This quote from Rick Wormeli is powerful:
Let’s admit to students that we aren’t really sure what the author meant symbolically, what really happened during a particular moment in history, whether or not a politician is misleading us, what an object is made of, or if our teaching strategy is the best way to teach.
Let’s get out of our students’ way and not limit them to our imagination. If we’re doing it right, every subsequent generation will be superior to the current one. If students only learned what we teachers know, society would grind to a halt. The goal is always that students will write a better paragraph, conduct a scientific experiment more wisely, compose more efficient computer code, and sing more beautifully than we can. Are we committed enough to let them? Let’s ask questions of students to which we don’t already know the answer.
As I have stated often, if kids leave school less curious than when they have started, we have failed them. Kids ask questions as they walk into school, and we have to be comfortable with not knowing and being the sole source of information for our students.
I have heard from many educators that many parents want the same experience in school that they had as children. I would strongly disagree with that statement. I believe parents want the best experience for their children and many believe that their experience then, was best. If you can show them something different and better, they will move forward with you. My parents made many sacrifices in their lifetime so that their kids could have a better experience than they did. I do not know if I could have made the same changes and strides in my life, that they had made in their time (moving to a totally different country, not knowing the language or culture, and starting with nothing). But they wanted something better for their kids, so their kids could do something better than they did.
If we know better, have access to better, then we should be able to do better. Ultimately, this will lead to our students to doing something better than we could ever imagine, which as Rick so nicely states, is the goal.
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