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RecycleJack Marine's picture

Why do you build me up a butterfly?

I really enjoyed Greg Davis's interactive lesson on a butterfly's morphogen system. I immediately thought of my own career path when Greg defined morphogen in his lesson as,  "how can a morphogen system be altered to cause a change in the resulting pattern?" I looked back on my career as a teacher and where I am ending up this fall. Wil told me today that this position may be the best place teaching for me so far (in my career). I don't want to stray so far from commenting on today's activity and focus more on Jack Marine. But the metaphor is strong and must be attended to! My teaching career has been a pattern of desiring opportunities to teach through inquiry. But my impovershed management skils and the population of the school's I've taught at have prevented me from changing the pattern. I know what systems generated the pattern. It was easy for my mentors to establish the "eyes" in my teaching style. On one side they saw an educator who has a passion for science and a love of the environment. On the other hand they saw an educator who did not function well in the Inner-City environment.

Now let's look forward to this coming school year. If you look inside my "cocoon" now, which is the bag of tools I am now preparing for this year's teaching position, you will see that the cells forming my (butterfy) wings are already partially formed. They are formed by my twelve years of classroom teaching and my committments to learning by doing. My distalless proteins have begun to form my new "eyes" that will make me more successful than I have been at any other teaching job, at least during the past four years. I am being magically transported from one part of the butterfy's wing   (last year's school) to another part of the wing (my new school), where my "eyes" will successfully appear, albeit in another confifuration of the talented educator that I will soon become. Whew!! What a metaphorical impression Greg's lesson created in my imagination. I hope whomever is reading this will be able to preen from it the positive comments about Greg's lesson today.

Keith said that he has to decide how much content to cover in his lessons, whether the lake should be deep, or be wide, and Greg said that he "trims" the content from his presentations so his students really get something out of his classes. The students I had this year were not very interested in what I had to say about anything, so I'm hoping those I have this year will have some interest in our subject matter. If Ingrid says that you have to develop a lab that is deliberate and has directions that are very specific, that's because labs need that rigidity. But in class, we need to take students well beyond their level of comfort, well beyond the basics. I hope I'll find out this year that using an inquiry approach after teaching the neccessities, will create the new "eyes" on our student's wings that will lead them into an ever evolving metamorphic world.

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