Tuesday, February 14, 2006


"Don't count crayons......Just color" -Mark Sharenbroich

At the assembly today, the students heard a lot about choosing their own path in life. It involves living and loving and not losing the joy of learning. It seems that this talk fits right in with the things that we are trying to "fix" in education. I am going to start thinking of this as an educational improvement group and not a reform. I am not even sure if the CIT group (from the grants) is actually a reformation group. It seems like more often, I am trying to tweak the things that I am doing in the classroom and not totally redoing them. I need to try to focus on the positive a little more.

In the book Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi states:
The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to
its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and
worthwhile. [3]

...optimal experiences add up to a sense of mastery - or perhaps better, a
sense of participation in determining the content of life - that comes as close
to what is usually meant by happiness as anything else we can conceivable
imagine. [2]

What I seem to be trying to do in my classroom is figure out what the "flow" should be.

Oliver Wendell Holmes
"One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."

How can we get students and teachers to actively seek what they truly find imporant and enjoyable? When there are so many students in one class, that have different interests and abilities, can we reach them all?

The students that I talked to today said that they see me as the type of person who does not "count the number of crayons but just likes to color". If I can get my students to start thinking this way then I think I am changing the eduactional system for the better. If students seek what makes them happy in their studies then that is where I hope they will be at this point of the journey (I choose not to call high school the "end" of the journey but it is just another point on the map).

So, I will continue to try to figure out how to get the students to be the captain and driver of their own ship while I serve as the mechanic. Needless to say, I will continue to find ways to make school enjoyable for students and try to reignite the fire that they had when they raised their hands in first grade.

1 comment:

Karl Fisch said...

I think we are all trying to figure out what the "flow" should be. (I can't be sure, since you checked out the book before me!)

Maybe I'm a dreamer (but I'm not the only one?), but I do think we can get students and teachers to "actively seek what they truly find important and enjoyable." Can we reach them all? I don't know, but I sure want to try.

Brian, I definitely see you as a person that "just likes to color," that's why it's so good to have you on the planning team. And while I, too, want to change the educational "system", I think we can start by focusing on just changing our classrooms. If we make positive changes for the students currently sitting in our classrooms, then we have accomplished much. Then we can tackle the world and ignite the fire. (I suddenly have an image of the Olympic flame . . .)