It’s been a rocky start to the year, and the two projects that I’ve posted about have felt like rare moments of classroom work where we have connected as people and as learners together. I looked at that energy and tried to find a way to touch that each day. It’s been hard for some reason. But my batting average is improving:
- An advisee who has been struggling is beginning to feel as though she is a agent in her own destiny. Every day I see it and my heart wants to explode with joy.
- The Cubs were swept by the Dodgers. It was a dark day. But that same day an old college classmate, a winning Big 10 coach with an amazing story to tell, agreed to let my journalism students interview him. In the words of a former student (and sportswriter) “That is a great get.” The dark cloud lifted that day.
- My American Lit class came to a 2:00 PM Friday class abuzz with their project – the modern Scarlet Letter assignment – the Shame Shirts – This is a whole post when the video is done, but they sent me off into my weekend happy to have helped them connect to a timeless nineteenth century text.
- Yesterday, six girls (some of whom had never baked anything before ) joined me and two other women ( a mother of a junior and Theresa, my colleague) in the school kitchen and made 600 (that’s 50 dozen) cream scones to sell at our fall weekend County Fair. Their joy in creating something delicious and beautiful made me realize that it is the process, the getting your hands dirty, that makes the beautiful, delicious thing possible. They all feel accomplished and proud of, as Emerson would say, the work of their own hands. And I think about the lure and lore of the kitchen (and my own family food blog).
So – that’s the path that I want to find for all of my students, that sense of agency in the world – as small as a scone, as large as speaking up.