So today was my first day back to work. We had an inservice day so that teachers can come in, set up their rooms and begin running copies of work for the first week of school.
So instead of my normal routine of exercise, porch and then blog, I had to truncate my morning exercise. Today I started my day with power yoga and then ab ripper 200 and then got ready for my school day.
While at school this afternoon, we on the East Coast experienced an earthquake. Yes, that’s right, an earthquake! I was hanging crime scene tape in the front window of my classroom when teachers started coming out of their rooms as the building shook.
Quickly we were on the internet and learned that the epicenter of the quake was from Virginia. Isn’t it incredible that an event more than 200 miles away had effects on not only us, but also, all the way up to Canada. On the news tonight, they were talking about the role that bedrock played in forcing the waves further away from the epicenter.
I find it ironic that an earthquake ushers in this school year, because the shock and excitement we felt today will be mirrored by our students next week as they talk loudly in the halls reconnecting with friends. We teachers can also act as earthquakes in our students lives. Now the obvious is that we “rock their academic worlds.” As we pile on the homework, challenge them with real world scenarios and test their understanding of the new knowledge in the class. Sometimes we are a destructive force, a harsh word, a snide comment or even a harsh look can do enough to shake a student’s self-image to his core, but I would like to focus on the long-range effects that a teacher has on a community.
I’ve been teaching since 1992. I have students who range from freshman in college to “mature” adults who have school age children of their own. Via Facebook, I am able to connect with many of them and it makes me proud to see what types of contributions each of them is having to their own communities. Like ripples in a pond, seismic waves move from the epicenter of an earthquake spreading out further and further. We teachers, like earthquakes, also have these long-range effects, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. We help form and shape the next generation; I for one have never taken this calling lightly.
I just wish that the quake hit next week during the first week of school. It is these kinds of events that really ignite a student’s interest and spikes their curiosity in the world around them. As a science teacher, these are the natural phenomena that we teach about that sometimes get lost in the cocoon of noise that most kids envelope themselves in.
After the excitement of the day, I came home and finished my P90 workout and plan on heading out for a run with Gary later this evening. Tomorrow is my day off from both P90 and running. Inservice tomorrow–all day meetings. This kind of inactivity is going to drive me a bit crazy tomorrow after being active all summer long.