When I asked my first graders "Do you have big dreams for your teeth?" Josie took my question to heart. Months later, according to her dear mother, she was still fervently brushing and challenging her siblings to have big dreams for their teeth too. Some students are like that. They're naturally inclined to love everything about learning. I think just maybe I could teach those children with my eyes closed. Then there are the tough customers who occupy a space in my brain 24/7, because I constantly struggle to find a way to engage their hearts.
One of my goals this year is to be a better gas station. Josie was intrinsically motivated and independent in her learning. I filled up her gas tank when needed and off she'd go again while I cheered her on from the sidelines. Being a gas station is rewarding for both teacher and student, and it's a whole lot easier than dragging children along like a tow truck would. Being a tow truck is an exhausting job. I'd venture to say that it isn't much fun for the student either. Not to mention, it simply doesn't work.
I discovered this brilliant analogy on Kristine Mraz's kindergarten blog. Everything on this blog is brilliant. I challenge you to read her thoughts, and regardless of your grade level, tell me she didn't have something to offer you. Especially read the post below. It's too good to pass up. (Click on the graphic.)
Let's park our tow trucks and build some more gas stations. Our kids deserve it.