Monday, June 4, 2012

City Lights, Bats, and Teacher Voice

I'm sitting on the balcony in the dusk watching the silhouettes of small bats flit through my line of sight to the valley of city lights brightening slowly below me.  The lights sprawl in fits and starts, hedged into irregular shapes by the foothills of the other three mountain ranges around town... the Rincons, Santa Ritas and Tucson Mountains.

Above me, dark wood beams neatly divide strips of night sky.  I should get to see some extra stars from up here tonight.  They appear one by one, teasingly.

I came out here, out of my Loew's Ventana Canyon room, to relax after a heady day of thinking about teacher voice and teacher leadership at the AZK12 Center's Teacher Leadership Institute.  I am observing things around me, trying to clear my mind.

It is day one of five days, and I'm finding it hard to encapsulate and process what is in my mind.  We viewed the film American Teacher and heard from one of the producers, Nineve Calegari, and one of the teachers profiled in the film.  We had breakout discussions defining teaching as a profession.  We were asked to define our own vision of teaching as a profession, and to make a plan as to how we would find our teacher voice and use our spheres of influence to make our voice heard and to affect policy.

[As I type, a small spider keeps dropping down in front of my screen.  I suppose it thinks my light will attract its dinner.  I keep having to flick it off of me.  Hopefully it doesn't have friends.]

At a dinner meeting, I encountered my new position as a blogger for Stories from School, which I will begin in August.  As I shared my idea for a juicy topic and heard what other bloggers were going to write about, and about some of the stories they had already shared, my amazement at this opportunity grew.  And the weight of the responsibility I feel to be both honest and yet professional... that weight also grew. The rhetorical situation of a teacher with both the best interest and privacy of students in mind, and the responsibility not to directly criticize or implicate individuals with whom I work, to make the stories specific, juicy, sincere, personal, and yet speak to broader issues-- this is a tricky rhetorical situation.  I want to take risks, provoke conversation, thought and change.  And yet I like my job and profession, and Tucson is a small town.

Right now my teacher voice wants to scream and cry, both in joy and frustration, for a thousand reasons.  I think I need to narrow my message.

[Also, I need to decide if I'm going to go home to turn off the coffee maker, or just assume it has an auto-off function.  I haven't used that one in so long that I truly cannot remember.  I'd rather stay here, in the balmy evening, with the almost cool breeze and the--WOW-- amazing full moon now rising over the Rincons to my left.  I hear breezes and no traffic... I can no longer see the bats... the stars are out... my spider friends have apparently given up...  I have some tough choices to make]

1 comment:

  1. Good news for my moon viewing pleasures... I found my coffee maker online and it has auto shut-off, so my house shouldn't burn down. :)


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