A few weekends ago, I had the chance to go skiing in Utah for the first time. I wasn’t expecting to ponder as many life lessons as I did. There is something about being out in nature, surrounded by God’s majestic creations, that causes us to think of Him. I thought a lot about trials and the journey of life. Keep in mind that I had previously skied on hills in Ohio, which are nowhere near as challenging to maneuver. Just going up the ski lift was terrifying for me. Standing at the top of the mountain was scary. It looked like I was about to go off of a cliff.
Once I took a leap (not a literal leap!) of faith and started to ski down the mountain, it was better. I realized that I just needed to put the skills that my instructor had taught me to use. I focused on using those skills and the journey down the mountain was beautiful… and fun! I simply had to apply the things I had previously learned. If I had let the things I knew go out the window, then I wouldn’t have had an enjoyable experience and I probably would have gotten hurt.
The same principle applies to the knowledge that we have gained in our teacher education classes. If we get to the classroom and we do not apply the things we have learned, then our experience will be really stressful and not as fun! I am so grateful for the things that I have learned so far and for the few, but nonetheless powerful, opportunities that I have had so far to apply them in the elementary classroom.
I know that many of you have recently started your practicum semesters. What experiences have you had in the classroom, where you have put the skills you have been taught to use and seen great results?