If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.-—Joseph Campbell

On a Quest

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Here we go again.  Another new school year.  Another two classes of novice teachers.  Four years ago when I first began teaching these intern seminars I could barely breathe when I thought of the responsibility.  How would I  stuff these teachers full of everything they needed to be successful?

So, what has changed, Laura?

I’m a little more experienced now.  I have an idea portfolio of what can work…and what can’t.

Sounds like YOU were a beginning teacher.

Yeah, I guess so.  I wasn’t sure how to use my thirty years of teaching experience to prepare others for such a commitment.

How did you begin?

I pulled memories of my first years in the classroom and what I wish I had known.

And that worked?

Well, it was a beginning.  One of the things I wish I had known was how to handle my fears and concerns about what I thought I needed to know.  So I asked these teachers.  It is, after all, a seminar.  The classroom experience for many of us hasn’t encouraged such discussions.  We struggled with the assumed delineation of authority and compliance, of right and wrong.  In the safety of our classroom we practiced sharing.  We worked in small hands-on inquiry groups and had open-ended brainstorming sessions.  We learned that higher order thinking skills is more than words; it’s also the excitement of discovery.

You know how to stuff the teachers with everything they need to be successful now?

Nah, that’s impossible.  I just hope together we will encourage the quest.

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