1. Hey Pal,

    First, hope you are well and happy! Been a while since we’ve connected.

    Second, thanks for this post. I love the notion that initiative is the key ingredient to successful people in any field — and the suggestion that schools don’t do enough to encourage kids to take initiative.

    I see that in my room as a function of having too much to teach in too little time. An example: When I’m setting up a new lab experience in the science classroom, I know in the back of my mind that the best thing I can do is allow my students to ask and answer their own wonder questions and to set up their own experiment to work their way to their own answers.

    But I also have a required curriculum to teach and I know that if I let kids ask and answer their own questions, they may not master the outcomes that I’m required to teach — and that the process will take much longer than I have to give.

    So all too often, I script the directions and procedures — which gets kids to the discoveries I need them to make in a much shorter time so I can move on to the next required outcome.

    Think about how badly that sucks. What my kids gain is far less useful than what they loose in that trade-off.

    But that’s a function of an impossibly large curriculum.

    Anyway — thanks for the chance to think alongside you this morning!


  2. The same thing can be said of those who accept all the default settings in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, to which I say, “Arial No More!” Perhaps those people lack the time to choose other settings than the default, but to me that speaks of an essential lack of audience awareness, or empathy. With teachers, it’s also often fear that keeps them from exploring alternative solutions, or the “we’ve always done it this way” mantra, which in my mind is like freezing to death. Comfortable in their sleepy routine, some teachers keep on keeping on the same way, because change and exploration is uncomfortable. Eventually, though, if you are cold and sleepy enough, you never wake up.

  3. Nick

    Wow. So good. I’m awake. I think about my parents when I say to them, “Why are you using that browser?” I now see into their mind a little more and this in turn will allow me to see into the eyes of my students. Much love.

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