Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Prairie Bliss


We have a class of practicing and future teachers who are all learning about arts integration into the elementary classroom right now. The focus is the prairie and its' enveloping sense of place. As they are composing their narratives I am writing for the blog. As I/we teach this class I have this uncomfortable feeling. I am not as much in control as I'd like to be. It is a disconcerting feeling but in many ways it is good for me, for this is what I ask the teachers around me to do- get out of your comfort zone and try something else. Stay in this place where you are not in total control and be ok with it. We plan the lessons around the big ideas of integration but the truth is we do not know how it will come out, what will fall flat and will succeed.

This morning we stepped into the prairie in Spring Creek right outside Denton. We spent close to two hours walking around taking photographs. Slowly as time progressed we hushed fanned out and spent time connecting with the surroundings- with photographs as the focal lens. The mood was muted and perfect for sensing and focusing on emotions. We took the risk and the time... Still there is a lot to do to help these practicing and future teachers as well as ourselves make connections and link all of this to actual classroom instruction.

It would be great to examine these experiences as they develop, my guess is that my concerns and feelings are not unique.