I have been living on the lake for 18 months now. Moving here has been a life changing experience as I notice myself looking out the window and pausing at least twice a day to gaze at the wonder of the ever changing view. I watch the clouds reflecting on the water. I gawk at the swans swimming effortlessly. I observe multi-colored ducks paddling through the open channel. And I marvel at the muskrat foraging for food with his mysterious re-appearance when the lake opens up. I don't think there was ever a time in my life when I've been entranced with seeing nature in such a joy-filled manner, almost like I was seeing it for the first time.
As I was reflecting about this appreciation in nature watching, I couldn't help make the parallel connection to the joy of simply observing children, my own and my school children. I love to sit back and watch how a student solves a math problem. It's fun for me to listen to a child tell a story across his fingers and light up when he gets to that part with the strong emotion. And there is nothing better than seeing the smile grow on a child's face when she has reached success after struggling with a tricky word on a page.
Whether I am watching nature or watching students I need to remember to stop long enough to truly enjoy the joy that these experiences bring to me. They are both soul reaching events.
Thank you once again to the Two Writing Teachers for creating a space to help writers hone their skills and therefore become more aware of the complexities of teaching writing.