Perhaps part of what we are doing as teachers is not just squeezing the life out of something, but wanting something the students don’t necessarily want themselves.
When I think about myself I realise that I am also occasionally guilty of wanting an outcome, wanting closure, and wanting it NOW.
Those are my needs, not theirs.
The child sloshing around with their water paints, the one pulling apart a bug, the one playing tea parties, and the one tinkering around on the piano are each doing things that meet their needs.
How do we react? We tend to rush around finding equipment to clean up the mess, we tell them to get serious, we tell them to play OUR tune, and we tell them to hurry up so that our needs are met. But, are they really?
As you say, we run the risk of throttling the life out of their imagination, their creativity, their curiosity and their thoughts, which are precisely the things we want them to develop.
Finding space for this in a crowded curriculum and with conflicting expectations from others in the learning community will not be a simple task. But, it will be worthwhile for building the drive for life-long learning in those entrusted to us.
Thank you for reminding me of the care I need to take as the intruder in the classroom.
May 17, 2010
Posted at http://kalinago.blogspot.com/2010/05/squeezing-joy-out-of-thing.html