I spent a chilly few minutes yesterday pulling out some elodea from the pond to take to school--each time I pull up a garland, I let it drip a bit over the pond, wondering about the lives of the critters found in each drop.
(I worry about the few drops that hit the ground.)
When I start to think I am losing my mind thinking about these critters, I peek at a drop or two under my microscope, and see, once again, the dance of foreign life doing familiar things.
That's enough data analysis to remind me why I teach.
If we're going to preach data-driven instruction, and use it to take us to the Holy Land, we need to agree on whose Holy Land matters. And my Holy Land includes the critters I kill every time I take a step.
|The gargoyle guarding the pond.|
If we see ourselves in the living around us, we care more about the world.
The abstract has no meaning when torn from the earth.
Being alive is a big part of being human, though you'd be hard-pressed to see evidence of this in our data-driven
It's late October, the morning glories in the shadows stay open through the day. The dead will be dancing in the shadows soon. The world freezes over, and our children are taught not to notice.
|The morning glory knows.|
Good thing, too--if the children could see what we're stealing from them, they'd never sit still long enough to take the PISA's, the HSPAs, the NJASKs, the PARCCs, the SATs, the AP exams..
I'm still naive enough to believe the point of education is to help young'uns find their paths to thoughtful, productive, and happy lives. There's plenty more data to be found at the edge of a pond than under the flicker of fluorescent lamps.
But this data-driven nonsense isn't about accountability, or data, or education at all.
So I will keep teaching and keep praying, both for children and for the critters found in a drop of pond water the children no longer know exist.
|The last of the hops flowers|
You cannot dance if you're thinking too hard (or at all) about the rhythm.