Sunday, November 9, 2014

November Blogging Challenge: Memories are Made of This...

Day 8
Write about a memorable moment in your classroom and how it reminded you about why you love what you do.

Most of us teachers who have taught for any length of time have plenty of stories, both good and bad, that have influenced how we feel about our chosen profession.  I am no different.  I can spin tale after tale about my students and how they either frustrate or fascinate me--sometimes at the same time.

One such memorable moment occurred in my creative writing class a couple of years ago.  We were in the poetry unit, and the kids were filling out an imagery chart while studying a slice of orange.  One of my students was having trouble with going beyond the literal.

He was getting frustrated because all could see was the "orange-y-ness" of the orange.  His chart had one entry for each of the senses: "orange."  For visual imagery, he wrote "orange."  For olfactory imagery, he wrote, "orange."  For taste imagery, he wrote, "orange."  See the pattern?  He was looking only at the obvious and not delving beyond. We started a discussion (well, I call such exchanges of information discussions... some might call it an argument) about the slice of orange on his plate.  He kept saying that the orange was just an orange, unable--or unwilling--to see it as anything more.

I asked him to try using the orange in a simile.  He didn't want to because he didn't think he was good at poetry. We a bit more when he seemed to have an epiphany; he had that moment of clarity that we teachers want for our students.  He said the orange was like a sun in a blue sky because it was a of orange on a blue paper plate.  I agreed with him.  He was surprised because he thought I'd be mad it was so simple.  I told him that simple is beautiful and thoughtful.  In fact, I told him I was going to use his simile in a poem, and he should do the same.  My poem became a blog post in July of 2012.  His...well, I'm sure that he has kept it because he loved it so much.  Maybe.

I saw him at homecoming this year.  He told me he was changing his major to education because he realized how much he enjoys sharing his knowledge.  He also told me that it was because of experiences like the one where he had an epiphany in my classroom that he was even thinking of being a teacher.  I was so honored.  It is moments like that which reminds me of why I became a teacher.  I wanted to share my knowledge as well as help my students become who they could be--I got to build a cathedral.  That moment was another reminder of why I love what I do.

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