As my family and I get going on our cross country minivan tour to Yellowstone, I am reminded that vacation is a great time to let your brain relax a bit, reflect, and let the creativity shine through.
We are taking this trip with my parents and my brother and his family, and I cannot help but notice the uncanny comparison to teaching.
We are all starting from different places, various parts of Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, even New York. We are all going to end up at the same destination…hmmm, sound familiar?
What a great analogy to the differentiated classroom! I will find out your starting place, and help you find your best route to the learning destination. Each student will have a different path, which makes the process messy but fun.
How to travel? That is an individual choice as well. My parents are flying, we are driving our minivan, and my brother’s family is renting a 15 passenger van. We are headed west first, then will head north. Others will head north first, and I am not sure of the flight pattern the airplane will take! The routes and means of travel mean nothing, all have chosen the best way to arrive at the destination.
There are various stops along the way for my family, but they are different for the other parts of the group. We all take our own journey, taking care of individual needs whenever necessary. I couldn’t be happy making all the stops that other pieces of our family are taking, and I am sure they wouldn’t be pleased with all our stops either. We again must keep the end goal in mind while making the best individual decisions possible.
And when we all finally end up together, we can share our individual travels and reflect upon the journey. It will be that much sweeter to reminisce together, much like it is for our students once a major learning target has been conquered.
This is something I will definitely share with my students as we get started this year. What a great analogy of what their year should be like in my class.