I love that my daughter has the ability to throw herself at an activity with abandon. She can become immersed, single-minded, absorbed.
We spent the Fourth of July in Norris, TN. Only briefly in mourning because the drought conditions forced the town to postpone the fireworks, she quickly found the slip-n-slide.
She went down many times, waiting only somewhat patiently to move back up to the front of the line. Each time she slid, she tried something slightly different. Some of her attempts at doing something new didn’t work well…more often, however, they did. On most slides she became more inventive, more confident, and on the occasion of this particular series of photographs, more joyful.
For many students the Fourth of July is about equidistant from the end of one school year and the beginning of the next. I find some poetry in choosing these photographs from this particular landmark date of summer, for while it is just about as far from a school year as one can get, the pictures are representative of something we should remember in schools. While summer is a time away from school, it is often provides a wonderful platform for learning, simply because kids have the time to lose themselves in activities without being shepherded away too soon to whatever is next on the daily schedule.
How can we make the important learning that happens in school mimic the abandon and engagement of summer moments like this one more often?