Conversations on Education // 3


While chatting with Carli the other day, she mentioned a phrase her husband often uses about dealing with day to day specifics while still keeping the 30,000 foot "stuff" - the bigger picture - in mind.  This is highly applicable within teaching and the classroom. Practical daily "stuff" needs to be ritualistically taken care of as well as the 30,000 foot-view "stuff". The challenge is how to achieve this balance.   The practical daily elements (classroom organization, student activities, targeted learning, scheduling and prioritizing essential outcomes, etc.) is that daily ritual of itemized outcomes, completions and methodological choices. The inspirational-intuitive nature of the teaching process is the 30,000 foot view "stuff"…. the big picture. Within this balance is the student, their future, their dreams, their aspirations and their genius and it's all gold.  

Imagine looking at a fine piece of Rembrandt's art and applying the grid principles that art teachers have often "wowed" their schools with.  Grid the work of art, give each student a section of the grid that they must reproduce and come together with the completed "pieces" to show the collective genius of the classroom full of burgeoning artists. These large mosaics can be found on walls of schools everywhere and when all the pieces are put together, they are inspiring and lovely. They are an example of the 30,000 foot view that no single child could have imagined as they worked on their tiny, methodically gridded portion of the larger picture. Teachers have the opportunity to perfect both the minutia and the grand and will eventually find that these two are quite mutually inclusive of each other. Taking the same steps, the committed steps, the often tedious steps each day brings the teacher to the "ah-ha" enlightened moments of the 30, 000 foot view. 

It is a committed premise that the structure must be solid on a moment by moment basis before the expanse can be enjoyed. Concurrence with this perspective in non-negotiable. If the fence of day to day structure and essential expectations is not built the student will hover in a small section of the possibilities. Their main ambition becomes knowing what needs to take place at that specific moment instead of living within a finely tuned system that sets the students at ease to learn on a larger scale. Through great planning and some visionary insight, the day to day specifics can align with the 30,000 foot view to yield delightful and awe-inspiring results in your classroom. 

No comments:

Post a Comment