Working Together

Day 338…

Just to the left of my front door hangs a 1936 school poster.  I bought it when I was a young teacher (which was not in 1936!)  It reminds me of my “fifth grade teacher look,” the way I got fifth graders to know I meant business.

Katie says I still have that look.  Sorry, maybe it still says I mean business.

But after years of public school teaching, I learned that the art of teaching is much more than a “fifth grade teacher look.”  And it is about cooperation.

I learned this in Nature Lab, my hands-on inquiry-based (education jargonese) science enrichment class for young students.  The students cooperated, and so did I, to make a garden, take care of animals, and explore the world around us.

Not all classrooms are like this.  Many of mine weren’t.  I was the teacher and the children were the students, like the teacher bird in this poster.  We had important work to do.

We are all teachers and students.  Not just in designated classrooms.

At this point it would be easy to slip into a rant and begin giving examples of the misuse of authority, but I think Antoine de Saint-Exupery said it much more eloquently…

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. 

Writing topic:  Cooperation

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