|8th grade boy in Newark, looking. (M.A. Reilly, 1998)|
|Grade 5 students from New Rochelle|
engage in art conversations. (M.A. Reilly, 2006)
to stories (M.A. Reilly, 2006)
There was delight in those days.
|1st graders in Newark thinking. (M.A. Reilly, 2012)|
This was also a time when I actively began to photograph my students at work, realizing that observing them and their work was infinitely more critical, more important than the more traditional teaching roles I had worn.
In this manner, causality gave way to occasioning.
Looking through a lens allowed me quiet and the time to observe--to create the teaching in a different manner. The distance created by the lens encouraged me to reframe the classroom by opening myself to wonder.
I was finally confident enough as a teacher to slip into the skin of a learner.
This was a time of great pleasure.
|Newark (M.A. Reilly, 2012)|
“Do not seal off the stage.Leaning back, let the spectator be awareOf the busy preparation going onCunningly intended for him. He seesA tin moon floating down, a shingle roofBrought in. Don’t show him too much.But do show him! And, friends, let him be aware that
You are not conjurers, but workers.” - Bertolt Brecht
Learner as worker is a critical stance--be it in the role of teacher or student or a hybrid of each.
|Newark (M.A. Reilly, 2013)|
It takes a certain level of confidence and commitment to make this type of shift as it requires us to stay curious,
to be vulnerable
to open large spaces for wonder
to feel the joy of being,
and to listen to the silences
and observe keenly.
These days there's a lot of attention placed on what and even how to teach. And perhaps this is helpful. Nonetheless, we have to be willing to know that there is no path to follow in what is largely a wilderness.
We have to be willing to fail better.
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