Choosing the right materials to work with:
- Ermagerd!! There are so many tools, materials, options, possibilities…here in Home Depot! Maybe one of these things will be perfect, maybe none of them will be. I buy several different items, and figure I can just return or re-purpose those that don’t work out (although sometimes I just keep them anyway).
- Yeah, that’s also true for teaching, amirite?!?!
Painting the window trim on the porch:
- NOOOOO! This detail work is so boring! This is like the least fun thing ever!! I mean, I guess I understand why it’s important, but I really wish I didn’t need to do this. Oh look, I just screwed up again.
- This helps me understand how my students probably feel sometimes … although at least my tasks don’t make their shoulders and their neck muscles ache!
Painting the porch walls:
- Coverage is a problem: Sometimes I think I’m doing a great job, but over time I realize that I’ve failed. Usually this happens when I go a little too fast with not quite enough material.
- When the paint dries, if you did a bad job, you can see holes or thin areas where the surface never got covered properly…. In teaching it’s similar: the weak spots become clear, but sometimes not until AFTER the summative unit test!
- So taking just a little more time and being a little more careful can save you from permanent regrets later on.
Laying down the self-stick vinyl tiles:
- I am paralyzed. Where to begin?!? I have the basic plan for the tiles: I measured the space and laid down some tiles across the room (without removing the sticky paper). What about the details, like which wall should have the cut bits? And which tile should we stick down first? Maybe the middle one, because that’s what the directions say … but maybe that corner because the porch is uneven. AUGH!!!
- Yup, that feels like unit planning. I gotta pull the trigger somewhere / sometime, and the sooner I do the sooner the job can really begin. Yes some pre-planning is important, but I always hit the point where the work must get started or else it never will.
- It really is true that when all you have is a hammer, then you just wanna pound the nail into submission!!
- Sometimes the tapping goes great at the beginning, and then halfway through the nail bends. It hits an obstacle which you can’t see (probably a joist, or maybe another nail). If you insert another nail, you will still fail. Breathe. Accept the hidden obstruction as something the nail cannot change. Try a different angle, or even a slightly different location.
- You can’t persuade a nail to cooperate. You can’t reason with it, or bribe it, or employ a positive behavior management strategy.
- It’s just the same with middle schoolers.
These observations are not very deep (just like the nails in the trim!! HAHAHA), but I felt like I should share these random thoughts from my weeklong exile to the back porch.