The title of this blog post comes from one’s student comment as we examined a photo of Incan farming techniques.
School is good. It is both easier (I had a conversation recently with one of my instructional coaches who asked me if I was finally at a point where I didn’t have to plan much any more, and I could finally answer YES!) but also more…strategic? Even *I* am impressed with my own planning abilities sometimes, which only happens since I’m in my third year of the same content. For every day where I am absolutely THRILLED to go home at 3:15 with nothing to do because I worked out the kinks in a lesson last year, there are an equal number of days where I can’t help but re-work a lesson because I just know it can be better — and I’m pretty happy with what I’ve come up with lately.
This last thing is also due to my students, who continue to impress me (I was going to add an aside that started with “For every day that someone impresses me, there’s also someone else who…” but I think I won’t finish that thought here). Anyway, I have a lot of faith in the future of the world when I see what connections they can make before they have even learned about something. On Friday I wanted to preview the Incas so I posted a photo of Machu Picchu and another photo of Atahualpa, the Incan emperor, and asked them to make predictions about what the Incas were known for based on the photos. They came up with the ideas that 1) The Incas lived in the mountains, 2) they worshipped the sun, 3) they took their ruler seriously, and 4) they had a lot of silver and gold, all points I needed them to make AFTER reading the day’s text, before we even got to it. Pretty exciting!