Sunday, January 29, 2012

Flying -v- going with the flow

Sometimes children say the most powerful things don't they?  When I read this I could immediately visualize a butterfly flying happily from one flower to another and then sadly reaching a flower that tried to make him go backwards, to clip his wings, to try to push him into a skin he has outgrown.  And I started wondering if as teachers we sometimes do this to our students, if we want them to stay in one stage for too long, even if they have outgrown this - perhaps because as teachers we are not ready to move on.  Isn't this what schools are doing when they have a cellphone ban?  When teachers insist on a 5 paragraph essay?  When students are not given the choice of what to investigate, what tools to use to investigate and how to show their understanding?  When they feel that they come to school and "power down"?  And then I became even sadder because I started to think of all the teachers that I've seen this happen to as well, who have ended up in a school where the administration don't want them to fly because they can't control where they are flying to, who want them to remain passive on a leaf and to conform and be the same as everyone else.  What a waste! Even a dead fish can go with the flow!  However it takes a live one with courage to swim upstream against the flow.

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