I grew up in the Chicago area and loved this time of year particularly. Trees took a long time to change color (the way I remember it) and the season lingered all the way until Thanksgiving. Sometimes longer.
In the 50's our families could still burn leaves in the street, although there must have been lots of rules and restrictions about doing it. What did I care? I loved watching the curls of smoke in the air and smelling the smells.
Each autumn my favorite cartoon appeared on the cover of the Sunday Chicago Tribune magazine: "Injun Summer" by John T. McCutcheon. A classic! And, of course, classically politically incorrect by today's standards. Still, I loved that picture. I savored the comfort and peacefulness of it.
The very best teachers capture moments and memories like these for their kids everyday in the classroom! Teachers exhilarate learning - making each new skill or concept a discovery worth having. They do it by their delivery, their follow up, their activities for practice.......and not by dangling a test score as reward for learning. not ever.
Click here to see John McCutcheon's cartoon and story! Maybe it'll help you think of a story or picture you loved growing up; something you could use next week in teaching a new concept or skill. Your enthusiasm for it will be contagious - trust me on that!
Be well today and always,