“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
…so begins the review for the first book mentioned on Brain Pickings’s The 13 Best Psychology and Philosophy Books of 2013, The book, On Looking by Alexandra Horowitz, is a title that we have not yet read but have placed on the top of our “Want to Read” list. The review reminds us how easy it is to become so wrapped up in the trappings of day-to-day living that we can exist in our world without really noticing much about what is going on in the immediate world around us. Horowitz realized she had fallen into this daze as she walked her dog around the block day after day. She resolved to make an effort to “attend to inattention,” Horowitz enlisted the help of eleven different “experts” (e.g. an artist, a geologist, a dog) to help her learn to “look” in new ways.
As we mentioned, we are intrigued by the premise and find ourselves thinking about how it can help us think about “being present” in our personal lives and in our work with teachers in their classrooms. Without even reading the book, thinking about how other “experts” would view our work is fascinating and so, today, we leave you with this task:
After teaching a lesson, ask yourself these questions:
- What would my grade level colleagues notice?
- What would my administrator notice?
- What would my students notice?
- What would the parent of the most difficult child in my class notice?
- What would the parent of the most compliant child in my class notice?
Does this help you to “look” more closely at your classroom life? What do you notice? What do you see?