Thursday, August 26, 2010

Well, Here We Go...

I started this blog last February, mostly because I was making my students create a blog and I felt it important to model the kind of writing I expected to see.  My first post mirrored the assignment I gave them: to explain their blog's theme as stated in the name they gave to their blog site. 

I explained that my blog is named for something Nelson Mandela wrote in his autobiography, in which he explains that none of us are free until we actively attempt to "enhance the freedom of others."

Now, on the precipice of a new school year, I find myself revisiting that concept as I plan for my new students.  I've spent most of this week wondering if I'm preparing lessons and assignments that will encourage them to explore beyond the boundaries of textbooks and tests, if I'm ready to accept student work which may demonstrate knowledge and skills other than those I intended to assess, if I'm as capable as I'd like of guiding my students towards our learning goals without forcing them to take a prescribed path.

I suppose questioning my efforts is good for my teaching, in that it helps keep me focused on the aspects of teaching and learning that are important to me, but I sure could use a couple of Tums right now.

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