tinker with text
Literacy-Based Maker Education
I thought I had my summer all planned … teaching a course and a workshop, attending a conference, entertaining visitors. Then, one by one, they were all cancelled. Well, I kept busy enough with projects and a “staycation” in my hometown, but I still was looking for a bit of adventure. So, I decided to just go for it and check something off my bucket list. Thanks to my credit card and the internet, off I went to California for surfing lessons!
Lesson #1: Surfing is hard.
There’s a reason why most surfers are athletic, young people. You use every muscle in your body. I almost didn’t go back the second day (or the third) because I was so sore and tired. But I told myself, “Get up! You’re not a quitter.”
Lesson #2: Sometimes there are secondary challenges, such as:
It was so fun to play in the waves though. I don’t think I could have had a wider smile. Did I “get it?” No, but I did it! Afterwards, it really made me think about my students, who struggle with reading. In schools around the world, we ask kids to learn something new for six hours every day. We ask them to try and try and try, even though they may be “crashing” and exhausted. I hope my challenging lessons will make me a better teacher this fall.
When was the last time you did something that took every ounce of your courage and energy? Is there something that you’ve wanted to do for a long time? I’m not encouraging you to do something reckless or terrifying, but you know - that thing that you think you’re too old for or that you might feel silly doing; that thing that you keep talking yourself out of. Yeah, that’s the thing that you definitely should do. Maybe it’s taking tango lessons with your spouse, renting an SUP, colouring your hair, or getting braces. Maybe it’s getting a motorcycle, hiking a famous trail, or learning another language. The possibilities are endless.
But what if it doesn’t work out? What if you suck at it? Well, then you’ve learned something too. The thing is, if you’re a parent, teacher, coach, mentor, grandparent, aunt or uncle, there is a young person in your life who looks up to you. And the next time that they have a hard day at school or fail their driver’s test or don’t make the team, we can say, “I know how you feel.” And we actually do.
Vicki Den Ouden is an Elementary Reading Intervention Teacher from BC, Canada. She loves to dream, learn, teach, and create.