I went, I saw, I thought . . . .

Ken da Man

Schools Kill Creativity

Creativity=Literacy (they are equally important and go hand in hand)

Ironic that he said that while people don’t want to talk to educators, they are eager to talk about their educational experience. Kids will take a chance – they are not afraid of being wrong.  Adults are scared of being wrong – could not be so right.  I am completely terrified of failure and I often only take on tasks that I know I can accomplish and excel at.  But I am missing out by doing this?!

 Are schools really helping our children live up to their potential?

According to Ken, schools are educating people out of their creative capacity.  All children are born artist the problem is remaining artistic as you get older.  Lynn was mistakenly diagnosed with having a learning disability when in fact the only thing that was wrong was that she had to move in order to think.  Imagine what the world would have missed out on if the doctor that had not seen her true potential and sided with the mother and her teachers.

After listening to this story I was reminded of Nancie Atwell’s book In the MiddleIn her book she describes her writing workshops in which she lets her students move around the classroom and go to different stations and talk with other students while doing their writing assignment.  At the different stations there would be material like dictionaries, magazines, word banks, etc. that would assist them in completing their writing assignment (whatever it may be).  I had lunch with another classmate earlier this week and she said she would play songs while her students worked on individual and collaborative assignments in class.  Creative teachers = creative students!

Bring on the Learning Revolution!

What Revolution?

It seems that during this talk, Ken picks up from his last talk.  In his last talk, he also talks about the revolution that caused public education to be the way it is – more focused on the academics and not the arts.  Poor use of talents – Do you know what your talents are?  I can certainly relate to his talk about people doing jobs that they do not love or like.  They are just going through the motions but what fun is in that.  This is why after six years of going to school for something that others wanted me to do and eight years of doing jobs I absolutely despised, I decided to go back to school for what I loved – EDUCATION!  I am finally doing what I love and . . . . I just love it.  I have no problem getting up going to work every day.  I am eager to see what my students have learned and share with them what I have learned from them.  Education is funny that way – you just never stop learning no matter how old you are.  My four-year old teaches me something practically every day.  He never ceases to amaze me! 

Diversity is the spice of life!

Ken states that we must have a diversity of talents.  Let’s face it, not everyone is going to be a judge, politician, lawyer, doctor, CEO, or college professor.  The world is made up of all kinds of people and who are going to do many different kinds of jobs.  Instead of constantly telling our children that they should grow up to be doctors and lawyers, we should encourage them to be the absolute best at whatever it is THEY want to be – whether that be an electrician, a plumber, a welder, paralegal, an office assistant, or a construction worker. 

Is college for everyone?

Does society, parents, kids themselves put too much focus and emphasis on success and what constitutes success?  Does graduation from a four-year college guarantee success?  All high school graduates or GED recipients are not going to go to a four-year college.  Some may enter a two-year community college and some may not go at all.  I currently work at a two-year college, Trenholm State Technical College, and I love it.  Many of my students have no desire to go onto a four-year college, but that doesn’t not change the way I approach my job.  I expose them to different writing styles, encourage them to be creative, and talk to them about writing in classes other than English.  No, we don’t have a WAC program, but our students are required to write in math, psychology, computer, art, and music classes.  I think that qualifies as writing across the curriculum.  I approach my classes there just as I would a class at a four-year college.  I want my students to leave me with a sense of accomplishment, a better understanding of writing, and hopefully a new-found respect for English (many enter the class hating English).  They don’t have to be as passionate about English/writing as I am, but I at least want them to like it. They are going to need and use it in school, their jobs, and everyday life.

Elizabeth Gilbert

I too was discouraged from doing what I really wanted to do when I was younger.  I have always wanted to be a teacher, but when I told others about this, the response was always “Why! Teachers have to do so much and are paid so little.”  However, I did not think of it that way.  Pay did not really matter to me.  I just knew I wanted to teach, but did I pursue that when I graduated high school . . . . .  of course not. Instead I let what others said guide me and lead me down a different path.  After listening to Elizabeth, I realize now that I was listening to someone else’s genius – now I am listening to my genius and letting it guide me!

 Richard Baraniuk

YO DJ!  Let’s Explore Books

Yes, let’s explore books but just not like we used to do when I was in school.  Now I can pull up a book on my computer and read it that way.  Not only can I do that, but I can also find out what others think about the book or preview the book before I read it so I know if it is worth my time.  Knowledge at my finger tips.





Who would have imagined that those words would apply not only to music but to books as well?  Wow!  That’s heavy stuff.


That’s exactly what I got from watching RIP! A Remix Manifesto.  I get that they are only using bits and pieces of the artists’ songs and remixing it, but the fact still remains that those bits and pieces belong to someone else, and they should be given credit for the work they did.

2 Responses to “I went, I saw, I thought . . . .”
  1. wacrant2011 says:

    I love how you have this page setup. What you said about Elizabeth Gilbert is right on the money. We have to do what makes us happy in life. We should never let others pressure us into something. My mother let her college advisor talk her out of her intended major and regrets it to this day.

  2. What a great page–fantastic weaving together of a lot of ideas that connect to your own learning and teaching! “Ken da man.” Couldn’t agree more, unless it was with your assessment of Elizabeth Gilbert.

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