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edu180atl: marsha little 11.5.12

I recently had the following conversation with my two-year-old daughter.

Sophia: “Can you sing the fish song?”

Me: “The fish song? I don’t know the fish song. How does it go?”

Sophia (after a long silence): “But Mommy, can you sing it?”

Me: “I don’t know it, baby.”

Sophia (plaintively): “Well…Can you try? Can you figure it out?”

So I made up a fish song and sang it. You may hear it on your local radio station soon.

For the past few months, she and I have had some version of this exchange every day.

Sophia: “Can I walk down the bannister?”

Me: “No, it’s not safe.”

Sophia:“ But can I try?”

And so on.

Scary and overwhelming though her world must be, Sophia hasn’t yet stopped risking, trying, and wondering (and she thinks I should do the same). She’s collecting information, and even an unsuccessful attempt at a task is information. Repeated failure is part of the process of discovery, and she doesn’t appreciate my “saving” her from that failure, as was the case when I kept her from walking down the bannister.

Inspired by my daughter, I am working hard to throw off a few limits, take more risks, and embrace failure as vital information. As I try more, I’ll no doubt fail more, but I’ll also likely find the world a whole lot more interesting.

About the Author: Marsha Little is in her 14th year of teaching, learning, and serving at The Lovett School; she is in her third year of parenting. 

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. wise Sophia.

    November 5, 2012
  2. Marsha, I love this post. I believe so much of our task in educational innovation is to make school more like real life – to biomimic so much of what it’s like to be a new, fresh, child learner. You describe it so well here, and I think my own parenting has taught me more about education than anything else. Educare means to draw out (not to fill up). I love that Sophia – wisdom – is teaching us all about drawing out what is there within us as people.

    November 6, 2012

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