Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me
Other times I can barely see
Lately it occurs to me
What a long, strange trip it’s been
Truckin’, I’m a goin’ home
Whoa whoa baby, back where I belong
Back home, sit down and patch my bones
And get back truckin’ on
“Truckin'” Songwriter BELTRAMI, MARCO E.
I thoroughly enjoyed Thanksgiving Break. I thought, read, wrote, met, planned, and recharged my professional batteries – I “patched my bones.” Often time and space provides a “clearer” perspective on my professional life.
One aspect of my time in Mosaic is clear. Students are not forced into compliance. Because of that simple change in expectations, the space has become a more raw and real environment, where students are compelled to be truer to their nature, their personalities. That is especially clear when students openly and admittedly choose to do nothing for extended periods of their day.
In a space that pushes students to explore their interests and find new avenues to demonstrate learning, often they simply refuse. After 22 years of teaching in more “traditional” schools where compliance and deficit education are the norm, I’m continually struggling with the fine line of students exploring their worlds (often through open defiance) and my need to enforce the Mosaic policy of “Work and Don’t Be a Jerk” (clearly stolen from Dr. Gary Stager). Today was one of those days.
It’s still worth the struggle to fight my need to define our success using traditional metrics. But I’m surprised at how long this trip feels after only 15 weeks.