Thursday, February 17, 2011
The "Little Black Rainclouds" of Education
One of my favorite movies to watch with my children is The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. In the film, there is a short piece in which Pooh covers himself in mud and "disguises" himself as a little black raincloud in order to get honey from the top of a honey tree. Needless to say, Pooh's plan does not quite work as planned. His "disguise" doesn't fool the bees and in order to get the honey, he eventually endures more difficulty than he probably may have if he had just been more direct.
The same concept emerges sometimes in education. In an effort to achieve great things, we (teachers, students, administrators, etc.) are tempted to try to avoid the potentially difficult tasks with a series of "little black rainclouds." The desire to avoid confrontation and address challenges in a way that allows us to "get the honey without disturbing the bees" is strong. Unfortunately, we are often left with a larger challenge, having only superficially achieved our objectives, and "swatting at the swarm" of people whom we have unintentionally aggravated.
Maybe we need to stop and, as Pooh often needs to do, find our "thoughtful spot" to "think, think, think." Leave the "little black rainclouds" to "bears of little brain."