Friday, June 17, 2005

Philosophy of Education

I believe in books, worn from joy.

I believe in growing gardens.

I believe in humongous, ridiculous-sounding words

like "obfuscation."

I believe in cute little words like "booger."

I believe in questioning authority and in

authorizing questions.

I believe in noisy classrooms that refuse to stay still.

I believe in that little spark in a kid's eyes that says,

"I don't know nothin' 'bout school, but I want

to KNOW. I want to know what makes an

engine go. I want to know how birds fly. I

want to know where babies come from and

where people go when they die. I want to

know where the river begins and ends. I

want to know about boats and basketball

and pirates and buried treasure and space

ships and martians and mice that swordfight

and why we have to poop."

I believe that such a spark exists in every child.

I believe that such a spark can be extinguished.

I believe that it is the job of teachers and parents

and good people everywhere to encourage

that spark, to fan it until it becomes a flame,

until it becomes a forest fire which is not

extinguishable and which feeds itself.

I believe that the job of a teacher is to tap into that

very real desire to know - no matter how

deeply buried it may be or how cleverly

disguised. Once that motivating desire is

discovered, I believe that all teachers have

to do is allow that desire to lead the child into

the reading and math and science that will

enable that child to be a lifelong learner.

I believe that there is too much to know for teachers

to teach it all. Thus, I believe that a teacher's

main job is to give children the gift of curiosity.

I believe in treating children as much like adults as possible.

I believe in letting children be children.

I believe that poetry and science and art and reading

and PE and music and history and math and

digging dirt are all related and education is

what happens when you try to figure out how.

by Dan Trabue, who wishes all of our teachers a restful summer


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