Making a new thing is exhausting and not just the actual work that needs to be done. A new idea takes hours to stew in your head, confusing you, making you second guess what you just knew, and spreads into all of the other ideas you have already established.
I spent a few hours yesterday doing this work. After a few hours, I didn’t have much to show for it on paper, but in my head everything had changed. I knew where to go next, how to order all the resources I will need, and how to understand the trouble that I had suffered these past few years. But like I said, nothing had changed on paper.
So, thinking about it today was like exploring a new place that was made of all the old places combined.
I can stop digging the hole deeper, I’ve finally hit bedrock.
Typing out what I have realized is not going to do it justice, but if anyone wants to see a preview, I can try tonight.
I have been struggling with teaching students some really big ideas without really defining those big ideas. We talk about mistakes being good, how curiosity and creativity are the fuel to an interesting life, and dozens of similar ideas. These are good ideas but nothing groundbreaking.
The new bedrock focus needs to be making a few principles very clear. For my 5th grade class, there are just two. One, how we treat each other is extremely important. Two, students need to KNOW that they can learn. Everything else I teach can fit into these and help students to build a narrative moving into the higher grades.
This simplifies everything. It will be a little like teaching any other topic, break it down into experiences and nibbles of knowledge, repeat until understood.
I am full-blown utopian thinking now. I’ll be brought back to Earth in the fall, I am just glad I am still aiming high.