By Christa Rawlings (MEd in IE; Grade 6/7 Teacher, Learning in Depth Teacher, Twitter @HeroicClassroom)
Welcome back to: The Heroic Classroom. Over the course of the school year I am on the hunt for two things:
1. Reflections on my lessons and how various Heroic Qualities present themselves.
2. Observations of how/if students recognize Cognitive Tools in action and how they put the tools into use themselves throughout the school year.
I hope you continue to follow along on our IE adventure!
The Heroic Classroom: January 3
This is not an entry about a lesson plan or how my class is doing but about me, my colleagues and you.
Heroic Quality of the Day: Duty
Here we are. The night before the second term.
Like a lot of you, I am nervous.
Like all of you, I have been and will keep doing my very, very best to keep my students engaged, safe and healthy.
Like all of you, I’m not sure it’s possible. But I try.
As with every year I have been thinking a lot about the Heroic Quality of the school year. It is generally stumbled upon through on-going class discussion or themes that keep popping up during the year. Some are contrived and planned themes while others are happy accidents and the universe seems to be handing me impromptu lessons on a platter. (I love it when that happens). But this year… this year is tricky. So tricky, in fact, I’m not sure that I can focus on the Heroic Quality of the classroom until I recognize and sink into the Heroic Quality of school staff. The teachers, admin, EA’s, custodial, maintenance, nutrition specialists, all of us. Finding a Heroic Quality gives me an anchor for lessons, unit plans etc. This school year needs an anchor. I need to find one Heroic Quality to cement my purpose in the classroom during a pandemic. The Heroic Quality I have chosen is Duty.
I’m not sure what’s happening in your schools, but in mine I feel ok. Not great, but ok. I think that in the middle of a global crisis, ‘ok’ is pretty darn good. I feel ok because our staff have stepped up and persevered through the Spring and Fall. From my perspective, it is a deep sense of Duty that is shining through. I feel ok because my sense of Duty is strong, doing my part is important. I feel ok because my colleagues are standing up beside me and doing their best to fulfil their Duty.
Duty isn’t the flashiest of Heroic Qualities. It doesn’t leap over tall buildings in a single bound. But, it does get things done. It pushes through a seemingly impossible task slowly and surely. It will get us to the other side of this incredible event.
Thank you to all of my fellow teachers and school staff who are trying their very best, whatever that looks like in the moment. We are not faster than a speeding bullet but we may, in fact, be more powerful than a locomotive. Keep chugging along and take care of yourselves, we need you.
Need to catch up? Take a look at some of the other posts from my Heroic Classroom series:
#1 Introduction to The Heroic Classroom
#2 The Heroic Classroom – Trust and Ownership
#3 The Heroic Classroom – Flexibility and Story
#4 The Heroic Classroom – Perseverance and Purpose
#5 The Heroic Classroom – Endurance
#6 The Heroic Classroom – Patience
#7 The Heroic Classroom – Assessment
Other posts by Christa Rawlings:
Check out this post in which I describe why I use cognitive tools in my teaching:
Using Cognitive Tools to teach Place Value to Grade 6 and 7 students: Place Value and Really Big Numbers