There’s a bit of jargon we teacher types use to describe when aspects of the teaching process help the student to achieve more and more independent learning: scaffolding. As a high school teacher, I typically used it to describe actions or activities that developed skills required by future activities. Mastering baby steps, if you will.
I have to admit that even though I’ve left the classroom, I still use the term. I do this because I like it. I see it in action in parenting, in ministry, in friendship. Whether it is called “scaffolding” or not, we do it for one another when we come together and support one another to be better.
Scaffolding is great as far as I’m concerned.
Yes, I’ve been a tourist and had my views of tourist attractions obscured by scaffolding, but I’m savvy enough to appreciate that in the literal sense, scaffolding is used to make the structure within better and stronger.
And so, regardless of whether I’m thinking about teaching and learning or building maintenance, I think scaffolding is pretty swell.
In fact, I think we can all use some scaffolding more often than not. Because we take on daily wear and tear and need repair. We also need people and things present in our lives that help us get through stuff until we are strong enough to do it alone.
A friend posted a family photo the other day and I was so happy to see her in front of the camera instead of behind it. She remarked that it took the support of a friend to make her feel comfortable enough to be caught in that moment, of showing her vulnerable self so that her boys have a photograph to help them remember that moment.
I am so glad she was able to take and keep that photo and even more glad she has a friend who provides her so much love and support that she was able to share that moment with all of us. I’m so glad she was scaffolded.
Because, truthfully, sometimes it is only the scaffolding that gets us through.
I was thinking about how the support of others makes all the difference. For me, my mental health and my creative self are wholly connected. When I’m not writing, I feel horrible about myself; when I feel horrible about myself, I stop writing. I struggle to find anything in my life to be happy about, let alone be happy with who I am. It’s like I’m stuck under my own personal rain cloud without a raincoat or umbrella.
However, I am so blessed to have supportive people in my life who’ve kept me going when I didn’t know how to even move my feet, let alone begin the journey. And those folks? They help me see the sunshine in even the darkest weather.
The other day I made huge headway on my latest writing project and I was nearly overwhelmed with how happy it made me feel to be moving forward again. And yet, I know I would still be stuck if it weren’t for the folks who’ve supported me and told me I can do this; told me that I am good enough just as I am. And because of their scaffolding, I am not just good enough, I am better.
We all have our group of scaffolding. It likely looks more like squishy hugs and texts or phone calls than a stack of boards and pipes, but it does the same thing – provides us the structure and support to keep us going when we are in danger of collapsing. Thanks be to all the scaffolding in my life and yours.
According to the calendar, today is the first day of spring. Of course, an arbitrary date on a calendar doesn’t necessarily line up with what a body might be experiencing. A friend of mine, the writer Linda Grimes, uploaded a video of the snow gently falling in her front yard this morning. For her and her East coast counterparts, spring feels a bit off. And, of course, out here on the West coast, spring began creeping into being several weeks ago.
Sitting down at my kitchen table this morning, I realized the trees along the creek have leaves on them. I don’t remember there being leaves on them yesterday. But they are certainly there today. The dogwoods in my yard still are leafless and the big maple across the field still is in pre-bud form. But those birches across the way definitely unfurled their leaves in the past few days. Read more…
I have a few things rattling about my brain this morning and so I’m not sure how they will come out, but I know they need to come out. I’m pouring myself another cup of coffee and hoping to compose myself and my words enough.
It is an interesting word: enough. Depending on the context, it brings up so many things for a body and soul. Read more…
I moved into my new house on December 23rd. Today, a mere two weeks and three days later, I stood in my brand new shower and scrubbed at the spots already setting up house on my glass shower doors.
Two weeks and I already have soap scum/water spots? WTH universe. I thought I had a little more time before the evidence of use took hold.
That’s what I get for thinking. Read more…
Earlier this morning I tweeted “Advil starting to kick in. Ah…let’s Friday it up, folks.” In quick succession, two of my Twitter folks responded to that tweet which got me thinking about gerunds, social media, and Fridays. As one does, obviously.
First off, I adore the community I have carved out for myself on Twitter. The folks I follow are largely folks I’d actually want to go have coffee with, or people whom making small talk would be fun and not a challenge. Does that make sense? There are lots and lots of people whose company I enjoy when I’m around them, but having conversations with me require me to engage my full-extrovert-skills. Somedays I just don’t have that in me. Because I’m a creative type which means all that natural extroversion takes a toll. In other words, my extroverted self is balanced against a soul which can easily be trampled by all the noise and energy of mishmashing people. Read more…
Many years ago, a kind voice reached out to me in the Twitterverse. By most accounts, it was an accidental meeting. Unless you believe that words find the ear most in need of hearing them at that moment, in which case, it was no accident that I met Johanna Harness first on the Twitter hashtag #amwriting and then in real life at Powell’s many months later.
I, by the way, am a believer. I believe in all sorts of things like the power of words, and that a book can speak to a person, and that sometimes people cross our paths because that intersection will ultimately change everything. And, in this case, my casual use of Johanna’s hashtag, #amwriting, led to an introduction to a writing community, my publication by Buddhapuss Ink, and a wonderfully supportive friendship. Read more…
Every profession has its peaks and valleys – those crunch times when a person wonders just what the heck s/he was thinking when s/he started down that path. CPAs must shout “Free at last! I’m free!” as the office closes on Tax Day. Teachers certainly find their happiness once they turn in their keys for the short weeks of summer. Actors party wildly after the set is struck. And so on. Not all professions have such dramatic highs and lows, but they all have some sort combination of stressful time and not-so-stressful time.
Writing, of course, is not exempt of the stresses. Read more…