Sometimes I just need to take a moment.
There are sometimes days when lesson after lesson goes haywire, when I don’t have the materials I need at the school I need them. Or when technology throws a wrench in my best-laid plans. Or when all of these things work, but the kids just. Aren’t. Feeling it.
Today was different.
Today went better than I had expected or imagined, and I owe it to myself to enjoy it.
It started with last year’s third grade mythology unit. I wasn’t happy with it. The kids read stories, and they liked them, but missed the overarching idea that myths help us examine and answer the really big questions in life. I needed a different approach.
So this year, I waited to start reading the myths, and started right out of the gate with big questions. Where did we come from? Why do bad things happen? Why are humans so different from other animal forms around us? Kids wrote their own stories to explain these phenomena.
That’s when I knew that I could push them in a new direction. We could talk about how across time, and across cultures, people have ALWAYS wondered about big, important questions. And how across time, and across cultures, people have ALWAYS come up with answers.
I then read aloud from (my very favorite!) D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths, starting from page one.
Oh, I wish you could have been there.
I wish you could have heard the kids as they realized how very many big questions these stories answered.
I wish you could have felt the excitement as they leapt from idea to idea. From question to question.
Next week, I’ll get to teach this same lesson to my loveys at another school. It’s possible that they will greet these ideas with the same love and enthusiasm. It’s also possible that this lesson will crash and burn. (It’s been known to happen.)
For now, though, I’ll take a moment to appreciate how things can sometimes go well, and call it a win.