Our semester four theme will be 'presence'. After careful consideration of a variety of different posts and a little quick Googling presence means exactly what one would expect - being present. Having a physical and emotional presence in and out of the classroom. Essentially, to me, presence can be thought of in the phrase "Be here now."
As teachers it is so easy to mentally be dozens of other places while we teach. Sometimes we need to be in those places, but in all reality I think it is important for all of us to "be here now." While kids are busy working, how many times do we find ourselves checking email, sending one off quickly, putting finishing touches on the next lesson, checking something at our computer, tidying up around the room, etc...? Sure, that's multi-tasking and sometimes we need to be doing all those things in order to keep our lives in order.
However, it is important that when students are present that we are present too. I know I'm just as guilty as the next teacher...but as I move into this fourth semester at SMU and a new school year I am making a conscious effort to "be here now" in whatever it is that I'm doing.