As we enter the second week at PDS, I am wondering about how we help students to use more and more of the available learning opportunities. How might we (as educators) assist students in using the whole of their learning experience? I recently had a tree cut down in my yard. I hated the idea of this beautiful oak tree being wasted, so I had a number of long conversations with the arborist we hired to remove the tree. I had ideas about mulch and firewood. However, I needed an expert to help me see the possibilities that would avoid wasting the opportunity. Our arborist had taken down enough trees to offer a much more complicated perspective on how the fallen timber might continue to serve.
I ended up with lots of mulch. Firewood until the apocalypse. Some of the larger limbs were cut into rounds that provided stump stools and fire pit end tables. The arborist carved up the main section of the trunk with a chainsaw to create our new couch (pictured above). Our oak tree is still useful and beautiful in ways that I never could have imagined on my own. As we continue into the school year, I wonder how we are helping students to recognize, utilize, and optimize beautiful opportunities for learning.