“Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.” Francis Bacon
Ahhh…silence! How many times have I said that? It seems that from the moment we awake until the minute we fall into bed, there is noise. Mornings are filled with coffee makers, news on the TV, hair dryers, and showers. And school is no place for those who need a moment of silence! Even when we get home, there are children telling us stories, telephones chiming, washing machines churning, TVs blaring, and dinner cooking. So, where does calm fit in?
Several times this year, after posting this quote in my office, I purposefully implemented silence. As educators, we have a plethora of decisions to make every day. As an instructional coach, I plan lots of events with teachers. Some of them (I know this will be a surprise!) are not exactly welcomed by all who attend. That means I must to prepare out of the ordinary, non-boring opportunities to learn. I am often asked to model lessons. Thinking outside the box takes silence. Jazzing up a lesson requires peace and quiet. When my brain is empty of ideas for an upcoming project, solitude is required.
We definitely need to create stillness. Real stillness. And sleeping doesn’t count! Like good manners in children, silence just doesn’t just “happen”. Sometimes I close the door to my office. Often, I’ll drive with the radio off. It’s no surprise that often my best ideas come when I’m lying on a raft in my mom’s swimming pool on a peaceful summer afternoon.
Here’s to silence, the great deliverer of wisdom. May you, in the hush of the afternoon when all the students have gone home, find enlightenment!