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To Look at Any Thing

It was a busy day. I was alone with the students. Usually, I there is a parent, but today the schedule was unfilled. We were still productive and covered challenging material.

The Grade 7 class is building scenarios and predicting what if learned experience is used in new situations. The Grade 8 class is exploring differences between authority and power. The Grade 9 class is taking and defending positions on the Canadian youth criminal system. Like all good things, learning takes time.

John Moffitt’s poem speaks about a way we learn the world. We should savour it, not consume it.

To look at any thing,
If you would know that thing,
You must look at it long:
To look at this green and say,
‘I have seen spring in these
Woods,’ will not do—you must
Be the thing you see:
You must be the dark snakes of
Stems and ferny plumes of leaves,
You must enter in
To the small silences between the leaves,
You must take your time
And touch the very peace
They issue from.

About ivonprefontaine

I have been an educator for almost 20 years. Prior to that, I worked in private industry for 15 years, then returned to university to earn my education degree. For the past 11 years, I have been a co-creator of learning in a unique, progressive, alternative educational school of choice. Currently, I am engaged in a doctoral program at Gonzaga University in Spokane. A main theme in my learning there has been the roles of systems thinking, complexity theory, and organizational theory, and how they apply to education generally and the learning environment I share with students, parents, and colleagues.

15 responses »

  1. Ah, what a good reminder. We teachers know that for the learning to grow, it must simmer – and I so often forget that as I learn on my own life’s journey, that the same is true for me! I get so impatient…

    Reply
  2. great way to frame this post, kudos and cheers to another year of teaching!

    Reply
  3. Love John Moffitt’s poem – thanks you for posting it!
    Tomas

    Reply
  4. When I research the culture, myth and history of ancient peoples I try to place myself into their shoes to see how they would see the world. It is hard to step outside of our own worldview into another’s worldview, but it is a skill that gets easier with practice.

    Reply
  5. This is so profound Ivon. My favourite utterance is ‘to want love you must be love’ and this is a wonderful way to say the same thing about everything and everyone.

    Reply
  6. I LOVE this poem and this post!

    Reply

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