Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Something Old, Something New

I attended a beautiful family wedding over the weekend in Traverse City, Michigan. As I was sitting in the charming country side chapel waiting for the ceremony to begin, I read through the wedding program. At the bottom, there was a quote: "Something borrowed: The bride will be wearing her mother's wedding veil for the ceremony." In my head, I recited the old wedding saying:
Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

Throughout the joyous occasion, I caught myself humming the wedding rhyme that is said to bring good luck to the young bride and it made me think about how this saying can be applicable for us as educators as well as brides.

The bride wore her mother's lovely long, floor length lace veil coupled with her modern, "new" strapless gown with a fitted jeweled bodice. She took my breath away as she glided down the church aisle in the arm of her distinguished, proud father. The blending of the "old, new and borrowed" was picture perfect!

As educators, we are always striving to find the newest and best ways to educate our students. My colleagues and I are mesmerized, intrigued and even overwhelmed by the newest technology that is available. Terms like 21st century learning, smartboards, Itouches, voicethreads and many more are buzzing in and out of our daily conversations. It is truly an amazing time to be a teacher! However, with that in mind, I think it is critical that we continue to strive to keep the "old" tried and true methods and learning opportunities alive in our classrooms. Thoughtful conversations, purposeful read alouds, targeted mini lessons, reading/writing conferences and developmentally appropriate workshops need to be the foundations for learning in our classrooms. The "new" technology should be used to enhance, enrich, and empower our students' learning.

As far as the second part of the old adage, "Something blue, and a sixpence in her shoe..." I am not sure whether the bride had anything blue on underneath her layers of satin or jewels. I am certain there was not a "sixpence" in her shoe. However, I know for sure, that as teachers, we need to continue to protect our precious teaching time with children. We must insist that our "sixpence" is used wisely as we move into the 21st century, don't you agree?

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