The image is a small watercolor I painted a few weeks ago in honor of St. Patrick‘s Day. The message is simple but profound at the same time. I have a passion for teaching. Many of the wonderful ideas I have learned and the creative opportunities I have had, have been taught to me by a passionate teacher. Paolo Freire believed that a nation could become literate if everyone who knew how to read would teach someone else to read. All it is, is passion. Teach someone something that you love to do, then as a result, you pass on the skill and the love of whatever that teaching is for eternity.
I hope you like the image and I hope you go ahead and “teach someone something you love.”
Here are some quotes to ponder from the writings of Paolo Freire:
“We offer a model of learning which is not dry and academic but is based upon sharing our experience and using the ‘social knowledge’ that we all have. In this model of learning we can all become both co-learners and co-teachers.”
“The teacher is of course an artist, but being an artist does not mean that he or she can make the profile, can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves.”
“Reading is not walking on the words; it’s grasping the soul of them.”
I continue to read the great material the WordPress bloggers write every day. I feel like I have access to many muses with such diversity of discourse and thought. Thoughts about thoughts that can be mind boggling at times. To all those who follow my blog I am very grateful for your continued support. You inspire me to become more thoughtful about the words I choose and about what I write. Thank you. Happy blogging!
“Many write poems to sell. Others to gather a form of following of one’s ego. My only reason in writing my poetry is to share my own personal journey with others.”
“While I know that real life is not all sunshine and daisies and curse words are employed quite regularly in the everyday language, I don’t see their purpose or literary merit when it comes to fiction. Some might say that it’s realistic and manages to show just how angry or peeved a character is, but as someone once told me, you don’t need to use swearing to show that. A good writer will be able to show the reader just how angry their character is by employing other techniques.”
“What do you give a writer? You can’t bottle inspiration, buying an agreeable agent would probably be out of your budget, and I don’t think the antidote for writer’s block has been discovered yet (though I’m betting a placebo would do just as well).”
“I love hearing about the writing process of successful novelists. It makes me realize that these people are just like me–they’ve figured out there is no set formula on writing and they do what works for them.”
“TeachNow changed my understanding of what it is to be a teacher. I learned that the teacher doesn’t need to know everything. I learned that teaching is less about instruction and more about helping students rediscover what they already know. I learned that teaching is also about holding space and giving students permission to explore and experiment and create. My friend just posted this quote on Twitter and it reminded me of everything I learned with TeachNow: “The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge.”
“If others are putting you down or pointing out your flaws, then consider the source. Smile, and outshine them with your positive attitude.”
I just received a photo of my grandson on the first day of school via e-mail. He started kindergarten today and his face says it all. He looks confident and stands straight wearing a brand new uniform. The photo brings me back to the day his father’s first day in kindergarten. He had his shiny new superman lunch box in one hand and a small book bag in the other. This is when book bags were simple and light. Kindergarten was a time for play and to engage in socialization. It was a time to begin to learn all the things that you would need to know the rest of your life.
My grandson on the other hand is wearing a big backpack and he looks so grown up. He already has a school resume having attended nursery school and Pre-K for a few years now; so school is nothing new to him. But he is attending a new school this year and so I hope he is able to adjust to his new environment.
But so many other children start school without any prior experience. Today, children are expected to know most of the alphabet, recognize the primary colors, identify geometric shapes and count to 100 before they put a foot inside the Kindergarten class. They are expected to have developed pre-reading skills like recognition of basic sight words. Kindergarten is simply not the same as when my son and daughter went to school. The exigencies are different and the pace is strict. Of course I devoted a lot of time to teaching them many things as a precursor to entering kindergarten but I did want some things to be discovered at school.
Today we need to make sure that five year old children are aware of their surroundings, understand the difference between good versus bad touching, and to develop some street smarts. Times have definitely changed. I just hope that my grandson’s experience is memorable and that he learns to love learning.
Since we live in different states I am making sure that I am a part of the experience. I told him I would write him a letter every week for him to practice reading. I send him activities to reinforce the skills in all areas. I want him to know me as a person and as someone who loves reading and learning. I want to restore some of those twentieth century skills like letter writing and good penmanship. I want him to be articulate and be able to write notes or messages longer than 140 characters. I believe that these skills are still part of building friendships and family relationships. I won’t mind if you call me old fashion. After all, I am a grandmother and I am entitled to be a little old fashioned sometimes.