I should start by saying,
We can all do maths in pyjamas.
Happiness is everything.
But there’s no point in learning maths if there are no elephants left to count,
And even if learning is possible in pyjamas,
Words mean less if there are no trees left to describe.
It is the way the heart, soul and mind meet in words.
And poetry needs trees and elephants. And polar bears.
Imagine life without any of them.
Given that..😊Autonomy and agency are paramount for children and educators alike.
And dividuals thrive best in communities that care.
Sharing decision making with young people is a great decision😊
We should design schools with children, and not just with children in mind.
Adults don’t have a monopoly on wisdom, ethics or memory making. ❤️ But we do know a lot and if we create listening cultures, then children might even listen to us☺
The Planet needs all the generations to listen.
Children are natural political activists.
Play and the arts are naturally subversive. So schools should embrace play and the arts.
But science is also really cool. Science is a way for the heart to grow hands.
We should be allowed a choice in what, where and how we study. But interestingly, self direction benefits from a sensitive guide.
Choice is full of risk. If we nurture the risk taker, then it is still risk.
Everything is learning. Not learning is still learning.
And boredom is only the pause between knowing what to do and doing. But it is still painful.
Developing expertise happens in the presence of experts, but can happen without exams.
And practice still leads to expertise.
Everyone wants to get brilliant at stuff.
Unhappy people have forgotten how to.
P.S. Happiness is our best everything.
Identity and happiness are entangled. School should embrace entanglement.
Schools need to adapt to the rhythm of the child and create schools that honour the teens evolving relationship with their ever changing bodies and brains. They may then embrace the rhythm of the Planet.
Rites of passage help us navigate life, but the Western World has lost the map. Without these young people might well get lost.
Patience and love should be limitless resources that we draw upon. But even when love remains, there is a limit to patience.
Uniforms don’t enhance IQ.
Maths can also be done on a sofa.
Real work makes school real. Being good at school may unfortunately prepare us only for more school.
Relationship is the foundation for successful learning. In fact, relationship is at the heart of successful anything.
Collaboration is cool.
Play should be everywhere. The best learning feels like play. Ask Einstein 😊
Great teaching is a bit like magic. We should probably show children how the trick works.
Childlike adults are not the same as childish adults. Same for adult like children.
We should all learn to tidy, cook and be real. ( see above😁 )
Output is not the same as outcome.
And we should try to keep learning stuff.
Research also makes educators better educators.
Being interested in children is the best sort of interesting. They’ll probably be interested in you in return. But don’t expect it. Just keep being interested in them.
Empathy and compassion need to be modelled everywhere. No point teaching it if no one is doing it. Empathy and Science can be amazing friends.
Critical thinking is critical !!
Criticism is much more complicated.😞
Self criticism is even harder.
Therapy helps with this😁
Space and buildings matter. They are teachers too.
Children should be in nature. When they fall in love with it, they will help us save it. Irrespective, they should still be in nature.😁
PS elephants are more fun to draw than count.
But I’d like to be able to say there are more to count next year.
The pyjama reference still applies.
Schools should feel safe. Punishment look like revenge when a child has already reflected on their behaviour. And
rules only define the pathologies of a school culture. ‘Don’t’ means we probably do.😁
Cultures of accountability and assessment can very quickly become cultures of bullying.
Wellbeing, like good behaviour is beautifully invisible. But can be felt.
Silence is challenging isn’t it? But silence is also good. It leaves room for everything else.
Food matters. Good food matters more.
‘Hungry for…’ can mean many things, yes?
Hungry for change is a good hunger.
Humans are ‘crafty” and making and doing is in our DNA. Planting trees is very crafty 😊
We need pets in school. Dogs are totally democratic and cats, by nature, could run most schools.
Parrots should not be trusted.😊
Books and plants should be everywhere. Libraries inside laptops and on shelves allow time travel and shape shifting. And plants help classrooms breathe. How cool is that?
Schools are not preparation for life later. Allow a 12 year old to be the best 12 year old they can be and watch the adult evolve.
Happiness is our best everything.
We’ve got here by a gradual accumulation of collective wisdom made real by discussion, disagreement, consensus and action. By a culture of non interference, watching and trying.
The synergy of heart, body and mind seems to be the result.