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The Ebb and Flow of Good Instruction

The more time I spend in a classroom, the more I realize that the best instruction has a sure presence of give-and-take, of flexibility, of grace. It’s like the ocean’s tide or a well-played soccer match. It’s a nudge of encouragement, a step back of release, and a nod of recognition. It’s warm, it’s comfortable, and it’s inviting.

The more time I spend in a classroom, the more I realize that the best instruction is a conversation – a friendly, constructive, mutually respectful conversation. It’s teacher-initiated and student-dominated. It’s authentic, and it’s jam-packed with affirmation.

The more time I spend in a classroom, the more I realize that the best instruction, the most nimble instruction, can be most intimidating to teachers. It’s fluffy, it’s ambiguous, it’s uncontrolled. It’s a leap of faith; it’s all-in commitment. It’s a resilient belief in the learner, investment in the process, and relentless zeal for the product of it all.

The more time I spend in a classroom, the more I realize that soon enough it will be up to me to commit to this release – this flexibility, this advancing and declining fluidity – within my own teaching structures, classroom expectations, and instructional relationships.

The more time I spend in a classroom, the more I realize that I cannot wait to slip into the ebb and flow of my own instruction.

Pictured above: A Selfie by Kara Jones. 

A few of my students at St. George's Independent School's Memphis Campus requested a selfie for a literature project. In the spirit of ebb and flow, I gave in and made it a double shot.

About User
Kara Jones

A native of Paris, Tennessee, Kara Jones is a 2012 graduate of Christian Brothers University in Memphis. While an undergraduate student at CBU, Kara was involved in Psi Chi (National Honor Society in Psychology), the University’s peer counseling program, Mayor A.C. Wharton’s Colleges of Memphis initiative, and Alpha Xi Delta women’s fraternity. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in psychology and spending the following two years working in Memphis’ nonprofit sector, she grew eager to return to education as both a learner and a teacher. Inspired by those whom she met and interacted with during her time away from academia, Kara returned to her alma mater to begin working toward a Master of Arts in Teaching. The year-long Martin Institute teaching residency experience will provide her with invaluable opportunities for practical application of her graduate education to classroom instruction. When she’s not in the classroom, Kara loves to cook, eat dark chocolate, listen to good music, and play (and pretend she’s good at) trivia.

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