Disorganized Schmisorganized

By |2015-11-10T08:54:29+00:00November 10, 2015|Elementary|

I am not the kind of girl that has been dreaming of my wedding for my whole life. I have always wanted to get married, but as for what my wedding would look like, I had no ideas!

Simon and I have been busy wedding planning in the past few months. When we first started, he found a notebook and began with a very organized “Table of Contents” and To-Do list. No matter what our wedding was going to look like, we were going to be organized!

Save the date?

However, our organization had holes. We seemed to have missed a very important step. About two weeks after becoming betrothed, we had planned a family engagement party. We had already booked the hall, called the pastor, confirmed with the caterer and booked the church. When some of our immediate family members showed up at the engagement party, they were wondering if we had chosen the date. We then had to describe how we had a date, hall, pastor, caterer and church. Communication lesson learned.

Covering all the bases

Just like we started planning our wedding in a very organized fashion, I like to think I can be an organized teacher. I am prepared for each day and have a constant list of to-do’s:

  • Give back horse tooth that student brought in to show me. Check.
  • Email parents about skating. Check.
  • Buy straws for art. Check.
  • Take down art on walls. Check.
  • Put up new art on walls. Check.

But I continue to learn that planning is not what teaching is all about.

Not what comes to mind

For example, we do a community helper unit in grade one. Last year, as we were just beginning our unit, the class was brainstorming all the community helpers they could think of. We had covered a few main ones, and then a student said funeral home. The rest of my lesson went out the window and this is how it continued:

Student 1: “What is a funeral home?”

Student 2: “It is like a crematorium.”

Miss Feenstra: (Silence is all I can produce because I am trying to figure out how to proceed with this conversation with five and six year olds.)

Student 1: “What is a crematorium?”

Student 2: “It is where they take a dead body and put them in a fire until they are only ashes. I went there yesterday because my (family member) died.”

All students: (Eyes get a little wider and look at student 2, and then to me for confirmation)

Miss Feenstra: “Has anybody ever had a grandparent or other family member pass away? Have you ever been to a funeral?”

The rest of the conversation unfolded into a beautiful discussion about life, love and family. We would talk about fire fighters the following day. Like I said, some of the best learning happens in the unplanned moments and I love to seize those opportunities and see where they take us. Sometimes it means we do not get through all the activities I have planned, but we are all still learning lots!

Now, if we could only find a suit that had long enough sleeves for Simon, I’d feel a whole lot more organized about the wedding!


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Cyndi McLachlanRoy van Eerden Recent comment authors
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Roy van Eerden
Roy van Eerden

Thanks so much, Amy. I enjoyed this. No matter what changes happen in pedagogy and curriculum, teachable moments will always be some of the best learning. And it is good for students to see teachers struggling with how to answer difficult questions. Those are, after all, the best questions.

Cyndi McLachlan
Cyndi McLachlan

Lol! Soooo true. Whether in my job with teens or at home with my boys, the best conversations/teaching/moments come about completely unplanned. God’s way of reminding us to live the moments. Planning is good but . . . Thanks Amy for reminding me that it’s okay to push aside the paperwork I planned today for the kids knocking at my door – even if only for a cup of tea and a visit.