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DP: Beware the Ides of… Routine

What are you more comfortable with — routine and planning, or laissez-faire spontaneity? 

Julius Caesar behaved according to routine. Disregarding the prophetic warnings and his wife’s bloody nightmare, he remained confident in his supremacy as Rome’s emperor and the fawning love of a fickle people. As planned, to the Senate he went. And we all know what happened to him…

You might expect teachers to be amongst those most highly organized. Classrooms full of students likely benefit enormously from the type. Avid planners, designing backwards from the identified desirable outcomes and plotting their daily course without fail, they accomplish much. They are able to meet benchmarks, know what’s coming next semester, next month, next week and in the next 10 minutes. I love those teachers. But I struggle to be one of them.

I prefer the unpredictability of students and their engagement with text. I love the random nature of conversation about what we’ve read together, and the richness of a student’s honest investigation of an important idea. Those kinds of days can’t be scripted. Sure, sometimes the conversation ends in a bloody mess. Sometimes time runs out and significant learning moments are delayed. Sometimes, no one has a durn thing to contribute, and the day, like Caesar, falls flat.

Still. Give me spontaneity. My ear, tuned to the prophet, hears “beware, the Ides of Routine” and I swerve away from the steps of the predictable routine, the tyranny of the urgent. Let “Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!” ring forth.

I can never quite decide if Caesar dies a hero in the face of treacherous betrayal or merely a victim of another form of power hungry Senators, masquerading as defenders of the State. I do love a good conversation about it. Who IS the ‘noblest Roman’? Is the State or the individual more important? What cost, freedom? When those questions burst on the scene, learning follows. There’s nothing routine about that.


One thought on “DP: Beware the Ides of… Routine

  1. Pingback: Best Laid Plans… Whatever! | The Jittery Goat

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