Saturday, April 2, 2016
Saturday Sayings: Think Like a Parent
I'd venture to say there are many benefits to being a childless teacher. One being the quiet house that awaits me at the end of a day spent with 25 little people. No doubt my teacher friends with families of their own could list off the pros to having their own children. I'm sure those teachers bring a special perspective to the classroom.
Though I can't fully grasp all that their parenting approach entails, there is one aspect of being a parent that I purposefully contemplate in my own practice. I like to imagine, if I were a parent of a child in my classroom, what I would think about the artifacts my child lugged home in that backpack of theirs on a daily basis. What would I find and would any of it be worth keeping? Would I even take the time to look at it? Would I slip most of it into the trash when my child wasn't looking? Would I hope they didn't find it on accident and would they even care?
Thinking like a parent, helps me look more reflectively at how my students are spending their time and the artifacts that result from that time. Stuff, as Regie Routman calls it, that's stuffed into backpacks, will likely be stuffed into trash cans, and if that's often what my students are producing, I'm wasting their time.
I suppose there will always be little bits of skill practice that parents must sift through here and there, but my hope is that the majority of what I send home is worthy of not only their attention but of their space, where it will be displayed and possibly even cherished for years to come.