What are your first thoughts when you hear the word ‘crossroads’? What do you imagine? It may depend if you are a driver or not, or whether or not you like hiking. If you know where you are going, crossroads can be helpful to take the right turn. It may also depend on where you are living now, or come from.
If you don’t know where (exactly) you are going, or if the area is new to you, crossroads/intersections can be very tricky. You may use various factors to decide where to turn: an attractive street name? Beautiful buildings? One question is, how are you going to decide where to go next? Being a tourist in a place may mean your choice is freer, and less responsible (you are sightseeing, and it can hardly go wrong). But if you are there on business, if you need to get to a place, you need to know the turn. To make that decision.
In the modern world, you need a map, or a smart phone with a navigator/interactive map. You have it, of course. Many maps will show you more than one route, and you again need to choose how to get to the destination point.
On the map, you can see where you are: ‘You Are Here’ icon is pointing that out. You will soon reach the destination point, because you know the answer to the question ‘Where Now?’ and you have a map (or a compass/sports watch on a hike).
Unlike those times in our lives when we reach a metaphorical ‘intersection’ with more than one option (or door!) in front of us, and it feels like the right points to make a decision. Except that we don’t always have a map at hand. Or the metaphorical phone is not fully charged. Or (and that can be even more tricky!) we can’t understand where the starting point is.
Not all the answers may be clear right away. The crossroads may even look quite messy!
At first, I was trying to see if our Hand Template (from ‘It’s in (Y)Our Hands‘ project) could be applied here. I thought about these simple steps for a classroom activity (adapted from the Decision Book):
- Define where you are, think what brought you here.
- Think of a goal you have.
- List the roads (or choices) in front of you. Can be between 5 and 10, so that we can use the template and write the roads beautifully.
The final result would be a neat hand image with several possible ‘roads’ to take. A perfect lesson for ‘Going to’ and ‘planned actions’? Hm…
I then thought about younger learners, and thought how they could imagine a crossroads ‘squeezed into’ a hand template. It was fun to be thinking of some ways to do it.
I asked myself if I see any other/more artistic/graphic way of creating your own intersection? How do I feel right now? You could tell I really had fun with that 🙂
Are you at the crossroads at the moment? What of roads do you see at the moment? Can you give them a name? What kind of decisions are you taking now? Whichever those are, I am wishing you a safe and smooth journey.
P.S. Some of my Ukrainian colleagues and friends (and readers of this blog!) had to leave the country earlier this year in search for a safer place for themselves, their kids and parents. For many this meant leaving their home behind, saying goodbye to husbands and brothers (they can’t leave the country due to the military state). In the new place, they have to find a job, a place to stay, etc. That whole situation is a huge intersection. While this post is aiming at offering a solution, I hope these notes and ‘crafts’ made some of you smile, and bring further friendly conversations, for your classes, and our chats. Sending hugs, and #StandWithUkraine!
P.P.S. The idea of various doors (and then crossroads) came up in our recent Reflective Group Meeting. Who knows, we may take some more time to speculate about the options and choices we have. If we do, there will be another blog post!