I recently started up an old Sunday ritual that has been helpful along the way in my teaching journey: short reflective sketching sessions. It is something that really helps me reflect on the week I had, while relaxing my mind by “free” drawing and listening to music. I like to listen to TedTalks sometimes and this Sunday I came across Ji-Hae Park: The violin, and my dark night of the soul, which I highly recommend. Reflection, I have come to realize, will play a major role in my teaching. I will be reflecting after each work week, month and school year trying to see what I can improve, eliminate, or experiment with in my teaching.
Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.
Here is what came about from this Sunday’s reflective session; this is a sketch that I have been adding to week by week. Writing down what comes to mind during and after my sketching gives me raw insight to what was weighing heavily on me, or what left a light impression. I highly recommend all teachers, and students for that matter, create their own “ Sunday Reflection” –the results will be powerful for that I am sure of.
This is a poem I shared with my cohort this past week- it was a great exercise for getting to know my classmates, and for our teacher to get to know us. It also lets our poetic voice shine for a brief moment (insert snaps all around) and is an assignment I will be sure to use in my classroom. I have also added a recent painting of mine that I created when thinking of my hometown, that I miss so dearly.
Where I am From
I am from the ski boots patched with duct tape,
From the wooden snowshoes older then my Dad
I am from the fire logs piled high on the back porch (that crackle and sigh when ablaze)
From the red toolbox that dirties your fingertips and smells like ripe metal
I am from circles and squares that bed my mother’s flowers
From the heavy shovel that sees spring and summer long after winter
I am from fireweed, and moose poop that should plague my yard… but doesn’t
I am from small furry escapees free from Mr. Black’s training kennel
From the old man who runs every day rain , shine or snowstorm
From the village with street names that inspired many paths (down Stanford, stopping at Brown and rounding Berkley)
I am from a land of flannel and extratuff’s where the “odds are good, but the goods are odd”
From a place the raven has supreme power and sleeping bears should never be poked
I am from fresh halibut and smoked salmon
From fried bread and where mayo is added to everything
I am from a land that houses many memoires
Carved in the purple mountains
Flowing through the Kinik arm
To freeze in time on the Portage Glacier.
This is my home that I carry with me , this is where I am from.