My beautiful and vivacious and pernicious six-year-old daughter frequents a Kindergarten class. She pretends her way through life these days; it’s a problem. But, a problem I refuse to address. Because, one day, that problem with vault her to success in something.
Violet uses a wheelchair. She doesn’t use it all the time. Most of the time, she traverses time and space with arm crutches — but at school, she uses her wheelchair so she doesn’t become fatigued from chasing other small people around.
The other day, an adult at Violet’s school admitted something to me: she caused Violet to tip over in her wheelchair in the hallway (Don’t worry, no daughters were harmed in the making of this short narrative). Really, Violet wasn’t hurt, but the big person was distraught.
I thanked her. For tipping my daughter’s wheelchair over in the hallway. You see, they were dancing. An educator was dancing with Violet in her wheelchair. They were spinning and twirling and tipping and falling. I prefer that.
So, this is what we should prefer in our classrooms as well: possibilities, no limitations, risk and reward, fear and excitement, falling down, getting up and saying “I’m OK, and some dancing (at least on the page). A lot of dancing, please.
Random undiscernibly identifiable adult: please continue to dance with Violet in the hallways.
Teachers: dancing is better than walking in straight lines with bubbles in your mouth.
And, this clearly applies to reading, writing, and thinking—which is what I was writing about this whole time.
Billy Eastman is a curriculum coordinator for English Language Arts and World Languages and Culture in League City, TX. He enjoys talking with folks and finding ways to make smart ideas happen. Follow Billy on Twitter @thebillyeastman