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Cutting Loose

Only four students attended today. These students struggle with school for various reasons. I think it is because they are cast aside by adults. They want adults in their lives to set boundaries and be real. I asked a student what he had learned after we completed a Math question together. He responded you are always right, meaning me. I made a mistake in my calculations. We laughed. I told another student I did not like Math when I went to school either. When adults lighten up and are genuine they make an impact on children who need help.

William Stafford reminded us to be genuinely human, cut loose, and have fun. Parker Palmer suggested: “Teachers live on the most vulnerable intersection of public and private life.” Yes, we are vulnerable , but children and adolescents smell the disingenuous when we are not authentic.

Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose
from all else and electing a world
where you go where you want to.

Arbitrary, a sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound
will tell you where it is and you
can slide your way past trouble.

Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path — but that’s when
you get going best, glad to be lost,
learning how real it is
here on earth, again and again.

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.

25 responses »

  1. Amen and amen!!

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  2. I had the same experience as a school student… “Twisted monsters”.. I like that.

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  3. Hi, Ivon. ‘ve nominated you for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Find your link and the rules at http://4writersandreaders.com/2013/04/25/very-inspiring-blogger-award-2/ HAPPY BLOGGING! Bette

    Reply
  4. Bravo! Appreciate this.

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  5. I agree, kids like it when you let your guard down, and usually respond well to a more equal playing field every now and then.

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    • They want genuine in adults and the relationships they build with adults. Many of these kids are part of the “disposability” of our world. Yet, many are creative and exceptional problem solvers because they have to be.

      Reply
  6. Once upon a time I subbed at a high school. It was in a class of “bad” students. I was handed a pad & a pen & was told to not hesitate to send anyone to the office if needed.
    I went in – introduced myself & told them what the deal was. They said that they didn’t like their assigned seats & I told them that they cold move on the condition that I didn’t have to send any of them to the office. They worked in pairs on their math & I didn’t have to send any of them from any class to the office.
    I’m not a teacher – never got certified – & ended up going in a different direction. I thank God for the patient & loving teachers out there. I’ve been blessed to have several throughout my school years & so have my kids.

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  7. It appears people like to be related with at their level.

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    • I agree Alex. We discussed concepts of personal space yesterday. Some students think “school is stupid” and tell me that. When I respond and tell them I agree with some of their points and we try make sense of it together, that brings them into the conversation as a participant. They learn without realizing they are learning. We did a bit of check list at the ed of the day and found we had touched on the four core subjects.

      Reply
  8. This is wonderful !
    True thoughts , real truth!

    Reply
  9. When I was student teaching I had the good fortune of working with a teacher with the same passion and appreciation for children that you reflect in your writing. I would imagine your students are so very lucky to have you as their teacher and guide.

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    • Thank you Mimi. think most days they would agree. I was fortunate to work with a teacher when I was student teaching who found ways to integrate structure and creativity so fluidly in his work. I think that role model cannot be underestimated in our work as teachers and learners.

      Take care and have a wonderful day.

      Reply
  10. Very much enjoyed this, Ivon… How human we feel when others allow their humanity to shine through…!

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  11. I love that you are a math teacher and a poetry lover. We make too many divisions, and that wasn’t supposed to be a math pun. :)

    Reply

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