Copyright © 1997, Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.

Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 10:43:21 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Random Thought: Things

Here it is 3:45 a.m. My neighbor's buglar alarm just went off. Now that I've climbed down from the ceiling, I'm not sleepy. I can't complain, I've set ours off more than once lately when I've let the dog out or gone for the newspaper and forgotten to turn the blasted thing off. I guess it's payback time. Can't go for a walk. Haven't walked in a while. My Susan won't let me. She's making such a big thing about my pinky toe, or whatever they call it, that I cracked when I stubbed it a few weeks ago even though it doesn't hurt when I tape it to the adjacent toe. She not convinced, and you don't mess with the "Momma." Anyway, here I am with a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee at my side. The Internet is quiet. It's that time of the year when people are stuck in road or airline traffic rather than in the traffic of the information superhighway. For some reason I've start thinking about my good friend, Bill Hayes, who has a website on which he puts and invites others to put "Ten Big Issues" of their discipline. Little things about teachers and teaching are suddenly dancing and prancing and spinning around in my head and heart like this season's sugar plum fairies and dredels. They're probably little wisps drifting up from the embers of a hot and heavy discussion a bunch of us were involved in last week on one particular list. I think I'll just jot them down as they seem to be coming:

1. Students have one thing in common. They're all different;

2. I don't think making a mistake in class is fatal, but worrying about making a mistake and what others think is;

3. "they won't let me" or something like that is usually what educational tyranny and slavery are made of: you know where you want to go and and what to do, but you won't let yourself get up and go and make a todo;

4. A teacher is not a person for a student to lean on but a person who makes leaning unnecessary;

5. if all we do is count student faults, things never will add up right to make us seem right;

6. the two biggest obstacle we teachers face is have to do with us, not the students: believing there are new things about teaching to learn and having to unlearn the old ones;

7. we so often fashion our educational wardrobe to be fashionable with those around us; but if we all do that, who is the designer?

8. tell me, if you choose to hike a new path, why should you not expect to chance a stumble over a rock or get muddied in a puddle or come upon unexpected twist and a turn. Is it any different in the classroom?

9. I think supposed problem children are opportunites; you just have to get out of your suit or dress and into your workclothes

10. I wonder if a teacher who says of a student, "he doesn't belong" or "she can't..." or "he won't" is really looking in a mirror

10. when helping a student, I'd rather call upon my conscience than think about my reputation. The former is about me, the latter about others.

11. We teachers, like students, must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves in our teaching; otherwise we lose our dexterity and harden.

12. When a teacher is wrapped up in him/herself, in only what he or she does, it is a lously looking and poorly wrapped package.

13. I think teaching is like the sun in the sky; it's in constant motion creating a warm, nourshing, and nurturing light for things to grow into what they are capable of becoming

14. A teacher who is afraid to make a mistake usually doesn't create anything.

15. What we model for children in the classroom, they will take with them into adulthood and out into society.

16. I am a gardner; I want to be in the classroom like a perennial plant in my garden; I want to blossom year after year after; I want each student to emerge from the classroom as a perennial plant to bloom year after year after year, not just on a test.

17. No great achievement in the classroom is accomplished suddenly; a miracle occurs with a lot of hard work and taking risks

18. Show me someone who never takes a risk in the classroom, and I will show you someone not really interested in either themselves or the students

19. if we enter a classroom with jaundiced eyes everything looks miscolored; if we enter with clear eyes, everything looks bright

20. You know, I savor a good wine. But, I don't look at the bottle to find it.

21. Succssful teaching is not a gift; it's an accomplishment

22. Innovation and risk-taking are inevitably controversial and people so often defensively denouce it as deviant from the accepted norm

23. I think too often we teachers unthinkingly try to make our students replicas of ourselves and too often think that students learn best the way we learn best

24. I want to be a visionary whose vision I can shake hands with.

There's more inside, but that's enough for now. It's more that Bill's required ten. I suppose I could compress them into Bill's required ten, but I don't feel like it.

Make it a good day.


Louis Schmier  (912-333-5947)
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