By Marc Cobb, TIES Alumni
The changing of seasons has long been a reliable marker of time. Early humans used the unwavering journey of the sun to track the hours into days — and then the days to track the sometimes subtle, often blatant transitions between seasons. In modern times, we find our calendars themed to match the seasonal catchphrases and we each look forward to our own favorite time of year.
Back to School
For teachers, back to school is its own season. It is filled with eager lesson planning and engagement with students, colleagues and parents. The children settle into their refreshed classrooms, and before we realize it, life begins to hum along straight into autumn. It can be easy to let each day flow quickly into the next. Often, it’s the students who end up reminding me one day later in fall that the colors are changing, balance has been achieved and the community has reached a pace of ease and independence.
Now, as we approach the full transition into fall, life is busy in and out of the classroom. School projects to breathe life into, community building to support, and more, fill our schedules. The days move ever more swiftly, and before we blink the holidays arrive on our horizons. When teachers and students return to school, I can feel that the first months of the new year stretch out ahead of us forever. In the past, I often felt a sense of apprehension, finding it hard to get motivated as the summer waned. This year, though, I have decided to handle the early months of the academic year with a different approach.
Opportunity for Change
I can’t help but feel and hope that an opportunity awaits us as our learning communities form. Fall is a season to harvest the lessons and growth of the prior year. I embrace this new time and reflect on experiences; in what ways can I incorporate my summer’s discoveries? How might new connections inspire the present environment? Regardless of what your needs and interests may be, perhaps you too will choose to embrace creativity amidst the chaos of new changes. For though fall may bring the vibration of newness, in peaceful observation of fresh experience, it may bring the gift of peace and quiet contemplation.
Symposium: Exploring Teaching and Learning with Adolescents