For the month of March, I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge, hosted by the community of writers at Two Writing Teachers. Many of my slices are at my personal blog, Just Write, Melanie, but ones that deal specifically with education appear here. All are welcome to join the slicing party by reading and commenting. People write amazing posts.
We have all tried to explain different ways of playing music in the kitchen to my mother. We have gotten her the Pandora app. We have put music on her phone. We have hooked her up to a Bluetooth speaker system. However, in a moment of panic and frustration, when her music wouldn't play, she went and bought herself a boombox yesterday.
"What is that?" my twelve year-old asked.
"Does it have a tape cassette deck, as well?" I asked.
My daughters missed the reference since they don't remember tapes, but my mother understood my teasing.
"I just want my CDs. They're comfortable, and I know how to use them," she said. "They work."
I understand her discomfort and I appreciate her resolution. I know many teachers who experience the frustration and incompetent feelings in their classrooms. We have so many new initiatives in our schools. New curriculum. New technology. New assessments.
As I think about my mother and the connection between her boombox and education, here are some parallels:
- she is intelligent (one of the smartest people I know, actually).
- she is motivated (she really wanted to listen to music).
- she has time (I'm never sure of how exactly she spends her days).
- she understands the purpose of the new technology.
But despite all that, she chose to give up, and go back to her old way. Hmmm.
My mother's boombox, as it sits on that counter, is a great reminder to me of how hard change can be.
So now, the motivation falls back on the teachers--my daughters, my husband, and I would definitely prefer playlists over opera and musical CDs, not to mention the fact that I don't like extra stuff on the counters. What new approach will we try to re-engage our learner? Stay tuned... (ha, ha!)