Monday, July 15, 2013

Lessons from the Hammock

I'm awful at taking time off. I go on vacation to catch up on my reader (FYI... it is now The Old Reader with a feed into gReader for Android on my phone). I go on vacation to read two or three education books. I go on vacation, and I struggle to leave the office at home. I'm in Michigan this week thinking about hundreds of things that I want to do, experience, and accomplish next year. All of them based on making school and learning different instead of better.

I'm doing all of this from a hammock. I'm working hard to work, think, and read from an awesome hammock overlooking Paw Paw Lake in Michigan. I've learned a few things in my first few days in the hammock. The hammock is really comfortable, and I could remain comfortable there for a long time. I wonder how many times in the sake of comfort, I've remained in my educational hammock.

The hammock supports me in every way. My legs, arms, and body are wrapped in the comfort of the hammock. I notice every string that holds me in place. I imagine that our kids feel that way also. They know every adult in the building that holds and supports them.

The hammock has a broken rope. It happened while I was lying in it. I was upset that I broke the hammock, but the other strings supported me, and I continued to rest. Life gets in the way of all of our days at work. If we have a great team, we can support each other when things aren't at their optimum.

The hammock allows me a great few of the lake. It allows me to see my kids swimming, boats rolling by, and the storm on the horizon. Looking through the strings of the hammock blurs my view of reality, and though I like the view, it isn't the truth. Are we creating blindspots in our school as we find our hammocks?

The hammock is hard to get out of. I always feel silly rolling out of the hammock. It is low to the ground, unstable, and awkward to get my footing. How many students will walk in your doors and feel in the same way in the first few weeks? How can we change that?

The hammock is designed to rest. It is a space for silence, reflection, and rejuvenation. Do we provide enough of these space for our kids? Are there "hammocks" in your room that allow for moments of quiet for our students that are bombarded in sound, images, and screen time.

It is raining now. I guess more wisdom from the hammock will have to wait. Until then, love will win....

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