And then I woke up

My brain itches.

I’m hitting the wall separating what I saw and what I see. I need to pull an Inception and start dreaming the wall and walking on it instead of familiar ground.

I’m looping with our school’s inaugural class for the third straight year. I feel a desperate need to get it right. I feel a desperate need to decide what right is.

I’m reading tweets like this one and wondering about the fate of school choice in Virginia. I wish the law was flexible enough to let us spend Read 180 money (see page 6) on literacy coaches and arts teachers. I feel like we’ve given Toby to the Goblin King.

I’m reading posts like this one and wondering how to teach for the jobs that don’t exist from one that won’t exist. I’m imagining a lighter, mobile teaching force licensed to coffee shops and finding it still inadequate to the preservation of democracy and the widespread diffusion of community- and project-based learning and living for our kids.

I’m trying to figure out how to stop being such an outsider without going back inside.

More encouragingly, here’s what’s working:

  • Kids who can count on one hand the number of books they’ve read should be finished reading and/or listening to The House of the Scorpion by Halloween after scripting conversations with their imaginary clones, drafting and debating clones’ rights bills, and drawing some conclusions about word choice on the way.
  • By the end of October we also should have raised the money to start a class Kiva fund entirely through students’ self-directed service work in civics.
  • And around that very same time we ought to have a gallery of portraits of citizen-artists including pieces about video game makers who have contributed to Child’s Play. I never would have learned about that charity without students’ inquiry into what makes an artist and how video game makers help their communities.

Given room to run, teaching and learning can always chase each other into the real world. We can all get better at getting out of the way.

Let me know if the materials scaffolding any of that learning would be useful to you.

Anyways, thanks for listening and for being polite.