Have you seen the Disney Pixar Short film Piper?
If not, go watch...I'll wait. :)
I watched this movie today with a few of my students who stay after school for "Club Success" (formerly called "tutoring" but this feels way more positive for the kids who are asked to stay). After we watched Piper, we wrote about the movie and then shared our writing. Each of the three students who wrote touched upon the idea that Piper had to learn how to get the food for herself. Some students mentioned the pride she felt after she learned how to survive the big waves and find food. We talked about the mistakes she made and how they helped her to learn.
I think this video is a MUST WATCH for a few reasons.
1- It really makes you think about the process of learning and how uncomfortable it can feel when you move to trying something new for the first time.
2-Piper learned by her failed attempts and eventually by finding a mentor and trying his strategy.
3-When Piper finally does get the hang of finding her food, she generously shares with the others.
4- It's a super cute video and just the right length to show students.
So...parallels to teaching....sometimes it does feel unsettling to have to figure things out for yourself. It might be tempting to say, "Just give me the program that says what to teach when" because, in many ways, that's like the Mama Bird feeding the baby. The little bird just sits and takes it in, with no effort at all. It was when Piper had to figure things out for herself that she eventually learned, felt the pride, and then shared with the others.
When we struggle with real issues in our classroom, like when the majority of your class fails a test, or does poorly on an assessment, we feel like Piper when the wave crashes over her. Lost. Frustrated. Like Failures. But it's in the picking yourself up, the finding of mentors, the trying out new strategies, that the real learning can happen, the lasting learning. And when we learn, we share.
Grateful to share in this community of generous educators and writers.