There was no winner in “The Willful Child” caption contest (July 27th’s post). Interestingly, (but not surprisingly I suppose) there was a complete diversity of opinion, and actually the comments keep coming in (keep them coming). But the theme is clear: Learning is something I do, not something someone will do to me.
If you haven’t visited the site in a while go read all 31.
“No, Daddy, YOU are wrong. See, the bows go in the front, by my toes,” pinpoints the wrongness of labeling someone else’s answer “wrong.” This “willful child” was simply trying to maximize a different value.
Another lesson is of the utmost importance, and it is evident by Zan’s caption: “I’m going to be a CEO, director, president, Olympic athlete, or inspiring teacher. Along the way, you’d better figure out when to tell me “no” and when to tell me “yes” so that I learn how to harness this raw determination.” The lesson: Know when to say “yes” and when to say “no.”
It reminded me that the “serenity prayer” could very easily be the “educator’s prayer:”
“Grant me the courage to change the things I can change, the grace to accept the things I cannot change, the wisdom to know the difference and the disciplines to pull it off.”
Trusting a child’s genius includes knowing when to say “No,” and when to let go.
P.S. Simultaneously, I have been quite involved in discussion about the future of education as exemplified by: “Take Back Our Schools,” “Our Socratic Oath,” “This Match on Washington, Where’s the Dream“