Wednesday, February 16, 2011
More homegrown inspiration
I was a reading a few books recently written by educators, teachers who really love their craft, love children and are inspired by the whole process of teaching. And it occured to me that all great educators have a few traits in common. The most prominent one being that they have tremendous respect for their students and reverance for the inherent potential of each human being. They want their students not only to learn but to do well. They understand the process of learning something and try to make it accesible to all their students. I think all of the above are things that parents should keep in mind when educating their children. It never ceases to amaze me how many learning ideas I actually get from my kids. Sometimes, I give them something like a tool or a project and they take and run with it and come up with fantastic ideas of their own. We kind of bounce ideas off each other. Recently, I bought some hand lenses/ magnifying glass loupes for everyone-cheap, versatile and educational, the things I love best. As usual when I returned from the shopping expedition, the bags were unpacked and the lenses were out before I even had my coat off. They ran around looking at all kinds of things really enjoying themselves. But today, I was contemplating going out and perhaps collecting some interesting things from the natural world for closer examination. We got some boxes for keeping beads from someone a while back and one day I found the four year old filling each small compartment with acorns and various acorn caps. What a great idea, I thought, these boxes would be perfect for keeping all kinds of things and samples for nature studies, etc. Today, however, the four and three year olds were busy examining toast and hair among other things. What a great idea, I thought, I don't have to go anywhere outside the house to find more things to look at, the kitchen would do just fine - bread, sugar, cut up vegetable and fruit, garbage, etc. So to paraphrase a Talmudic dictum, I learned much from many people, but from my children most of all.