Day 26: Burning Questions

This March I’m “slicing” a piece of my teaching day every day with the Two Writing Teachers community.

slide1111454297503_e27946e4ff_hFor her DigiLit Sunday Link up, Margaret Simon @Reflections on the Teche asked, What’s your burning question?

I question my teaching practice every day. In most cases, the questions result in the next step in the classroom. But recently my questions have been drifting towards the needs of teachers. What keeps teachers afloat?

The moments of discovery, of wonder, of connections, of books are the things that keep me going. Those moments are about the process of learning and the joy of being with learners. But there are days when that joy is hard to find, and I question the effectiveness of the work, I wonder what difference is being made this day for this child. And dark storm clouds roll in. There are these days. And usually, the next day is better. Purpose and vision return.  But there are days when finding the light takes more than what I’ve got. I could blame testing for the darkness at the moment. I can look forward to the week after testing, telling myself, life will begin after testing. And, most likely, that will happen. In the meantime, I need to be reminded why I’m here; why I need to be.

Like magic, a Voxer message popped up from Mary Howard about an amazing book to preorder. Then another message from JoAnne Duncan with a must listen to a podcast.

Like magic, I clicked on it and found exactly what I needed. Peter Reynolds and Matthew Winner discussing Reynolds’ new book Happy Dreamer.

Peter’s words reminded me of why I’m here.

His message lives in the belief that we all have stories to tell. That we need to find our stories; with a little scaffolding and space, we will.  And that is why I’m here.

Ask questions and like magic, the world, or maybe your Voxer group, will answer.

In the end, it’s all about the stories we tell and those stories we need to listen to.

8 thoughts on “Day 26: Burning Questions

  1. Those who question are thinking and that leads to discoveries. Sometimes we feel alone with our wondering, but as you have discovered, you are linked into a web of people who support you. That’s an awesome realization. I am a fan of Peter Reynolds, so I will have to look for this book.

  2. Thanks for the tip! I just pre-ordered Reynolds’ book through Amazon. I gave my twenty-four year old son, The Journey for Christmas, which Peter signed at a workshop at Bank Street College. He always has the answers to whatever ails us. Your point is well taken about uplifting teachers. From a writing perspective, I love how your message ebbs and flows by manipulating sentence length – “…I wonder what difference is being made this day for this child. And dark storm clouds roll in. There are these days. And usually, the next day is better. Purpose and vision return.” Simply beautiful.

  3. Wow!! Your blog continues to inspire and move me. Your words are so relatable. Thanks for continuing to write week after week!!

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. The Nerdy Book Club has a lovely post by Peter Reynolds today. I’m betting you will like it, Julieanne.I guess if we keep our eyes open ready to “see” then something good will come to ease the worry. I think rare days went by that I didn’t wonder about some student(s), some lesson, something I could have improved. To be aware that change can happen & to question is what good teachers do, all.the.time. Thanks for the questions.

  5. I’m glad you found answers when you needed them…a focus & a purpose. I need to go check out that podcast! And I need to figure out this voxer thing! =)

  6. I need to go to that podcast. I’m such a fan of Peter Reynolds. His ideas seem so simple and yet, so profound. We find the answers in the stories we tell and the ones we hear. Thanks.

  7. I sometimes feel like you do – a little defeated and wondering what’s the point of it all. Clearly you were open to the light that breaks up the darkness; it appeared from an unexpected corner of the universe: your Voxer group! Love this!

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