The Merriam Webster Learner’s Dictionary online says that the word anticipation can be used in two ways: 1) a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen and 2) the act of preparing for something. I am picking up my grandson today at our airport so that he can fly again tomorrow with my husband and me to Sanibel Island, on the gulf side of Florida. This is the grandson who moved away this year; he’s ten and we’ve taken him on a trip every year since he was four, although only this far away last year and this trip. We are anticipating the week with such excitement, have planned what we want to see and do with multiple lists, although we certainly are flexible enough that if something else better comes along, we’ll go there! We have also planned lists of what we need to bring with us, like plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent, comfortable clothes for beach combing and bird watching, and the pertinent paperwork in order to fly and take care of ourselves in medical emergencies, plus journals, pens, pencils for writing, and books to read at our leisure. We have planned big!
So, as I have been anticipating this trip with such excitement, as definition 1 says, and I have been anticipating each of our needs according to definition number 2, I am again making connections to work, and wondering where this all fits into how I teach? There is so much whirling around in my head because of my own anticipation, but it seems to narrow to only a few things:
§ Trust within the group so that everyone feels fully open to a new experience.
§ Allow everyone to anticipate what is needed and participate in the planning.
§ Build in time for flexible thinking, in case something wonderful presents itself that supplants other plans.
I’ve had such fun with the building of this trip, and know I’ll have fun in the next week, hoping to find new ideas for writing too! And actually, I believe that later I might write more fully about the three points above, and how they really look in the classroom.