Wednesday, January 9, 2008
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open....
This quotation is meaningful to me because I believe it to be true for everyone, and most especially it's true for my students.
A big part of keeping the channel open is to be in a place where you feel safe, happy, and friendly, hence the "rules" of my classroom.
I am lucky enough to see children energize their life force as they open up to new learning.
For example, I can see the confidence and determination in a child's face when he or she has decided that riding a two-wheeler is something they've decided to learn.
I see it when they tell me, as Sierra did today,
"I know the Soundabet. I want you to test me today."
The way Sierra said that, I knew she knew it. I really didn't need to test her. Of course, I tested anyway. She knows the Soundabet, and she went home with a deck of the Queen's cards today. A year from now, she won't remember a time when she could not read.
Another place you can clearly see that open channel is in children's art work. When a child opens their channel to art, great things happen, as with my brother, Jim. If you're interested in art, check out his weblog. There's a link on the left there, Gurney Journey. I don't know of any more interesting place on the blogosphere.
Here are the drawings of the Cat in the Hat they did the first hour back from winter break. I hope you love these drawings as much as I do. Look how each is different, each catches the insouciance of that Dr. Seuss character.