Continuity and Change, V

salvēte, amīcī et sodālēs!  If you’ve been following this week’s rather disjointed series of posts, you may have noticed that it’s been a very busy, eventful week in my face-to-face teaching world.  That continued yesterday with a full, busy day at school, and then my daughter (now in eighth grade) wanted me to take her to her first-ever middle-school football game.  She’s on the school track team this year, and she wanted to see some of the other fall sporting events … and to use the free pass she receives as a student-athlete.  So Thursday afternoon was a whirlwind of driving, but it was one of those days that both parent and child will remember happily for years.  I remember a much-younger version of my favorite-and-only daughter … until she was 4, I taught at a large school with a good football team, and we always went to home games on Friday nights.  Back then, she was much more interested in chasing the school mascot up and down the sidelines; now she’s actually interested in the game itself.

Every time I go to a well-coached middle- or high-school sporting event, I’m reminded that a well-run team is a great model for the kind of Joyful Learning Community I try to build with my face-to-face students and with the Tres Columnae Project.  Of course, a team that’s overly obsessed with winning can be a bad thing, and we’re all aware of the downside of an excessive focus on athletics by schools.  But a well-coached team, where the coaches and players have a healthy perspective about winning and playing, is a joy to see … even if it’s not playing very well in the sense of technical perfection.  In the same way, a well-built learning community is a joy to watch – and to participate in – even if it’s struggling with a new, difficult concept.

quid respondētis, amīcī?  What do you think of this comparison?

Tune in tomorrow, when we’ll wrap up this week’s posts and preview some exciting news.  intereā, grātiās maximās omnibus iam legentibus et respondentibus.

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Published in: on September 24, 2010 at 10:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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Continuity and Change, IV

salvēte, amīcī et sodālēs!  Today’s post is a bit short for an unusual reason … I spent quite a bit of time yesterday evening and this morning with a common (but unpleasant) household plumbing situation.  As I stood there, plunger in hand, it occurred to me that my common-but-unpleasant experience was also related to our themes of Continuity and Change.  For the past several years, we’ve been blessed with remarkably few household-repair needs, and after a while, one gets used to that condition – so much so that the “unexpected” ones seem like a huge, disruptive Change when they occur.  I put “unexpected” in parentheses because when I stop and think about it, I realize that they really should be expected: plumbing fixtures will occasionally back up, other appliances periodically need service, things sometimes need to be replaced.  And yet, so often, we assume that the current situation (everything functioning smoothly) represents what the future will hold, too.

I suppose that’s a lesson for all of us teachers and learners, too.  Every time we think things are functioning “perfectly” or “smoothly” – and every time we assume this temporary state is, or should be, permanent – we should probably brace ourselves for some unpredictable and unexpected Changes!  Or, if we really want our temporary blissful state to continue, we need to make time and space for some preventive maintenance … both in our homes and in our classrooms and schools!

quid respondētis, amīcī?  What types of “preventive maintenance” do you find you need to do with your classes … and how can the Tres Columnae Project materials help you with these tasks?

grātiās maximās omnibus iam legentibus et respondentibus!

Published in: on September 23, 2010 at 10:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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