The path doesn’t always follow a roadmap. Currently on highway 212 near Eden Prairie, GPS tells us we are not on a road but instead in a field. That is one good example of our path not following a roadmap. At one time there was no road here until someone decided there needed to be one. The change was made, and it is better than it once was.
The same is true about life. We are where we are today because of roadmaps and changes in the path. It doesn’t always make sense when we are on the road, but maybe from the sky it does. The original detour of this post was going to be about the SACS challenge… and how it wasn’t maybe going according to plan. (Don’t tell Wendy, but I had the blog titled last week before we even started the 30-Day Challenge. Nice positive thinking, huh?) Turns out that the SACS challenge is going according to plan –post caffeine headaches resolved of course. (Don’t tell Sonya, but I knew we could do it without a doubt and a little prayer.) Well, this post is about life’s detours unrelated to the SACS challenge and instead is about what we do when life and learning throws a curveball or a big, giant boulder.
We are no longer on highway 212 and instead at the University of Minnesota to see an orthopedic specialist – a spine doctor to be quite medically precise. Mr. V., who recently had foot surgery, is now being challenged with some serious back issues. We don’t know much about this path yet, but we are on it. We will figure out the roadmap along our way. The phrase “stay the course” might be optimal for some situations but not for all. For this one, we will figure out which course is needed and go from there. We need to take the detour.
Doesn’t this happen each day in the classroom? Teachers make plans and more plans considering what the day might bring and what the weather is doing outside. (FYI -Teachers are seriously gifted with meteorology skills when observing their students.) When plans need to be altered, effective teachers do that – change plans mid-course as needed and take detours along the way. (We just realized that course is one letter longer than curse. Hmmm…)
Flexibility is key to teacher survival. We can prepare for possible paths and detours, but we can’t control everything. So what is a teacher to do? Take a look at the path and what happened to the path. Map where you have been including detours you had to take so you know where you might want to go. Mapping learning is the end product of lesson planning. It is taking a look at where a teacher planned to lead their students and where they actually went. Hind-sight is always 20-20, right? Detours are usually not fun but eventually we get where we need to be. And…sometimes the scenery on the detour brings unexpected wonder, beauty, and awe. We might even be thankful for the detours at the end of the journey.
So for today – think about where you are going and then consider where you have been. The roadmap might have a few scribbles, but if we are flexible, we will be just fine on the detour. Our scribble for today is not posting this blog when we wanted to…yesterday. So… remember yesterday, enjoy today, and plan tomorrow. Sometimes the scenery on the detour brings unexpected wonder, beauty, and awe. We are thankful we were detoured.
One last detour for this reading… Have you considered the 60-for-60 pledge? Check it out… and it has nothing to do with giving up caffeine. 🙂