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edu180atl: mary cantwell 3.15.12

Let me introduce you to my buddy, Drew. I have lunch with Drew and his Kindergarten classmates every Wednesday. Throughout the weeks, I have learned that Drew likes dinosaurs, creating things, and cheese sandwiches. But Drew is not just a Kindergarten student. Drew is my teacher. Because you see, when it comes to this little boy, every encounter I have with him is a learning moment for me.

Today, for instance, I learned about making stamps. Drew’s class created an Adinkra cloth a few weeks ago using stamps that his teacher bought. The stamps were nice, Drew thought, but each table only got to use a few stamps, and he really wanted to use the stamps that were on another table. This week, though, the class got the chance to design and create their own stamps to make a new Adinkra cloth. Drew was very excited. His stamp, he explained to me, was of an island and a tree with a dinosaur on it.

“I meant to say the dinosaur is on the island, not the tree,” he clarified.

I was surprised that he was so excited to make another cloth when they had already made one.

“But this time, we get to use our stamps!” he exclaimed. “It’s funner to use my stamp because it is different from everyone else’s.”

A simple statement from a young child speaks volumes. So what I learned today is that being unique and using one’s own design to create things is way funner.

About the author: Mary Cantwell is thankful 4 her inspiring colleagues,  her little ones who teach her every day, & the comfort 2 B herself @MVPS #mvpschool

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Stephen G. Kennedy #

    This, to me, is what learning is about: the child as the learner directing the learning — and the adult being willing to follow that, support that, listen to that. We can create a structure in which children’s learning can happen with lightning speed, electric excitement, and astounding progress — if we’re willing to let them be their own teachers (and as said here, be our teachers as well). I hope the time comes when this kind of experience is more common with older grades, older children, and older teachers. Thank you for the genuineness and joy of your writing.

    March 16, 2012

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