Life is a process of change. Without change, life is impossible. Once you accept that with joy, there is no fear. – Thich Nhat Hanh
I came across this quote in the past couple of weeks and as I was planning today, it popped back into my head. If we substitute “teaching” for “life” I think it sums up our jobs. I’ll be honest here, the planning part has never been my biggest strength. I like to work in the moment with rough outlines and ideas. I’m not going to claim that I do this without fear, but I do feel that it has made me a better teacher. I’ve grown to be ok with the days that the lesson doesn’t go quite as planned or when we spontaneously take a 10 minute break to watch the sandstorm that just swept over our campus.
The winds of change are blowing all over this final project. I thought I had a fantastic plan nailed down for our oral history project this year, but I keep coming up with ideas I want to try out. Oh, and I’m working with another humanities teacher this year so as I bounce those ideas off of him, he inevitably has some ideas of his own. He’s also participating in the Out of Eden Walk project with his sixth grade class, which brings new ideas to the table almost weekly. So although the process might not be as streamlined as I’d thought it was. I think its developing into a pretty cool project.
There’s also been the issue of time in the classroom. Our transition to this unit almost perfectly aligned with my trip to Mumbai for ASBUnplugged. So I had a day to introduce the concepts and beginning activities and then had to leave my students to their own devices and at the mercy of a substitute. We have this week to sort things out, and then we’re on Spring Break. I may not be exactly where I want to be on this project, but I’m not afraid.
Here’s some of the highlights of the plan in process. Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts in the comments
- students collect photos, videos, audio recordings and journal entries of their own experiences as a teen and a student
- these are shared via Padlet or ThingLink to encourage conversation and reflection
- students use their peers’ photos, audio, video, to create a story of being a teen living in Ghana and attending LCS
- students interview LCS staff and teachers about their experiences as teens and in school.
- QR codes of teacher interviews will be placed around the school, possibly on teachers’ doors to share the interviews
- students reflect on the similarities of their teachers’ experiences with their own
- students reflect on the advantages and limitations of this type recorded history
I’d love to attach the day by day plan here to show you how perfectly organised it is and how nicely I see it flowing, but as they say here in Ghana, “Please. It is coming.”
flickr photo Meditation by Moyan_Brenn shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
flickr photo 0075 Time by Mark Morgan Trinidad A shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license