(301) Teaching Like a River

Parker Palmer, the author of The Courage to Teach, has a new website for teachers called “Teaching with Heart, Fire, and Poetry.”  Find it here.

This month teachers have been invited to share a guiding poem they are using for the school year. The deadline is in two days.

I actually have a guiding poem this year, one I come back to again and again. I submitted to the website today. Here is what I wrote:

The poem that is guiding me this school year is “Fluent” by John O’ Donohue:

I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by surprise
Of its own unfolding.

This poem is short enough to commit to memory and come back to in my mind whenever I get stressed.  The trick is remembering to do so.  In my classroom, I want to be the river that flows; the catalyst that allows for time and exploration and surprise. Every time I have a not-so-good day it is because I have forgotten this guiding poem. I fell into a bad habit or I allowed some outside pressure to force me to forget.
 Thank you for allowing me to express it here.  It will help me remember.  We are just starting second quarter, so I have a lot of “flowing” to do.

Estero River

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