Tuesday, July 2, 2013

So Many Colors In The Rainbow

Join the Parade

“Your son marches to the beat of a different drummer, but don’t worry, we’ll have him joining the parade by the end of the term.” These are the opening sentiments to Harry Chapin’s 1978 folk song Flowers Are Red.

Here’s the video of him performing in 1981. I like this version because he offers the background to why he wrote the song. (The actual song begins at 1:51)

Here is a link to the lyrics as well.

What Does Our Palette Look Like?

Teaching is an art (and yes, a science). In the world of high-stakes testing, does it make sense to continue to tell experienced teachers how to teach? There are schools where teachers are told "these are the most effective strategies you must use with kids", "these are the programs that you must do with your students", without ever seeing them in action, or seeing them in action only through compliance, rather than real engagement. Does a one size fit all program work? What is the cost of this to our kids? Do we do this to our students? Do principals do this to teachers?

 A Blank Canvas

As each new school year starts, I tell my students this is a new year – the past doesn't matter. You start today to make this year a memorable one, to create moments that you will never forget. I get to do sixth grade again next year, you don’t. This is the time you can start to paint the portrait of an amazing sixth grade year. As an educator, what do we want our students’ portraits to look like?

Painting is fun – shouldn’t teaching be fun? Learning be fun? There must still be a way for us to see:

There are so many colors in the rainbow

So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one