November 30, 2005

Like catching snakes

It happens every spring. On the first warm day somewhere around the first of May, garter snakes emerge to mate. If I walk through the woods on that particular day, I can see dozens of snakes. During the rest of the year, I walk in the woods almost every day and rarely see a snake. In the middle of the winter, with a couple feet of snow on the ground, I could look for snakes as hard as I could but I would never ever see one.

Teaching is much like this. I have to be patient and know when it's time to push a student to the next level, to the next challenge. It's a matter of timing. Of waiting for the teachable moment. Of knowing when the students are ready, when the classroom dynamics are ripe. It's intuitive. It's instinctive. It can be learned from experience, I guess, if you watch the patterns. It's like catching snakes in the woods.

13 comments:

Seeking Solace said...

And yet we can’t use a mongoose against our students! LOL

Tiruncula said...

OK, so trust me to get stuck on the literal sense of the simile, but...remind me not to go walking in the woods in May!

Running2Ks said...

That speaks to me so much today. Homeschooling can be the same.

Leslee said...

How profound!

KathyR said...

Ooh. So not interested in catching any snakes.

Brrr.

Really probably not very good at teaching any students, either. In fact, I'd have to say that my reaction to college students is about the same as my reaction to snakes in the woods! Brrrr!

kyra said...

Your students are so lucky to have you as a teacher.

Monkey Pants said...

What a fantastic analogy. Sometimes I just need to know when to push a little more. Sometimes, the magic's not there, and no amount of pushing will give my students the Eureka Moment, no matter how hard I push.

Girl said...

Lovely...but ewww. I just can't get past the image of all those snakes.

ccw said...

This is a great analogy. I love to read your posts; they are always so beautifully written.

MoMedusa said...

At my home the snakes are copperheads and 6 foot long rat snakes.

Modest Hijabi said...

Snakes scare the hell out of me. ahh

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viagra online said...

The first time that I saw this snakes came out, I thought it was the end of the world, they were a lot in our front and back yard.