Spring is a hard time of year in schools across the country. Kids and educators alike have the eye on the prize for the last day of school, with dreams of the culmination of an active academic year. However, there are projects to finish, lessons still to learn, tests to tackle, and patience tends to be on its last leg. Throw in some spring fever and you have a recipe for potential disaster… lemons abound!
Recently my head gave us a great example how a moment of potential chaos recently, turned out to be awesome because some people took lemons and made lemonade. It led to an overall theme as to how in schools, we have the ability of doing this on many occasions. It got me thinking about how this is a thought for my spring sprinkled classes. Friday, last period, the class another teacher and I combine for, was crazy. Right after dismissal, half of our students were going to one of the boy’s birthday party. The excitement could be heard throughout the building, and you can guess that engagement to the lesson was a bit of a challenge. These “lemon” moments are not unusual in many classrooms… but it’s where you go with it as a teacher that is what matters.
Lemonade in teaching is taking those instances when things are not going as you planned, when the lesson is not achieving its intended purpose, the attention of students is not where one would hope, and making them work. This is not through punishment, through yelling, through means that lead to discord, but rather finding the place to add some sugar. It can be hard as a teacher to step back right at that moment and see where you can sprinkle something in the mix to turn the sour into a moment of savory sweetness.
As educators, we need to remember that on a daily basis, we are making lemonade. Some days the flavor varies, and others require more stirring, sugar or ice, but all are moments that bring a glimmer of sunshine to the future of each student. So at this crazy time of year, don’t forget that learning is about the lemonade, and don’t pucker up when all you see are lemons.