Copyright © Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.
Date: Thu, 03 Aug 2000 08:20:32 -0400 (EDT)
No walking this morning. My day off. Like mad dogs and Englishmen, I went out yesterday into the pre-dawn darkness. Everything is heavy with super-heated water. Can't tell the difference between the humidity and afternoon torrents. A touch of ringworm on my left knee is a reminder that the fungi and algae are soaking it all in while the rest of us creatures are walking around soaked. I mean, I sure didn't need any water bottle to quench a thirst along the route. All I had to do was swallow the air as I waded along my new route in water-filled shoes on the spongy and quishy asphalt.
While I was praying for the invention of a miniaturized intravenous I could wear like a wristwatch and hoping my skin wouldn't mildew, I was thinking about some revised guidelines I needed to apply to what I have been calling for a long time my classroom's "Rules of the Road."
It's slightly less than two weeks before classes begin, and I feel myself getting into that meditative, excited, and anticpating mood as I prepare myself.
I came up with ten "stickies." I struggled to jot them down. Modern-day pens don't do well wading through the flood of water coming off me. Oh, for an old Waterman! Anyway, following the dictates of Deuteronomy 11:18-21, they are now tapped to my office door. Thought I'd share them with you:
2. Opitmal teaching is not blissful teaching. It is adjustable, flexible, and dynamic teaching. The good teacher has to be a master at impromtu, at making split-second decisions, at quick-thinking.
3. I can't just go into a class; I've got to get into it.
4. Teaching is something you do with students, not something you do to them.
5. It's the heart of the teacher that makes teaching a dear and precious gift.
6. What knowledge do you have that is greater and more powerful and more effective than caring, kindness, and love?
7. A class day is wasted if you haven't smiled and laughed with each student
8. Students can hold us spellbound if we open ourselves to their promise
9. Consistent teaching does not mean always doing it the same way. Many is the time the consistency means remembering to forget.
10. If you want to be free and happy in teaching, you have to
sacrifice routine and boredom.
Now, if I can follow these guidelines to pull off all my "Rules of the Road," I have a great chance that each day will surely be like tingling, anticipating count down time; each day will be getting ready for the game; each day will be an adventurous entering of the unknown; each day will be full of wonderment and astonishment; each day will be different and challenging; each day will be an opportunity to step out to be different and accept the challenge; each day will be a miracle in the making; each day I will choose to believe, have faith, and have hope; each day I will go to and leave those great people in the classroom on light, poetic feet to whatever tune is playing in my boombox.
If I can follow them, then each day will be special, a first "new" day and I will be "new." If that is the case, then there will be no resigned "thank goodness it's over 'whew'" day. Instead, each day will be rewarding, fulfilling, and meaningful. All this will be true of the first day, the last day, and all the days between.
Make it a good day. --Louis-- Louis Schmier firstname.lastname@example.org Department of History http://www.halcyon.com/arborhts/louis.html Valdosta State University Valdosta, GA 31698 /~\ /\ /\ 912-333-5947 /^\ / \ / /~ \ /~\__/\ / \__/ \/ / /\ /~ \ /\/\-/ /^\___\______\_______/__/_______/^\ -_~ / "If you want to climb mountains, \ /^\ _ _ / don't practice on mole hills" -\____