"Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued." ~Socrates
Okay, to fully understand my absolute pleasure at what happened yesterday, you first must know how incredibly LONG winter has been here in the Northeast US. Not only did we get socked with snow/sleet/ice multiple times, so that we had 6-foot drifts along our driveway for months, even when the snow melted, around March, the weather never warmed up. Until this week, it was down around 15-20 degrees every night. And gray. So gray. Never any sun.
So finally, FINALLY, yesterday, we had a day that felt like spring was really here. The sun came out, and it was up in the 60s.
And my students asked if we could have class outside.
"Are you kidding?" I said. "I'll be the first one out the door."
So with the usual caveats of If you don't behave and stay focused, we're coming right back inside, and this will never happen again, we headed out to the park next door.
And for an hour, we sat in a circle in the sunshine and read poetry together. I have to say, it was a near-perfect day. There was something so organic, so very cool, about engaging 20 teenagers in conversation about language with the trees around us and the sun on our backs.
Of course, tomorrow they'll probably cry about the workload, or beg for a grade change, or I'll get called into the principal's office for taking them off school grounds without prior permission.
But I don't care. For a day, anyway, it was what being a teacher is all about. It's true: I felt a little like Socrates, surrounded by pupils engaged in earnest discussion. Except, you know, not nearly as brilliant. But otherwise...