My friend John over at Spencer's Scratchpad's post about how he'd fix the education system (prompted by a post over at Teach Paperless - really, the blogosphere is awesome...) prompted me to think how I would fix the education system... hmmm, a big task no doubt. John summed up his fix in one word: love. I'd add another: Joy.
Besides being the name of my favorite cousin (Holla Joy!), it's also on a plaque a dear friend of mine gave me when I first became a teacher. When I asked her about it, her simple reply was 'Teach with joy' - I try to look at it and remember that each day I walk into the classroom.
I'm not trying to brag or take anything away from folks who teach other grades, but there isn't anything much more fun than working with kindergartners. Sure, they're demanding and the level of independence is rather low at the beginning of the year... but to see that lightbulb go off when a sprout learns to write his name for the first time or reads her first book - there's just nothing like it.
So my proposal - you know to fix the entire education system, is for everyone, I mean EVERYONE, responsible for making those big decisions to come spend a day in my classroom. Watch the sheer joy with which I try to teach my young charges how to, above all else, love learning. Watch the complete joy with which they enter the classroom each day and do nothing but give their all to try and become the best they can be. Take even a sliver of that joy back to (fill in your nation or state capital) and remember those faces, those smiles, when you make your decisions.
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