Even reading it over my shoulder has inspired my child to write a poem.
I don’t know where to start on saying how good it is. He really saw the children. The work they did was so fabulous. They did writing like you would a writing class for adults.. conversations with their peers!
Once when teaching (a lesson on something he had seen a need for) the restless children were interrupted by seeing someone walking into the playground for water and the kids attention was lost and although ‘Sir’ felt what teachers feel- annoyace he was able to let go of dragging the kids back to his plan and followed what opened up as a new direction. “The moment had been ‘right’ for this (the new direction) sort of work, and I am sure that any attempt to synthesize these conditions (that created serious work) would have failed.” When one of the kids wanted to do his description of the ‘trespasser’ in clay ..” Again a moment had arrived when I might have made an error, but that I didn’t (I am sure I made many many such errors in this school) was due to Tiger’s enthusiasm.” And so followed weeks of work and problem solving and work that then informed lots of later work in social studies… This is what school should be like! Reflective and responsive teachers actually following the children. It all sounds more like what I remember of my Mother’s classroom and seems so removed from what I have seen at schools with their yearly plans and making sure they cover all the stuff. Even the look of the classrooms – Classrooms are now all shouty (visually) and plastic with non kid chosen publishing. This book sings of learning as you go. They made a kiln… how absolutely awesome. The kids did the firing with actual fire. It all sounds so dirty, and raw, and exciting and real. No wonder schools are now full of disengaged kids..