Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fighting for Spring

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I woke up every morning this week to find fresh snow on the ground. Sometimes a dusting, sometimes an inch, sometimes practically a frost, the ground seemed to be a daily reminder that the battle for spring was still raging. Yet with the temperatures breaking forty sometimes fifty on a daily basis, and a windstorm on Thursday blazing with gusts strong enough to knock down trees and cut off power, the snow is melting and disappearing slowly. The gutters that line the streets are overflowing with the accumulation from the melt, reminding drivers and bikers with every splash that even as the battle continues, the war will be won.

This time of year in the classroom seems to reflect the same, and the gray wintery skies are actually helpful in keeping large groups of teenagers content to be indoors, in the classroom, working. But even if the casual observer notes that everything appears to be “under control”, anyone tapped into the current running beneath the surface knows that there’s a strategic battle playing out on a daily basis.

“And who will win today?” I ask myself as I prepare my classroom in the morning.
The distraction of the weather?
An engaging, relevant lesson?
Variables and tensions at home outside of the student’s (or teacher’s) control?
The inevitable breakup of a two-week relationship?
The looming and nearing reality of a summer without ______________.

Indeed, the battle for spring seems to be the perfect embodiment of the battle fought in the classroom every day. Unfortunately, in the latter battle, there’s no predictable winner.

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