Monday, July 30, 2007

Learning What's Important

This summer I'm learning lots of things- how to write a book (get up and write first thing, for me- that's when I'm freshest), how to lift weights (girls didn't do this when I was young), and how to pace myself and mix fun things with "must do" things. Kids learn lots in the summer too, about friendship, and relaxation, and work relationships, and Harry Potter/magic/growing up and seeing adults as fallable (all involved in the last Harry Potter book).

Now compare those lessons with the ones we'll learn this year in school- about the capital of Bosnia, or the formula for the surface area of a sphere, and how to write a research paper with the right kind of footnotes.

Which ones are lifelong lessons? Which ones get our attention and keep it? Why are schools not about real learning?

Just imagine unleashing the creativity and knowhow of our teachers and students on real problems around them. Making their city safer, helping poor people to earn more money, dealing with the drug problem.

This year I will help students (and myself) find and help solve real problems. I think this is a worthy goal, and one that will help to improve the world around me.