Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Recycling my brain

I've been going through some old teaching notebooks. I should do this sort of thing more often. I keep old teaching notebooks because I might forget some brilliant idea that I used successfully, and keeping the notebooks means that I can recycle the contents of my own brain, so to speak. In fact this almost never happens. The reason it never happens is that I never look at the notebooks again.

The most usual way for me to rediscover brilliant old teaching ideas is not from old teaching notebooks. What usually happens is that I panic in the teachers' room and ask around for ideas for what to do in a class. Some kind soul gives me some fabulously helpful handout, and when I ask where they got it, they tell me that I gave it to them. This has happened several times.

"Really?" I ask. "I made this? Oh, yeah, it looks kind of familiar . . . "

"Yes. It's a good one! I've been using it for years, now. The students love it!"

This is always a little embarrassing. I came up with something the students loved and then I never used it again? Why not? How disorganized and forgetful can you get? Why would I forget something that made my life easier?

But I do, frequently. That is why I have to be so inventive about new things to use in the classroom. I keep forgetting the old things.

And that is why I am currently going through my old notebooks, looking for something I can use in a particularly difficult class tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Hey good luck! It reminds me of why I used Challenge to Think & Speaking Personally over & over & over :-)

Keera Ann Fox said...

I do that, too. Write things down and then never refer to them again. Thanks to the internet, I'll google some solution and only then remember that I've already saved a file or written a note on the exact same matter. My brain operates on a need-to-know basis only.

Hebron said...

Funny. I do the same thing, but with EVERYTHING.

Seriously, I keep every little thing just in case I'll need it in the future.
Ironically, I am right in every regard, but I can never remember where I put the damn thing. I'll usually find it again a year or so later after needing it. And my thought process at this point?
"Oh! Thats where it was! OH well, I might need it again in the future."
=puts it back=

Seriously. Shoot me.