The Calm In The Storm

So, as is so often the case, my blog post idea comes, once again, from the classroom. In the analogy of this blog title, I suspect I don’t need to fear having been too subtle. At least, one of the senses I mean it in is probably very clear. The obvious case is that of the classroom as a whole. The junior high classroom as a whole is, and in many ways, I think, should be, reminiscent of a storm. I hope you won’t assume I mean that the classroom should be an utterly disorganized free for all. That would be giving myself, the students, and even the storms far too little credit. While we often tend to think of storms as random and violent, that is only partially true. Yes, a storm can indeed be violent, and while in the midst of the storm it can certainly appear random in its movements. In truth, though, that’s a matter of perspective. In truth, the storm itself is guided and controlled by the elements on a larger scale. The students seem to learn and function better if they are able to be active and engaged. The job of the teacher, then, is to keep that activity and engagement properly directed and contained. Really, though, that’s about the extent of what my limited experience in the classroom will allow me to pretend I’m an expert about.

In reality, though, what I’m mostly talking about is myself. I have a tendency to lock into the noise and the chaos around me. I’m not someone who is good with silence for extended periods. I’m working on it, but the truth is that my own head is often a swirling, chaotic mess full of thoughts half considered and anxieties largely based in a world that will never exist. If I can’t manage to find a calm in my own head, the idea that I’ll be able to provide one for the students is laughable at best and a tragic farce at worst. I’d love to be able to tell you that it’s something I’ve got a handle on, but that’d be a lie. What I can say is that I’m getting better, and nothing motivates quite like knowing they need me to. The kids deserve better than me, so all I can do is try to be the better they deserve.

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