Thursday is my day to talk about educational things, and I was thinking about how to make it work. I decided that what I would most like to have at the end of the summer is a "teacher's tool box" of things at my fingertips for next year.
"Toolbox" -- is that the right word? At first I wondered. It sounded sort of mechanical. But then I decided that if Henri Charlier could glorify skilled crafts that work with real things employing natural logic, then toolbox isn't a purely utilitarian words. It can imply thoughtful diligent interaction with real things.
I considered "Garden" to go with my 2011 word for the year -- Cultivation. But garden doesn't bring across quite the right impression. Sure, educating kids has some parallels to gardening. You till the soil and plant the seeds, and wait, and water, and wait some more, and what the harvest brings can be surprising -- some things don't sprout and others return fruit by the hundredfold.
But "toolbox" is more about a set of things for me to get comfortable with AS TEACHER. And teaching is an art, a craft of a sort.
I used to love doing a lot of organizing, catalog browsing and lesson planning at the start of the school year. Maybe I will get back to that again. But with the exception of my very involving and time-consuming (though fun) Year 9 Lesson Project, which was great but a great energy drain, I never really used the organizational apparatus. And it all took a lot of time, time away from my kids and away from Real Life. I think organization is good, I admire people who do it to a high degree, I enjoy it but for me it can almost be a drug. So I'm avoiding it this summer past the bare minimum (whatever that is).
What I do miss having during the year is having a protocol of a sort -- a toolbox. So that's what I thought I'd try to focus on, and see if it pays off.
This was an amazingly substance-less post. Just so that there is actually something here to take away, here is my post on Setting Their Feet in a Spacious Place. .... things I try to remind myself to do regularly if not daily with my children. I might as well start there. Oh, and A Map Back from the Island.