"Snowstorm", acrylic, by John K. Harrell
Weekend, January 10-11, 2009
It often occurs to me that teaching is more about discovering than creating. Planning a lesson or teaching a class, I do way more revealing than making. I uncover lessons rather than create them; I notice what’s been there all along rather than make something new. I don’t so much create successful teaching as stumble upon it. I hear colleagues talk about trying to be more creative in their teaching, but I guess I’m trying to be more – to coin a word – discoverative. Instead of creativity, I guess I would like to develop more discoverity in my work. There are astonishing lessons waiting for me to find them, and extraordinary students sit before me each day, waiting to be noticed by a discoverative teacher. I don’t have to build or make or create; I simply have to patiently search, watch, and wait. Success in the classroom may sometimes be hidden and hard to find, but it’s there. A devoted teacher/explorer will stumble upon it again and again.
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A silent and soft snowstorm passed through this weekend, leaving about six inches for us to enjoy. I recall looking out the window in the early evening yesterday and seeing the whiteness of the snow and the grayness of dusk blended together. I slept especially soundly last night, as I always do when snow is falling outside. Perhaps the softness of the snow creates, in my dreams, a corresponding softness for a tired teacher to rest in.