1/04/2008

a mantra for the new year...

Tonight it's raining bucketloads outside. More rain than we've had in years around here. No doubt houses will be falling off of cliffs soon, but for now I'm reveling in the sound of wind and water coming through my window screen...

This evening I've been reading Rafe Esquith's Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire. I'm thinking about his teaching philosophy, of the miracles that occur in his 5th grade classroom (if you haven't heard of Rafe, do check out the youtube below). He challenges educators to teach with such passion that they wouldn't even notice if their hair was on fire (as happened to him during a science experiment gone wrong). I don't agree with all of Rafe's methods, but I admire his passion and I aim to bring that to my classroom this upcoming quarter and year.

As I read about Rafe I thought of another teacher, Ms. Frizzle, whose methods I admire. Her mantra is to "Take Chances, Make Mistakes, and Get Messy." It's a simple philosophy, but one worth emulating. IMO, life is too short to live with restraint and fear. Sometimes you've got to just be daring and take a leap into the uncomfortable, into the unknown. So this year I'll look to the example of Rafe and Ms. Frizzle as I pursue my goals and dreams.

3 comments:

TheAmpuT said...

My son is in 5th grade. He's got a fantastic teacher who just adores this age group. I'm going to mention these books to her. Thanks!

Rich said...

Jana, was the magic schoolbus the correct vid for Ms. Frizzle?

jana said...

Yes, Ms. Frizzle is the red-haired teacher in the MSB series. I love her passion and curiosity. Even though she's a fictional character, IMO she's an educator to emulate. Did you expect something more 'academic'?
;-)