edu180atl: sarah gruber 4.25.12
Adaptation (biology): “modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence under the conditions of its environment” (Merriam Webster)
Today, like so many other days this first year in the classroom, I learned that I have to adapt to my surroundings in order to “survive.” My fifth graders and I took a field trip to the Georgia Aquarium today as an extension of our science studies. Among the many fun facts we picked up during our “behind the scenes” tour, we learned that penguins’ feathers overlap to help them stay dry and warm, that manatees can hold their breath for up to twenty minutes so they don’t have to come up to the surface as frequently to breath, and that sharks have multiple rows of teeth because, unlike humans, their teeth don’t have roots to hold them in place. Adaptation is fundamental to animal survival, our guides told us, but isn’t it also fundamental to teacher survival?
Adaptation (education): fine-tuned hearing for the beeping of timers, back row whispers, and the buzzing of the office intercom; a keen memory for names, birthdays, fun facts, commonly misspelled words, favorite books and authors; thin calluses on your thumbs and pointer fingers to ease the passing out of papers; a big bladder for being-able-to-hold-it until planning or lunch; a tender heart for bruised feelings and bruised knees; and the ever-figurative, but always powerful eyes in the back of your head.