soul strikers

powerful moments in education

So what’s with the new obsession…?

It’s always something.  My husband will tell you that, but it takes one to know one.  When I was in 6th grade, I became very interested in “pop tops”, you know, the tabs you pull off cans, but I am from Pittsburgh, hence the regional name. For whatever reason, I saw them as a fabulous, valuable material and could not help but make necklaces out of them.  And of course, wear them.  I was also sort of a social outcast in my middle school years, but that is for another day. :)

In high school, I collected Grateful Dead shows on tape, marveling at the fact that I could research, discuss, and listen to any show I wanted with my new found understanding and use of the internet.  Packages would arrive in the mail and I would be in my room, like it was Christmas, with my new toys, listening to the music and thinking about all the ears who had heard this sequence of songs, who had experienced something different both live and in the privacy of their own bedrooms or living rooms…

During college, I became somewhat of a people collector.  I found it interesting that I had the ability to connect with people of all different realms…sports, band, sorority, fraternity, counterculture…I brought this talent with me from high school and still possess it today, but can sort through relationships much more successfully (see post about friendships from a few weeks ago).  I began collecting fabric in college, to fuel my need for sewing, creating, and designing.  I still have a lot, though I sew much less frequently than before…

In my early professional life as a teacher, I collected different things: alone time, yoga practices, knowledge of local breweries, 5 or 10K schedules… But for some reason I am somewhere new right now.  When I first started teaching, I was extremely overwhelmed with understanding how I was to teach effective lessons all day in every subject.  Guaranteed certain lawmakers or public education protestors NEVER considered the weight of this…or the time needed to process this…

So what IS with my new obsession about teaching literacy?  In retrospect, I notice that I acquire skills as needed, as desired, or as interest peaks.  My husband is the same way, and I learn more and more every day that we are certainly a match made in hobby heaven. In my first year of teaching, I was so overwhelmed that I focused on teaching Social Studies.  To me, that was the most natural place for me to focus on honing my skill as I saw it as such an important subject, one that could broaden anyone’s world.  In my second year, I realized that there MUST be more to teaching reading and in my 3rd, I began to explore the art of differentiation for students, in a multi-age classroom setting.  After that, well, it’s all a blur, because I started to really get it, the everlasting process of learning for teaching, that is… And I have not stopped collecting since then.

At times, I was stagnant, but that is what colleagues are for- sharing their wealth of knowledge for teaching writing (thanks Lindsay) or for classroom management (thank you Collette) or for anything (thank you EVERYONE who lets me wander in and out of their classrooms at our school, posing questions about God knows what).

Last year I thought I would write a book on how to REALLY fit it all in- after all the most important thing in teaching is knowing what is irrelevant, right?  Now, who knows… If you could read a book on something right now, about the world of education, what would the topic be?


3 comments on “So what’s with the new obsession…?

  1. Pingback: Boy Writers… | soulstrikers

  2. Tomasen
    October 2, 2011

    The question is what is it that it would be for YOU? You are the author here…what are your craving? What are you “collecting”? What thoughts and ideas are percolating that you want to write about?


    • soulstrikers
      October 2, 2011

      I suppose I am wondering about how teaching intuitively allows teachers to truly “fit it all in” by sorting through what is irrelevant, responding to the path the kids provide each day, and then placing curriculum that way…rather than placing curriculum, and thus pushing kids onto a certain path… not considering the multiple levels of readiness needed to learn…


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This entry was posted on October 1, 2011 by in education, Literacy Whatnots and tagged , , , .

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