d had a garden many years but we’d never pulled out the old crops and planted a second, late summer crop. The desire for continued farm to table eating led us to try something new. Our experience gave us the confidence to let curiosity lead.
This Thursday, I will begin my 28th year of teaching. I can’t wait. Honestly, I can’t wait to get back to school. I can’t wait to get back to teaching and learning. Am I little bit nervous about the health and safety guidelines and mask wearing and social distancing – of course. Nerves are normal when you begin something new.
But it’s not all new. I’ve done this before. I’ve got 27 years of teaching and learning within me. Rooted in those years are beliefs about kids, about teaching and learning that I plan to keep in the forefront of my thinking so that I can grow readers and writers, build mini communities within a bigger community, and continue learning from my colleagues and kids.
On September 8th, my district will implement a hybrid model of teaching at the elementary level with block scheduling and an am/pm groups of learners. I wonder what I, we, can learn from this. I wonder how kids will respond to classes of 10ish. I wonder what my work as a literacy specialist will look like. I wonder what collaboration will look like with colleagues. I wonder what small groups will look. I am curious. I believe in curiosity as a powerful tool to take steps forward and learn from children. I also believe that we can do this, this is our job, this is our work. We can do this for the kids.