Saturday, February 11, 2012

Risking the World Outside the Box

Early this week, I had the opportunity to be a guest presenter, teaching a familiar lesson in an unfamiliar setting. Through the efforts of my friends and colleagues Stef and Jackie, I got the chance to teach my crazy twist on organization to Stef's fifth graders.

I'm used to teaching this lesson to kids who already know me, my sense of humor, and the condemned site that is my desk, and I wondered if the same lesson would fly with kids who'd never seen me before. But as Stef said, kids are kids. And so the lesson did, indeed, fly.

And I had so much fun. There is an energy - or is it a synergy? or maybe both? - that happens in a classroom when things are going well. I had an advantage - Stef knew my style, I knew hers - and her kids, out of respect for their teacher, were willing to give me a chance.

But once in the door, it was my job to keep them with me, to build that energy. To hook them, and convince them that organization was indeed a fascinating enough topic to hold their interest until recess beckoned. To get to synergy.

I'm happy to report that synergy did occur. It helps that I had an impressive audience to work with, and that I love the subject matter. Both of those things helped to overcome an early Monday morning time slot.

It's nice to step outside of my box every once in a while - to take a calculated risk. And when it goes well, the energy that's created exceeds the boundaries of the time and space of the lesson itself.

I'm grateful to Stef and Jackie for inviting me in to find that out.

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