Archive for May 12th, 2008
May 12, 2008 in The Way It Were
Tags: birth, blog, blogging, conception, department, edublog, edublogosphere, history, lead teacher, master, oy, quiz, responsibilities, senior, social science, student, teacher, the cobbler, weekly
My students were taking their weekly quiz. It was going to take some time, and not just because there were a lot of terms on the board for them to identify. Quite of a lot of the class wasn’t there the week before — some from complications after testing and a senior schedule, more from ditching — and several, but not even close to most, had fallen behind. I almost heard praying.
Not too long after they had all started, and once their grumbling and whining had subsided, another teacher in our department walked on in. He’s an intense person, and whether or not he’s been teaching longer than I’ve been alive depends on whether you start counting the minutes after birth or at conception. One affectionate nickname I’ve heard within the department: the Cobbler.
The Cobbler looked me over, and started leading me out of the door. Then he said:
Can I borrow you for a minute or two?
My students were in the middle of a quiz, so it was pretty fortuitous timing. Coincidental, even. He led me outside, and then to a table at the end of our second-floor hallway. We each pulled out a chair and sat down.
I know I’m not your master teacher, but I was wondering if I could offer you some advice. Can I do that?
Now, I’m the lead teacher here, and I’m kinda in charge of curriculum, but what I’m about to offer you is unofficial advice. This does not come from the school. This just comes from me, unofficially. O.K.?
His voice now had the intonation and delivery you’d hear once or twice a day Mr. Goldsmith’s office. Three parts I-caught-you-and-you-just-don’t-know-it-yet, one part apocalyptic undertones. I don’t know him well enough to make a judgment, but I’d be willing to bet that his voice almost always sounds like that.
We, the department, are aware that you’re blogging.
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Every day, we experience a thousand moments, each of those moments setting in motion a thousand slightly different possibilities in the future. When we make these choices, we are thrust toward another day's crossroads, where we have another thousand choices.
Given the infinite number of choices we make in a lifetime, why do we choose so many of the same routes and make just as many of the same mistakes as our parents and grandparents?
I plan to learn from their mistakes. Let's see how far I get.
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