Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Easing into Indian Summer

Dear Mother Nature,

Yesterday I noticed that summer was ready to take a bow. In what appeared to be an Indian Summer-like day on Long Island, temperatures were cooler and walking less labored. You painted the world with brilliant sun-drenched hues to create a picture-perfect day. The sight was well appreciated.

As I took a ride out East with my family, I wondered about life and your talents? I thought about how you consistently channel your energies to inspire us and silently questioned your thoughts. Are your artistic talents innate or have you learned from a master? Are you getting ready to mix a new palate of colors to dazzle the world or will you rely on last year's canvas? Lastly, what resources do you have to coax the seasons and bring about change?

Last night upon my return from my walking jaunt, I watched you turn day turn into nighttime. I pictured an invisible brush stroking the canvas with a darker shade of night. You left a mid-September mark and a feeling of excitement in the cool night air. Shall I thank you for that now or wait to see what happens next as you prepare the landscape for upcoming moments to savor? 

While I continue to linger in the beauty of your summer season as visualized in my latest gallery of artistic expressions, Summer Splashings, I switch glasses to see more clearly. Yesterday, you offered me a sneak preview of what is to come. I appreciate the opportunity to switch gears. With a positive mindset and an attitude of gratitude I start my day as I reflect in the quiet of morning. 

There are annoyances that disrupt the flow but I need to let go of those. I need to concentrate on how to positively proceed with my day. A closer observation of my surroundings is needed? How often do I move on to the next task without taking the time to appreciate present moments. How often do I get impatient? When will I learn that multi-tasking is not the answer? "Be mindful and intentional" is being whispered to me in the stillness of the day. I look out my window to appreciate what is before me.

On Sunday I was still celebrating summer and while I may be hesitant to let that feeling go, I am inspired by the environmental changes noted yesterday and this morning. I thank the beauty of a mid-September day for easing me into Indian Summer and life's master artist for painting the world a brighter shade of sunshine in expectation of a new season. 

As an educator, I know that change comes slowly and that reflection is important. Passion and inspiration guide our practice. As in life, we closely observe our surroundings in the classroom, mentally record our noticings, and continue to wonder. The same questions that I asked of you, Mother Nature, can be adapted for reflective practitioners. 
How can educators continue to hone their skills as artisans of learning? 
Is the concept of teachers as awakeners of learning filtering into the classroom culture? 
Are educator "artisans" mixing a new palate of colors to dazzle learners or are they utilizing last year's canvas? 
What resources are available to bring about change? 
Easing me into an Indian summer-like mood with a positive mindset and an attitude of gratitude for all that the world holds in its hands will guide my next steps for observing life and learning. Hopefully, this will be an incentive for others to do the same. 

A Grateful Me

Today, please visit the Tuesday Slice of Life at Two Writing Teachers to read other educators' reflections, musings, and slices of life. 

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