Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Slice of Life- Maybe Another Couple of Things...

Tuesdays are for slicing about life. Join us at Two Writing Teachers!

I was in the middle of teaching a lesson to a fourth-grade class when my phone rang. I had told the teacher that might happen. That I was expecting a call. That I'd have to take it. But really...did that doctor's office have to call right in the middle of the minilesson? 

Fortunately, the students had a longer-than-usual active engagement, and their teacher took over with nudging and encouraging as they noticed and noted three examples of opinion introductions. 

"Your culture was negative," the young sounding voice that belonged to Sarah said. "You should stop taking the antibiotic."

"But it made me better," I said. "Right away. How do we explain that?"

"I don't know," she said, "but the direction is to stop taking it."

I asked her to hold on for just a moment, explaining where I was and what I was doing. Then I gave the class another direction and explained my confusion again with a few additional details about the situation. Sarah just repeated the directions. I didn't have much time left without needing to pull students back together, and I still had my questions, so I asked that the doctor call me later. Sarah agreed. Later, after the lesson, I thought of other ways I could have handled the situation, other questions I could have asked, other strategies I could have taken that would have given me more immediate answers as opposed to a day of waiting and wondering whether the doctor would call me back and if I should still plan on tests the next morning. (She did and I should.)

Because I slice and because I teach, and maybe because I had some awake time last night and extra time this morning, I am thinking about students and instruction. We use the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) in places in our curriculum, and that strategy was created to help people advocate for themselves at places like doctor's office. What questions should we ask? What answers are we looking for? What research do we need to do in order to ask better questions and be a more informed patient/client/consumer? And when or how do we teach students to question authority? As it turned out, going off the antibiotic was NOT the final decision, but if I hadn't been somewhat non-compliant, then I think I would have just thanked her and thrown away the remaining pills. 

I know, I know... we have so much to teach students, so much to fit into our curriculum, so many initiatives. But I'm wondering---

Happy Slicing,

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Slice of Life: What? Another snow day?

Tuesdays are for slicing about life. Join us at Two Writing Teachers!

5:30 am. I reached for my phone.  

Please let it be a normal school day, I was thinking. There were far too many meetings that would have to be rescheduled for even a delay to make me happy. One to three inches of snow, stopping by 3 am, should be easy enough to dust off of school buses. 

We already had a snow day yesterday. I wrote. I went to yoga. I met my neighbors and we finished making our limoncello. (Yes, you read that right.) I might have even taken a few sampling sips. I shopped, caught up on school work, folded laundry, cooked, even did a little more decorating. I had NO need for another snow day. 

We have another snow day. 

How do we have a foot of snow when we were supposed to get 1-3 inches? By my calculations, that's an over 400% mistake. #justsaying

The good news is I have plenty of time to slice, comment, and do some other writing. I'll focus on the good. 

Happy Slicing,