Here's to Hoping for Diffendoofer

"We've taught you that the earth is round,
that red and white make pink,
and something else that matters more
We've taught you how to think."

Man, these words have inspired me all week. This past week my students and I dove in to everything Dr. Seuss. We've written, researched, read, and experimented with Theo Leseig in mind, but it was this book in particular that has had my wheels turning all week.

If you haven't read this book I'll give you the short. These children go to Diffendoofer School and it's AWESOME. They love their school so much. Their teachers, cooks, and janitors all are BURSTING with pride and having FUN! They adore their teacher Miss Bonkers. She does crazy things to get them learning-- like cartwheels -- and sometimes even teaches goofy things. One day -- the principal comes in and tells them that they are going to have a STANDARDIZED TEST and if they don't pass their school will be torn down. Everyone is worried, except for Miss Bonkers when she simply reassures them that --
"We've taught you that the earth is round,
that red and white make pink,
and something else that matters more
We've taught you how to think."

We've taught you how to think. I loved that.

I've just been so inspired through this story and how it so accurately parallels the school system these days, so as we got lost in Dr. Seuss fantasies I got lost in one of my own.

What if I had my own Diffendoofer School?
What if we (teachers) could just teach our kids without stressing about fitting it all in?
What if we could do cartwheels and get loud without worry?
What if we could dance/sing/fellowship instead of worrying about instructional minutes? What if we could pray with and over our students when we felt like it, or when they needed it?
What if kids could show us what they know through portfolios, projects, or interviews versus a standardized test that's only conducive to a fraction of the class?
What if teachers were assessed by something other than a single test percentage with fear of losing their jobs?
What if we could take as many field trips as we needed to show kids there is a purpose to what you're learning?
What if we could decorate our room with beautiful colors and posters without the fire marshal making us tear them down?
What if we could correct our students and help mold them without having to get ten documents signed to protect us from law suits?
What if we got paid enough to be able to buy materials and supplies without worry, or better yet, what if our state/nation managed money well enough to supply needed materials and supplies for us?

Needless to say -- Dr. Seuss has me dreaming this week. I have so many hopes for the future of education and I have so much, personally, to work on. I want to be a Miss Bonkers. I want my kids to love and adore me. I want them to know they are more than a test score. And above all else, I hope I've taught them how to think -- because life is so much more than doing well on an assessment.

By the way -- the kids pass their test with a 100000000% and they save their school. :)

Happy Dr. Seuss Week, everyone.