Sunday, August 2, 2015

What a Brook and Rocks can teach you about school.

Spent the week staring for hours at a brook (creak for mid-atlantic folks) and millions of rocks underneath, that were all different sizes, shapes, and colors.  Some were rigid, some were smooth, some even teased you into thinking they were something they weren't, and then a few had all those characteristics with unique colors.

I often grabbed the teases right away thinking I had something special, only to realize that after further examination they were often weak and I could break them with my hand.  They were surface level, like "quick fixes" in schools.  They look good, but fall apart under pressure.

The rigid rocks had sharp edges, build with them, but did not inspire you to keep them.  They have a necessary purpose as building blocks for the brook, but I did not bring any of them home with me.

The smooth rocks attracted me as well as they were shaped into something from the running water.  They had been weathered and knew the test of time, but again I felt the need to leave them behind to continue to be formed further and live out their life under water.  Much needed but the analogy to education is time tested traditions and ideas, that aren't going anywhere and should be left in place.

The ones that had all characteristics with color were few and far between.  They had a smooth side, a sharp edge or two, had a few colors, and could stand on their own as a promising paper weight.  I grabbed those, put them in my hand and imagined how does this apply to academics.

We need rigidity, we need good smoothness, we need some teases to push us, we need color, we need all of those things in order to push movement or in the case of rocks to hold paper down in a windy office!

Each rock is unique as is every person, lesson, student, building, etc.  We all have our own DNA that makes us special.  We may not reach for every rock to take home, but they are all important in the make up of a great brook or creak.  Simple analogy, but I love analogies and this seemed to fit.

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