Day 37, Thursday, October 30
G is for Gyroscope (first written in October 2006, revised October 2008)
I would like my teaching to function the way a gyroscope does. In a gyroscope, the wheel spinning on its axle tends to resist any outside changes; it keeps spinning in its same orientation, no matter what the outer frames do. It’s a fascinating device to watch. You can turn the outer frames in any direction as quickly as you wish, and the spinning rotor will continue to maintain its same axis direction. I would like to teach that way. As with the gyroscope, there are countless outside forces that twirl around me as I go about my daily work in the classroom, and my hope is that I can maintain my orientation no matter what. As its outer frames shift and alter, the wheel in the gyroscope keeps spinning fluidly on the same axis, and I hope I can keep steadily on the right path no matter what turmoil seems to be occurring around me. In a way, my classroom is like a ship far out at sea, heading for a definite destination on the horizon. The ship needs to stay stable no matter how strong the storms or how high the waves, and I need to maintain the equilibrium of English class so we remain safely on course. If things go wrong one day, my teaching needs to be able to even itself out so that the curriculum can continue on course. Of course, my students also need to operate like gyroscopes. In their bustling, sometimes volatile lives, it would be easy for them to go spinning off in a destructive direction. My hope is that I can teach them how to maintain their balance in the midst of the pressures of reading puzzling stories and writing intricate essays. Together, perhaps the scholars and I can keep the gyroscopic wheel of Room 2 smoothly spinning.