Monday, March 28, 2011

Things We Should Not Do at School (#idesmar)

Richard Scarry gave this advice to children in 1976. I like that he didn't just make a list of rules. I am also totally impressed with the flight of that paper airplane (of course I am very disappointed in the raccoon(?) in the pink shirt - he should know better).

When I look at this page from Scarry's In My Town my first reaction is just how much school has changed since Scarry put out this book.

Just look at the old wooden desks set in rows facing the teacher. The teacher is sitting and reading from what I assume to be the textbook. The students are barely engaged in the learning (unless this shows a physics class).

Today, in many classrooms, this scene would be totally different - the desks would be that hard plastic stuff.

Seriously, most classrooms that I have visited in recent years are far more dynamic than this illustration. Of course students still mess around sometimes, but most decent teachers keep the students as engaged as they can be.

Anyway, I figure this is as good a time as any to launch a list of things not to do at school.

1. Don't rely on the textbook.
2. Don't keep the desks in rows. Change the chairs depending on the needs of activity planned.
3. Don't be satisfied with the status quo.
4. Don't give up on a student - ever.
5. Don't stop learning.
6. Don't stop sharing.
7. Don't stop caring.
8. Don't stop listening to others' points of view. One cannot know all things. (added from Maureen)

What else belongs on this list?

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