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! .