Saturday, October 11, 2008

Finding My Own Path

Yesterday I observed my own distaste and resistance to planning ahead. Ask my poor husband, ask me to commit to a plan due to come to fruition in...say 24 months time and I will put off making commitment. How he got me down the aisle considering that, I'm not entirely sure...

But for me it really is all about the journey. I don't like to lock in plans in case something else catches my eye. I take the same approach when it comes to my teaching.

I like to know where to start from with a unit of work and I like to know where it's heading. You can be sure I'll stop listening once I have that information - my brain will already be looking for the ways to make the connection between the two. And when someone pulls me up and says, "But this is the most direct route," I'm likely to look at them briefly and then say something like, "Look at this shiney new eTool...", or "Have you seen...?", "But what about...".

Overgrown Path

My path may take more hard work because I'm finding the path for myself, but I love the adventure, the surprises, the success after solving a major road block. I love the sense of achievement.

Besides, what might I (and my students) miss out on if I just took the same route that's always been used?

I guess my husband could blame Miss Richmond for this attitude of mine. Afterall her passion for Robert Frost's poems saw me fall in love with his work too. And even now, 12 years later his poem, "The Road Not Taken" springs to the front of my mind as I think about my desire to forge new paths:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth
Then took the other as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads onto way
I doubted if I should ever come back
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference
~ Robert Frost

What doors have opened for you and your students by not following the "usual path"?

No comments: