Having just finished the morning portion of a full day with Peter Reynolds (www.fablevision.com), the title above summarizes the inspiring morning I had. Albeit simple and basic, it sums up why we are here, in priority order. The fist priority in school is (should be) people. People (students, staff) need to be cared about first – then the door is opened to learning. All of us have stories about their favorite teacher – and invariably the connection starts with how that teacher connected with us as a person, then helped us to grow.
Peter is an author / illustrator with an incredible creative flair. By his own descritption he is unrealistically optimistic – something we really need in education. He shared many of his own works (more on that later) and works of those that inspire him. The bottom line is that his vision for any person (not just kids in school) is to unlock what their strength is and capitalize on it. His own story is his 7th grade math teacher saw his constant need to doodle during class as an opportunity to help him find his calling – media and filmmaking and technology. What an eye-opener that the subject (math – something he is not so good at to this day) had very little to do with the connection the teacher made to helping him find himself. The math teacher asked him to draw the mathematical concepts they were learning and teach it to other students. His world opened up from there.
In this crazy, silly, constrained world of standards, tests, and more tests, how are we going to find the time to do what matters?
Looking forward to the afternoon session!