Sunday, November 12, 2006

Does anyone else feel like you're writing into white noise? You know the feeling that the universe is humming away somewhere, but it's not stopping here...where you are?

I know I am racing through my work, checking in for a brief comment on my mentees' blogs, but anyone else's? The fischbowl occasionally, but I just don't have time. Or is it that I don't take the time?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Confusion: Constructivism and Real Life

Question: can being a constructivist...a facilitator of ideas, a manager of options, a director of meetings...can this role take on an ugly face? I had a student I didn't know come to me needing to talk about private events. He wasn't in harm, but certainly divulged private, life-changing events that had occured. He said he didn't have anyone to talk to and asked if I would meet with him.

Of course, and 2 days later, 8 meetings ago, I felt proud that he came to me, but scared that my role as teacher, as mediator of information, was becoming a counselor of sorts. I don't give advice sharing my opinion, but rather listen. Let him sort through the issues, ask questions, search for answers and I encouraged him to find more. I know in my heart of hearts I met his needs, but the burden that I carried...and still do, makes we wish that constructivism was not a concept I knew.

I know he came to me because I can listen and I can help him sort his problems, but the person inside me: the mom, the sister, the woman, wanted to scream what he should do, scream the knowledge he should have, and scream an ultimatum of what was to be done. I wanted to slap the TEST of his life down and make him conform to my wishes. But I didn't.

Does constructivism only work in the classroom because it's where it's safe...between the pages of Chaucer and Poe, Civil War and cells?

Answer: I left with the face of a critical thinker, a mentor of ideas, but it didn't feel pretty. I guess it doesn't need to be.