Monday, March 10, 2008


Curriculum mapping, the nature of change, and the Holy Spirit...

At the school where I work, the faculty and staff are in the process (tedious but necessary) of SACS accreditation. One component of that process is curriculum mapping, and the teachers are all abuzz with questions (mostly) and good ideas. Much has been written about curriculum mapping, but in a nutshell, it is exactly what it sounds like: a map of your (my) curriculum. I look at my plan book and map out what I have done, say, for the past nine weeks. This serves two purposes: it tells me what I actually teach, and it shows me where (if any) there is overlap with instruction. For instance, if I spend seven days teaching about active and passive voice in the 8th grade, I don't need to do that again in the 9th grade. You can see where this is absolutely crucial in the elementary grades.

One component of curriculum mapping is essential questions. We teachers are learning to formulate essential questions in such a way as to lead to further discussion, not just to be answered with a "yes" or "no." For instance, and I'm giving a word-for-word example here, instead of asking, "What is change?" I might ask instead, "What is the nature of change?" With the second question the students might think about catalysts, conditions, components, etc. Cool, right?

So that provoked my own thought process about the nature of change in my own life. Here in Suburbia there are lots of changes going on- changes that I didn't bring about on my own. As a matter of fact, if left to me, the changes wouldn't have even been initiated, let alone culminated. But being led by the Spirit is uncomfortable at times, and growing pains are definitely a component of change. I know as believers we are not called to a life of comfort and ease, but honestly, sometimes my initial reaction is "Why me?" instead of "Here am I: send me."

I don't like this about myself, but I can see bits and pieces of me that have been chipped away in the past year. And that is encouraging. Because when I really get right down to it, I want the Holy Spirit to be what brings about change in my life.

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