Thursday, April 22, 2010

On learning

Adults like to ask children what they want to be when they grow up. When, during my second practicum, I posed this question to a bright and mature grade 5 student who also happened to be the slowest runner in a class of 34, he replied: “Either a fireman, or a professional athlete.” When you’re teaching elementary school, it’s really important to remember that children have a lot to learn.

My grandfather, Nonno Joe, never asked me what I wanted to be when I got older. Instead, he gave me options: “You ‘ave tree choice. Un dotore, una lawyer or a priest.” Then he narrowed those options down. “Lawyers is da crook and you are no a crook. A priest no can get married and can no have kids. You maybe want to find a wife. Ma un dotore...aaahhh...un dotore make a the lots of money. Un dotore helps the sick people. Un dotore has the respect.”

The choice was clear. My 10-year-old brain, with a little help from Nonno, had made a firm decision. I was going to be a doctor.

Children have a lot to learn.



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