Thoughts on a September afternoon

A Scarecrow’s Revenge

It’s September.  I’m back in the UK.  I’m back to my weekly post.  Some afternoon thoughts:

This weekend in our village is the Scarecrow Festival – every two years people in the village make scarecrows outside their gardens and in public spaces.  All week scarecrows have been popping up in unlikely places – in the hedges, dangling from windows, lounging under trees.  Our front garden is now under the watchful eye (and light sabre) of an unspecified Star  Wars character.  After I post this, I’ll take the kids and the camera and have a walk on the Scarecrow Trail.  Watch this space for pictures!

Here’s something I’ve never really understood:  when things are going well, when I’m busy and happy and feeling like I’m playing  my different roles in ways that matter to me, when life feels rich and satisfying, the desire to write fades.

The urgency of the blank page is dimmed.  I feel like my voice is speaking my heart, so there is less need for the two to negotiate through the written word.  And when I pick up my journal and turn to the white expanse, more often than not, after five or ten minutes of daydreaming, I close it again with no ink or secrets spilled.

So it has been for the past month or so.  At the moment, much of my professional work is writing science (physics) resources, so a large part of my concentration and energy goes there.  And because I believe in the project, like the people I’m working with, and have a lot of creative freedom in my work, it’s a good place for my energy to go.   Really good.

It is so exhilarating to see an idea that I came up with be discussed, improved, animated, and turned into a 3-4 minute interactive video to be used for teaching physics.  So far 3 of my ‘scripts’ have been animated!  I am practicing the skill of writing exact descriptions and instructions for animators to bring them to life.  Many more scripts are in the pipeline!

It’s also great to contribute to other people’s scripts and ideas, suggest alternatives, offer ways of using them in the classroom, and see them come to life.  I love having an outlet for being critical towards creating quality.  I feel like my expertise from all the different classroom settings I’ve experienced really helps.  A quality that, in the past, has seemed like a liability – why have I taught in so many places? – becomes an asset; because I have taught in so many places, I can recognize the uniqueness of each situation along with some things that are common to all classrooms.   ‘That’s just good teaching,’ I hear some of my teacher friends murmur who might be reading this.   Maybe so.

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