powerful moments in education
At 6:00 am on Sunday morning, I am surprisingly wide awake, getting myself off to pre-church service band rehearsal. I love this kind of purpose so early in the morning, preparing to play Soul Striking music with an amazing group, aiming at the souls singing out there in the giant, thirsty congregation. When I am THIS awake, THIS early, it can only mean that I am processing something. My head starts to swirl with: the tunes of the upcoming songs, the realization of how truly difficult it is to edit well for clarity and content, how hard this must REALLY be for students, and a MILLION questions about what is acceptable for a blog…can it be a stream of consciousness? Does it need to be thoughtfully edited each time? What an exhausting task, finding, creating, believing and reflecting upon a purpose for doing anything and everything!…On and on and on until I notice that I am about to back into a tree and I pull myself together.
As the morning continues with song, and reflection and prayer and joy and silence, with discussion of life purpose echoing through the sanctuary, I begin myself to reflect upon the DAILY task of pinpointing purpose in our lives. Forget the overwhelming task of creating purpose solely in day to day life, we have the overwhelming task of defining purpose in all of the subcategories as well! What purpose does that laundry basket have if I just throw my clothes onto the floor? For what purpose would anyone read this blog? How do you help a reluctant reader establish purpose for reading standardized tests? For what real purpose do I go on long runs or expose myself to 100 degree hot yoga rooms? Is it purposeful to have children walk in militaristic lines at school? What is a child’s true purpose as writer? How do you help them to find that…and then actually believe it? Quicksand engulfs my thinking and thank goodness we were taking communion that week so I had a moment to refocus and remind myself I can write about this later.
So I do what every person would have done and I grabbed a pencil, slid out a prayer request card from the pew, flipped it over and jotted down all of these notes and wonderings so I wouldn’t forget. :)
What struck me was that, after entering the blogosphere for less than 24 hours, for the first time I truly understood the MEANING of writer’s purpose. We spend so much time with students examining the “author’s purpose” for writing a certain text, creating our own purpose for reading to aid focus, and finding a purpose as we sit to draft our seed ideas into writing pieces…We talk about audience—Who is the audience for our writing? Ourselves…?…Mom…?…Your best friend?…Your teacher? Out of nowhere, my realization that I now have a purpose for writing has motivated me to write. My purpose is realizing that other people may read about, ponder, disagree with, comment on, or share what I have to say. My purpose is CREATING ENGAGEMENT with an authentic audience…whoa.
What a moment-It is when we discover things for ourselves–and truly believe in the power and function– that we can authentically pass the opportunities to our students. Kids can smell inauthenticity- it makes me wonder how many times I tried to sell a theory or lesson or practice…and the kids were skeptical that I believed in the level of importance I was trying to convey to them…So thank you for being my purpose, for helping me to create my own meaning and birth conversational engagement for all who seek it.