Doing things that matter generally makes folks happy.
A child should dream, as should all of us, but a child needs to know that dreaming is not nearly enough. But we tell them otherwise.
I teach science because we're mammals, and part of something larger, and most of the children I've met in my life need reminding of this, because they have been told otherwise.
At the end of the day, it really does not matter if a child knows what DNA polymerase does.
|Sister Mary Corita, who wrote "10 Rules for Students and Teachers" below|
We no longer need to work for what we need, or so we think.
We barely work for our music, for our water, for our fire, for our lives.We barely work for our calories--and it's killing us.
While it's true (and still rather surprising, to me anyway) that each of us will die, it's also true that we've been doing this for quite some time now, and that the ancient ways, reflected in our ancient hands, our ancient tongues, our ancient memories, matter.
Teaching biology, when done right, is one way to remember our ancient roots. If I take a tiny piece of your DNA, and put it into anything alive, it can make a tiny piece of you. We're all that close.
We all come from stardust.
We're all alive today.
Educating a child for employment does matter, of course, but not so much for the workforce. Someday my students will need to be able to pay for their living expenses: toilet paper, utility bills, some food for the belly.
If she falls in love with the universe, though, much of her other expenses fall away--and she can pursue the work that matters.
Here is the full list of Sister Mary Corita:
They're on our classroom wall.