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I spent three days this week getting myself educated more about the Common Core. It's quite a big project for one little brain to take on, as some of you know too well. I found myself being reminded of something I heard a wise professor say ten years ago when I was getting my Masters. I could only remember a small portion, but would you believe I still have those notes? (You never know when these things will come in handy.) This is what I had jotted down.
"Willingness to live with vagueness." That's the part that's been hanging around my brain this week. Even though my understanding of the Common Core is much improved, I'm still dealing with vagueness. That feeling can either be handled with stress or with the knowledge that this is simply part of being a learner. Ambiguity is not necessarily the enemy. I've learned over the years when diving into something new, to allow myself the right to not understand everything about it right off the bat. It takes time to conquer change. Sometimes it even lingers months into the process. Expect some possible feelings of foolishness and a desire for lots of dialogue and questioning. If so, according to Bahruth, it proves that learning is taking place.
In essence, we're practicing what we expect of our students, but oddly enough, my notes say that most children do these three things rather naturally. Maybe we can take a tip from them. Embrace the ambiguity instead of letting it heighten our stress levels. Whether it's the Common Core, Daily 5 (I've seen lots of posts about this lately), a new way of teaching math, experimenting with writing workshop, or whatever new content we're taking on, let's not be surprised when vagueness shows up. Instead we can expect it, recognize it, don't let it slow us down, and know that it won't stick around forever.