Note to Self:
You’ve been reading up on research and engaged in the conversations about how teachers need to be using the “best practices” in teaching. You really want your lessons to have all those components. You’ve planned the units and set up brainstorms, stacks of them, and now you’re attempting to create an algorithm for yourself: this strategy plus this topic times this skills set divided evenly among . . .
You’ve been reading up on authentic education and listening to conversations with un-schoolers and alt-schoolers and the insights of STEM camps and “this worked for me.” That’s not a bad thing. The summer is great for getting perspectives. Still . . .
The reason you became the Strikeout King as a kid had little to do with mechanics. You wanted advice. You sought out advice. You treated the game like it was a research project. You set up a regiment. You tried way too hard and the minute you walked up to the plate, your brain swirled with ideas and concepts and a mental checklist of eyes-on-the-ball, shoulders lowered, what-pitch-would-he-most-likely-throw. You didn’t know how to . . .
So, you’re going to step into the classroom and if you’re not careful, you’ll listen to the spectators. You’ll try and double-check whether your approach matches what you claim to believe on blogs and on Twitter chats and in conferences. You’ll step up to the plate with voices swirling in your head and you’ll over-think it.
You teach best when you teach intuitively, when you interact relationally and you adjust in the moment. You teach best when you have fun. Your best days occur when you calm down and realize that linear equations and plot mountains might not be life and death. Some people don’t take teaching seriously. They treat it like a joke. That’s not you, though. You over-analyze it. Seriously. Don’t try too hard. Have fun.