Have You Seen the Muffin Man?

Dear Reader:

I think I had a much needed epiphany the other day… when I came across an old muffin pan I had saved from some of mother’s kitchen utensils. Mom used to make cornbread muffins in the tins to go with hot soups on cold wintry days! ( These are the times when I especially miss mom-such aromatic memories.)

Making identical muffins has often been used as a metaphor for standardization and regimentation. Speaking for myself… ( and I feel sure many of my teaching colleagues) being forced to cover the same information and materials at the same time each day instead of letting teachers use their own individualized teaching strengths and creativity takes much of the joy of teaching away.

If students came to us in ” Stepford Wives” packages-trained to do what only the teacher said without questioning the learning process-standardized teaching might work. But each child that shows up in our rooms are unique individuals, molded by unique family units, cultures, behaviors, interests, strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. One style does not fit all.

Good teachers intuitively understand, it is in the diversified make-up of their classes that therein lies their greatest teaching tool. Each student has the opportunity to widen their peers perspective on acceptance and tolerance.

In Madeleine L’ Engle’s book – A Wrinkle in Time…Meg learns (in her search for her missing father) that accepting differences in many strange characters who cross her path, is scary and uncomfortable at first but soon realizes that fearing others’ differences is symptomatic of facing her own differences.

It is only when confronted with “IT” ( the darkness) that Meg and her fellow travelers finally understand that it is unity of differences that make them intolerable to the evil force that conquers worlds by offering security at the high price of conformity!

So on days when I wonder how to keep democracy (in America) alive when our differences seem bigger than our unity and acceptance of all people being equal… I realize that the even greater threat is no longer being allowed to express our varying opinions but becoming a world community of conformity at the high price of lost diversity and respect/ acceptance for individualism.

Conformity becomes the expected behavior-( at the risk of severe punishment for individual thoughts and opinions) . Think about it… in today’s world… there are many more ” Stepford Wives” countries-(dictatorships) than free countries. Our ancestors fought too hard to let it slip away now.

So until tomorrow…“Our diversity is an expression of God’s creativity ” -Mark Batterson

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

Eva Cate and Jake found them a snowman-by going to Florida-Hollywood Studios!

I have decided that hard morning frosts ( like we keep having lately) is just as pretty as snow …but without the clean-up and depressing messiness of dirty snow! Mother Nature takes care of it each afternoon in time for the next morning’s frost! .

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Have You Seen the Muffin Man?

  1. Rachel Edwards says:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.