Last night, I awarded our first medals of the semester. Last night, we began to change the narrative. Last night our Children and their teachers shined. Last night Mem Fox's Boris "The Tough Pirate" who cried when his parrot died.. helped us find our joyful groove. Dr. Turner's got his groove back!
We can learn a great deal about teaching and learning from authors. Patricia Polacco wrote in "Thank You Mr. Falker" about her own struggle to learn how to read: "“[Honey is sweet] and so is knowledge, but knowledge is like the bee that made that sweet honey, you have to chase it through the pages of a book.” “You'd have to go through at least four different hugs to get from the kitchen to the front room."
In a world that reduces childhood to data points, teachers and literacy to test scores...teachers have to change the narrative. Reducing Literacy to test scores and levels removes that sweet honey from learning to read.
Like Patricia Polacco whose books are loved by all our children in the Literacy Center...I have found that seeing the child, not the score, and a few silly plastic gold medals, bowing down telling children their brains are so much bigger than mine, and kids rule and teachers drool...changes the narrative from boring to fun...you should always follow the joy.
I remember the books that sang to my heart like the back of my hand. I spend my days holding them near, and searching for new ones. In Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince" I found the secret to unlashing my teaching super power....“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
See with the heart teachers, and you'll see rightly,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
CCSU Literacy Center Director
If you like to listen to the tune that inspired my walk in the rain this morning..it's SOJA featuring Michael Franti and Nahko's "I believe" > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X2YmB5xTt8 <