I will be honest. In preparation and excitement for this blog and this day, I wrote a very large, inspiring, amazing paragraph…that had absolutely nothing to do with today’s topic. No worries though, I didn’t get rid of it, I just moved it into storage to really surprise myself with my incredible talent later on. It just so happens that this is what we are talking about today, incredible talent, not mine per say, but the possibility of talent spread through creativity and happiness.
I reviewed two sources today. The first was a TED talk (they are really growing on me) about a teenage boy, Logan LaPlante, who believes we should be teaching kids how to be happy and heathy in school and beyond rather than simply teaching them how to get a job.
The second source was a blog by Bud Hunt on the importance of Making, Hacking, and Playing in and out of school.
I love the idea brought to the table by Logan, of incorporating happiness and health into our everyday curriculum at schools. It is not enough to prepare our students for their careers after school, we need to be preparing them for life. This was the strongest message for me as a para already working in school. I see third graders come into school depressed because of their home life. I see 5th graders stress all morning about whether they remembered their siblings lunch. There are kids that cry before school ends because they don’t want to go home.
None of these problems should be affecting our students so young, and yet here we are. We cannot expect the parents to take this over because we know that some kid’s home lives are the reason they are not happy and healthy. That leaves it up to us. The teachers. Making someone happy is not going to work. It is nice, but it is fleeting. We have to teach students how to find their own joy in life and in what they do.
I also felt in tune with Bud Hunt as he talked about continued making, hacking, and playing even as children grow through the grades. He isn’t suggesting that we offer a role play kitchen class to juniors in high school, but he is referring to the fundamental skills that things like creating, tinkering, and socializing builds. These are all things that can be integrated into the regular education classroom through our everyday subjects.
Both of these resources really made me stop and think today. The ideas presented in them made a lot of sense, but it brought me to the question of how? How can we work learning a fulfilled life into school and how can we make time for making, hacking, and playing in an already packed schedule? HOW? I don’t have the answers, and although these posts made us think about it, they regrettably don’t offer a solution. It is definitely something that will have me thinking, and hopefully I will still be thinking about it until the year I retire!