I just watched a really great TED talk given by a twelve year old named Adora Svitak. What an enlightening child, and she has so many wonderful points and ideas to share. Her main idea is that children are often not heard, and adults make all of the decisions. She sees that collaboration between adults and students are key to an effective relationship.
I know that all students have their own ideas and gifts that they can share with the world, that is the reason I have become an educator. Listening to Adora speak reaffirmed my belief that the only expectations I should have are high ones. I know and understand that not every student in my class will be the one that wants to make a difference and challenge the norms that they see, but I still feel that it is important to listen to ideas and challenge our students in ways that are “different”.
Adora makes so many valid arguments, and I believe she is right. How can we expect our students to learn and grow if we are telling them they can only do so in the restrictive parameters WE establish for them? Can we expect our students to grow and become better adults than we have been if we continue to make them fit into our idea of productive?