Sunday, June 14, 2009

"Bowl of Soup and Silver Spoon", oil on linen, by Marie Fox

“Cooking the School Year in the Summer”

Thinking back on the just-finished school year, I’m reminded of something I read somewhere that said we should think of our lives as an enormous pot in which we can slowly ‘cook’ all of our experiences – the best and the worst – until they become a nutritious soup. In that sense, I think I better do some cooking this summer. Since the pot of my life is large enough (or should be) to comfortably hold all the successes and failures of the school year, all I need to do is get a slow fire going, sit back, and let the whole year softly simmer. The process can’t be rushed. I can’t quickly select helpful truths about teaching from the past year, the way you might pick a bouquet of flowers. No -- the good and the bad, the winning lesson plans and the flops, the classroom triumphs and the barefaced defeats, must all be cooked together until the truth of all of it blends together in the pot. Everything counts in this soup of truth; nothing can be left out; it all must work together to make a helpful, revitalizing meal. I guess I better start the fire soon, because I need to partake of this feast before the students come back in September.

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