I made some kids believe me today, even though I lied. I told them that they were a little too old to be making farting noises in the cafeteria. But, the truth is, they're not. I still make farting noises. And I still think it's funny. I had to turn my face so I wouldn't laugh when I was talking to them.
I made some kids wonder today. We talked about holidays and traditions in other parts of the world. It's hard for a 4th grader to think about that kind of stuff. Some kids researched answers for genuine questions they had about other cultures.
I made a kid cry today. She forged her mom's signature on a permission slip in the most forced, grown -up looking cursive she could come up with. About three excuses in, she finally broke down in tears and told me what she really did. I gave her a hug and told her I was not mad, just disappointed.
It was a typical day of making for me. I make lots of things for my students everyday. I can make kids laugh or cry. I can make them question and wonder. I can make them feel shame or pride. On my best days, I can make them feel like like they are capable of doing anything they can imagine. But, the one thing I can never make for them is their own learning. Despite my role as a teacher, I can never make learning for anyone. It's one of the great paradoxes of teaching.
Learning is making on a personal level. Learning has to be made from within. And that kind of making is always up to them.
Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.