"If the Super Bowl is the ultimate game, how come they play it again next year?"
THE WISDOM OF WONDER
"The art of asking questions
and the diligence to pursue the answers."
-Clarence Stephens, Jr.
"There is much ado about what we should be teaching children. Teach them basics. Teach them to test well. Teach them to resolve conflict. Teach them, teach them - and make sure that their test scores demonstrate that they have been taught well.
Rare is the child who enters school without a natural sense of wonder. If, while we teach, we simultaneously fan the embers of wonder, can we go wrong?
Ask yourself some questions. Do I teach children to read so that they can test well? Or do I teach them to read so they can have direct lines to the thoughts, hopes and dreams of thousands of writers?
Do I teach children to write so that they can have a nice piece of writing in their portfolios for next year's teacher? Or, do I teach them to write in order to help them sprout wings and access new avenues for self-expression? Question the reasons why you teach the things you teach.
If we lift up our reasons for teaching into what I see as the higher realms of wonder - hope and possibilities - wouldn't test scores rise with our reasons?
It is not a question of whether or not we should teach the basics. Of course we should teach them. But let's not sell ourselves or our students short with our reasons for teaching them."
Opportunities for Wonder
A flower emerging from the ground after a long winter. The beauty of a kind person. The colors of the sky. A bud on a tree, or a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Time alone on a day when the weather is fantastic or even silly conversations with a friend or family member.
Taking pleasure in the moment.
Swimming with the dolphins. Creating small pieces of art and leaving them for people to find. Starting a garden.
Why do whales spout water?
It's their runny noses.
To wash the clouds.
They're watering the sea grass.
They say salmon always return to spawn in the same river where they were born. How can this be? After years in the ocean how can they possibly find their way back?
"You know when you look down at ant holes and you think that there are about a zillion ants crawling around in there for years? Well, I can compare that to my wonders. I have about a zillion wonders. I'll name one for you.
Here you have all that space, galaxy upon galaxy of inky black blackness. Where does it stop? Nowhere, because nothing technically is something. Just think...our world is a particle spinning through infinity."
Suggestions For Teaching Wonder
1. Be alive yourself to the wonders around us.
2. Take time to communicate - demonstrate to your students the wonder in ordinary things: a sea shell, a bike ride, or an egg shell under a microscope.
3. Display things in which you found wonder. Designate an area of the classroom for their showcase.
4. Give the children an opportunity to find their own wonder in ordinary things.
5. Emphasize that the purpose of education is not merely to make money but to improve and enrich our lives.
The Benefits of Teaching Wonder
By William H Davies
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep and cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
Ever wonder why hot dogs come in packs of 6 or 10
and hot dog buns come in packs of 4, 8 or 12?
"Wisdom begins with wonder."