What a disservice it would be…To bring together 25 uniquely made children, each boasting uncommon experiences, uncontainable interests, various upbringings, and then disregard all of that for the teacher’s pompous plan.
Would you rather have your child become a creator or a cog? A cog is formed to fit into one specific spot and maintain one duty. That gear may look nice and shiny on the outside with its refined skill-set, but it performs limited functions. A creator is surely interactive, artistic, and dynamic. The needed environment for developing these two would be quite different.
The making of a cog:
One must be told where to go and what to do requiring strict training and redundancy. A controlled environment removed from all variables. Very efficient!
The making of a creator:
A creator must draw deep understanding of herself and the world around her from authentic experiences. The creator engages and explores available resources and surroundings.
I hope the image on the right displays the characteristics of my classroom community this year. (Which of the two pictured neighborhoods would you rather visit?)
Jon Acuff suggests that relationships are not designed to be efficient but instead messy. I struggle with this since I’m working towards being a more relational teacher to my students. But again I think this boils down to our personal intentions. If my intention is to deliver as much content as possible to my students then I must forfeit in the area of relationship. If my intent is to stand with my students through support, encouragement, and authentic interactions then I’m going to have to concede strict control over the specifics of student learning.
Many teachers have the syllabus structured and set no matter what kid walks in the door. These teachers embrace efficiency while neglecting creativity and student autonomy.
Without knowing the future world our youth will grow up in, I think a focus on social-emotional development will serve them better than a strict academic agenda. It will also give them the tools to better navigate their learning as young adults and in their eventual professions.
I will take depth and vulnerability over efficiency. This philosophy will grow life-long learners much more than the teacher that covers a large quantity of content on the surface, which obviously lacks genuine engagement. Which results in a healthier person?
Ryan Hershey see my blog at