“WHEN YOU ARE A KID you have your own language, and unlike French or Spanish or whatever you start learning in fourth grade, this one you’re born with, and eventually lose. Everyone under the age of seven is fluent in Ifspeak; go hang around with someone under three feet tall and you’ll see. What if a giant funnelweb spider crawled out of that hole over your head and bit you on the neck? What if the only antidote for venom was locked up in a vault on the top of a mountain? What if you lived through the bite, but could only move your eyelids and blink out an alphabet? It doesn’t really matter how far you go; the point is that it’s a world of possibility. Kids think with their brains cracked wide open; becoming an adult, I’ve decided, is only a slow sewing shut.”
- Jodi Picoult,
My Sister’s Keeper
I have just finished reading this book by Jodi Picoult and I made a note to remember this quote from the novel. I wanted to share it with other teachers so it’s a good thing that I have this blog to do so!
I found so much truth in this quote and also found it sort of sad. It reminded me about how children aren’t afraid to take chances and will often throw many creative ideas at you. As we get older, that seems to stop. Do we feel as though we are too old for Ifspeak? Do we realize more about the world and forget we once had limitless imaginations?
Teachers of all grade levels should encourage creative thoughts and establish a classroom environment in which students should feel comfortable to take risks. For some reason, students in older grades are so afraid of giving a wrong answer or getting made fun of for an idea that some truly amazing thoughts may not be escaping. This would definitely be a challenge to overcome – especially with middle and high school students. This is just something to think about as future teachers and also as adults who should remember that we can still be imaginative and creative! The great thing about being an educator is that those qualities only add to the effectiveness of our practice.