Monday, March 28, 2016

Lessons Learned From Hiking in the Alps

Today is day 28 of the month long writing challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers.  The month is almost over and yet, this first time slice of life story writer has managed to get a post out each day without too much sweat!  

Lessons Learned While Hiking the Alps:  Always Last

Hiking in the Alps with my family last summer left me with many lessons about life. The views were out of this world awesome, but a view that I came to accept was the view of the backs of my adult children far ahead of me.  You see, their legs are longer and more youthful, and this 56 year old woman, out to prove something (read here), just couldn't keep up. 



My children were very patient with me and even polite when I reached them at a stopping point.  “Mom you are doing great.” They would say, but I was still always last.  It didn't bother me much, except those few times that I finally caught up to them at a designated point and just as I got there they would say, OK , enough resting, let's go.  Even though I had just seemingly arrived!

All these last place finishes made me think about the students in our classrooms who are always lagging behind. Do I leave them with an eternal “view of everyone’s back?”  Do they feel like they are always trying to catch up, or worse giving up because they can never keep up?  How do I change my practice so that everyone finishes joyfully at the same time?  

These are the questions that I have been pondering since my return.  Yes, we need to differentiate but we also need to keep our eyes on how we can give each other the sense that we have all arrived together.  That is the challenge!

5 comments:

  1. What a great reflection and connection of your own experience to the classroom.

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  2. I love the photos but your reflection and connection to the classroom and students is great. It is something we need to think about as we hurry our students ahead to the next lesson. Thanks

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  3. You are so right! And I am thinking right now about my little ones who are 'the last ones finished'. Thank you for your two wonderful posts (I went back and read your previous post). I was always the one lagging behind during family hikes! My son now goes out for long runs before he and my daughter in law go on a hike so there is some semblance of hiking together. Funny though, my son recently shared with me a biking experience he had. He was the one trying to keep up, just getting to the rendezvous point when it was time to go. It is the first time he has ever experienced that and he looks back now on how I must have felt!

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  4. It's such a hard balance! I think any time we can simulate the experience that they are feeling, we're doing great work. Love the connection you make between hiking and the classroom.

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  5. It's such a hard balance! I think any time we can simulate the experience that they are feeling, we're doing great work. Love the connection you make between hiking and the classroom.

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