Becoming an Atelierista: Reflective teaching, for better or worse
In learning to become an Atelierista, I have followed the same pattern in my planning for working with teachers. What will I need to have at the ready for each teachers' group? Summer break and the first few weeks of school are an optimistic time. I reflect on what was hard from the year before, and dream of what it could be like next time. I look for media and materials, potential projects, ideas, new ways of being and collaborating that will help me do better in the new term. More than anything I want to learn to help teachers take their practice further without adding more work or unwanted conversation to their already full days.
The last week or so, it seems that reality has overtaken optimism and I realize I'm not figuring things out much better than last year. The studio seems hopelessly cluttered with stuff, and more arrives every day. My schedule is packed so tight that again there is no time for what I really want to do- to dialog with teachers over a table filled with traces of the children's work. My vision of beautiful collaborative documentation on the walls is still just a dream.
It's a bad feeling, but on the other hand I think maybe it is part of the cycle of teaching in the way I do. When you are always looking toward what happens next, there comes a time when you have to look around and see the moment you're in... when hopes and dreams have to be balanced with what can actually be accomplished. Maybe this coming week will be better