01 Mar Slice of Life: A Hidden Practice
I spent a long time setting up my space today. I sharpened new pencils, refreshed my pen supply, cleaned up folders and organized my desktop. I wanted the space to be uncluttered, inviting, and open to possibilities. I went to the store and purchased new candles, hand lotion, my favorite lip balm, and a frame for a few photos I wanted close at hand. I wanted my space to be comfortable, relaxing and familiar.
I had meant to spend this time writing. Getting a few slices under my belt in case I experience the blank page or run out of time one day this month. At first I was frustrated with myself for not being productive, but then I sat at my desk and realized I hadn’t wasted a moment. I was filled with purpose, meaning and agency. My space is ready for me and I am ready for my challenge.
In education we call this provisioning:
Provisioning: A Hidden Teacher Practice That Needs to Be Made Visible to the Mentee
As mentioned in the previous post, there are numerous best practices teachers implement that may go unnoticed by a pre-service or novice teacher. *Sapier and Gower (1997) have identified many of these hidden teacher practices, one of which is provisioning.
What is Provisioning?
Provisioning represents a set of procedures an experienced teacher implements to facilitate instruction. When provisioning is effective instruction moves smoothly and effortlessly. With provisioning the teacher prepares the classroom with materials of instruction, bulletin boards, physical space, seating arrangements, etc.
*Saphier, J., & Gower, R. (1997). The Skillful Teacher: Building Your Teaching Skills. Acton, MA: Research for Better Teaching, Inc.
I really do think it is a hidden practice – not just in teaching, in life. When we take the time to envision and create our space we are intentional. It pushes us to think about what we are doing, why it is important, how we want it to feel, and what we hope to have happen. We plan by thinking through the steps of how we want things to go and shift from thinking only about what we are going to do. How we do things is often more important than what we do.
In schools, do we start each day thinking about how are day will go? Teaching is more than a schedule and a list of objectives. It is bringing a community of learners together. Creating a community of learners requires thoughtful planning that cannot be found in a script; on Pinterest; or photocopied. It must be thoughtfully envisioned and planned. At home, do we think through our family rituals and how we value our time together? Family is more than cooking, cleaning, laundry and homework. We need to think about the moments we will have together and how we want them to feel. When we take the time to envision and plan what our family time will be we create memories, traditions, and connections.
Provisioning … I think it really is a hidden practice. It makes things seem so easy and effortless. In reality it is a thoughtful, intentional practice that requires time, vision, and care.
Thank you to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, Beth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for us to share our stories each day in March. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts and consider joining this community.