Tomorrow’s lesson is set. You’ve written it out, you know the objectives, you’ve duplicated the handouts, you’ve laid out your materials, and you’ve cross-referenced it with the standards. With a surge of pride, you realize that NASA is less prepared for most Space Shuttle launches.

Midway through the lesson, though, that student in the back–that girl who thinks just a half-beat faster than you–asks a question that stops you cold.  You glance at your notes.  “Wait,” you think. “That wasn’t in the plan.”  Suddenly, you’re facing a crossroads:   You can plow through the lesson as scripted, knowing that you only have 180 days and you’re required to cover a certain amount of material.

Or. . . Well, let me give you some what ifs. . . .

What if you:

abandoned your plan and went where the lesson (and her question) took you?
explored a new direction spontaneously, not knowing where it would lead?
–invited the serendipity, the adventure, the danger?  Would it engage the students more or less than
   what you had planned?
–showed your students that learning is a journey of exploration, trial error, and failure, as well as success?
–trusted your training?
–had faith in the process?
–took the leap, taught without a net, and it crashed and burned?  And what if it didn’t?

What if you detached from your expectations and any anticipated outcomes and made discovery the objective and just followed your instinct as an educator?  And what if you didn’t?

Which would you regret more?  

And which would your students regret more? TZT