I am blessed to have a profession that I love. I get to spend months in Zurich (Switzerland), Maycomb (Alabama), floating down the Mississippi, working the fields in Salinas (California), practicing survival skills on a remote island during World War II, stirring cauldrons with witches on a heath in Scotland, watching fairies dance in the woods, defending the existence of books in the future, chasing a raven from a chamber door, navigating the horrors of Nazi camps, and journeying through the final months of a beloved professor's life. All that considered, it gets better. I get to be tour guide, taking along for the ride students whose curiosity and enthusiasm are the glitter on an already bright adventure.
Exposing students to language, the finest examples available, is an honor. Taking them on literary journeys filled with devices that paint pictures with words, and prompt discussions filled with questions, is nothing short of beautiful. Shared inquiry debates during which students support what they say with evidence from texts enables students to dive deeply into written words and results in the knowledge that interpretation is never concrete.
We experiment with writing styles as we go. The winding path of research, exposition, narrative, and persuasion equate to writing bouquets that form the core for what is to come. Simply put, education is similar to construction. The elementary years are the foundation, middle school is the infrastructure of the building, high school is the roof, college is the exterior and interior finish, and graduate school is the fine details that perfect specialization. I am lucky to be here, in the infrastructure phase, where basics are constructed. There are phases of uncertainty and experimentation with ideas, organization, word choice, and sentence structure. We begin editing, proofreading, and reminding ourselves that grammar and vocabulary mattered to our most beloved authors and they must matter to us. Our efforts are sincere and lively, but not absolutely perfect because students at this age are learning. The process is vibrant, productive, and joyful. Yes, I am blessed.