That about sums it up.
Well, Jeff provided us with an aptly-timed humbling experience over our Thanksgiving break: a close read on Situated Learning.
I consider myself to be a good and experienced reader, and I struggled through this piece more than I have struggled through any reading in a long time. I found myself reading aloud, at times stopping to purposely process each word in a sentence just to put the meaning together. It didn't help that a few times I was trying to read it when my children were awake, and the interruptions threw a hilarious wrench into any kind of meaning I was trying to extract at the time. This is why I usually engage in this kind of work at 4am, when I know they will be quietly sleeping. So then I was reading THIS!! at 4am... coffee did not provide the miracle support I needed at that foggy hour. As tedious and painful as it was (sorry- I'm feeling dramatic after the experience), the experience was a great reminder of how difficult some of what we assign to our students is for them. It acted as a reminder to me as to what kinds of scaffolding and support my students may need.
What made it especially difficult for me is that the evidence supporting claims was tough to identify because the evidence was usually abstract and in the form of deductive reasoning. I have much more experience and a greater comfort level with identifying evidence in the form of concrete examples. My brain likes those. It actually took me forever to figure out that there was any "evidence" because my brain didn't register those abstract deductions as such.
All in all, I valued putting myself through the practice of marking the text and identifying content and purpose because I have my students, grades 9-11, doing this exact thing every week as I work to help them learn critical reading strategies to help them in making meaning from text. I usually dedicate the entire second semester of my English classes to this. Putting myself in the learner mindset in this particular way, by reading a text with this level of density and difficulty, refreshed my sense of empathy for the experience of my students and the types of struggling they potentially encounter. Thanks Jeff, for this crucial reminder. Always keeping it real :)
Now I look forward to reading the reflections of our Collective, as I purposely haven't read any yet, so as not to jade my reading experience.