You may have read the poem, All I really need to know, I learned in KINDERGARTEN. A poster of simple yet profound skills that we really do learn in Kindergarten. I used to keep a copy of this poster in my bathroom in hopes that my littles would read it during their bathroom breaks……they couldn’t read yet……but they did spend quite a bit of time in there. I later realized that the poster was placed for myself just as much as anyone else. I needed that little reminder of why I was in the profession. Theodor Geisel has proven to be that same muse for me. He has offered wisdom for teacher life and humanity.
You Never Know Where Your Interests Will Take You
Theodor was a doodler. His mother encouraged him to draw on the walls of their home. I’m not sure about you, but I am not sure that I would be as supportive. My son, Oliver, LOVES Sports Illustrated for Kids. Every month, he insists picking out the poster and THUMB-TACKING it to the wall. Now, like every good teacher’s kid, he has a bulletin board…..sometimes a those tacks get stuck in the wall. I need to keep Dr. Seuss in mind next time I nearly lose my mind over my children’s harmless passions. How can we apply to this to teaching and learning? Check out Genius Hour projects. Consider the design and culture of your classroom. We all know that if students are interested in what they are learning, they with grow much farther than in dictatorship circumstances.
If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try Try Again
I can hear my mother saying this. It is the truth. Theodor was on the way to burn his book when he came across a friend who put him on the path to being published. Rejection was just about to get the best of Geisel. He had been rejected 27 times for his first manuscript. Rejection may be one of the scariest and worst feelings humans can face. The more we put ourselves out there, the higher the risk of rejection. There are others in the world that may be one “try” away from a break through. Our students will be no strangers to rejection. Let’s work together to help them learn to cope with these feelings and use them as fuel for success.
We are More Alike than Different
The Butter Battle Book is one of my favorites. It highlights the absurdness of our societies along with the dangers. I especially love reading it to my students and watching their faces as they quickly note how crazy the Yooks and Zooks are acting. He does the same with his Star Belly Sneetches. The next time you reach a hard place in a friendship with a parent, colleague, or student……just picture them as a Sneetch, Yook, or Zook…..this can be a quick reminder that we are all in this together.
No One is Perfect and We are All a Little Weird
After reading more about the life of Dr. Seuss, it is much less than rainbows and unicorns. Yet, he made a huge impact on our society and continues to impact the world. His books and illustrations will be shared with generation upon generation. We must remember that everyone has a little weird, that is okay. What is most important, that we do our best to bring out the positive and serve our purpose for good in the world. That “weird” human in your life may be the Dr. Seuss of another time. Do what you can to ignite that spark of wonder in them.
Read more about Dr. Seuss from these sources I found helpful. 🙂