Flight Wasn’t Necessary

 

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Recently my daughter got to pick out of her class prizebox as a reward for good behavior. On this particular day one of the items she chose was a Spiderman kite for her three-year old brother. I have to admit that while she does snap at him once in a while for some of his actions, she is the best big sister a little brother could ever ask for.

She had been asking to take her brother out to fly this kite and this past Saturday we actually did. Before we left the house I gauged that there was plenty of wind to get the kite airborne. When we arrived at the playground my son and daughter couldn’t wait for me to “assemble” the kite. Truth be told it was a kite that was purchased at Dollar Tree and required only two steps to assemble. Once I did, we were off to fly our kite.

I ran fast. I couldn’t get the kite to fly.

I tried different locations. I couldn’t get to the kite to fly.

I tried gradually releasing the string. I couldn’t get the kite to fly.

A couple of times the kite did get about five feet off of the ground and when it did it resembled a dead bird spiraling to its fate. My son thought this was hysterical. He actually thought the whole experience was great! He would chase the kite and hold the tail while I frantically attempted to make his first kite experience a success.

And it was!

It was a success simply because it was fun.

Why can’t that be enough?

“There are times I think I’m doing things on principle, but really I just do what feels good. But that’s a principle too.”

Brian Andreas

Billions of dollars are spent each year on self-help and trying to cure depression, and yet rarely do we gauge the success of something based on how fun it was.

Why not?

Does there always have to be a lesson learned? A goal accomplished? A benchmark met? I sure hope not! Ben Gilpin (@benjamingilpin) reminds us of this fact in his piece What determines a successful school year? In his piece Ben reminds us that success can’ t always be measured by numbers, and it shouldn’t be.

Why don’t we start setting a goal to have more fun?

Let’s put that in our School Visions.

Our Mission Statements.

Our School Improvement Plans.

And let’s meet it. Better yet, let’s exceed it!

I recently read an upliftng piece titled What Makes A Great Teacher? From the perspective of Grade 5 students by Craig Kemp (@mrkempnz). After watching the student interviews he conducted for the piece it was clear what they believe all great teachers have in common.

They make learning fun!

I’m quite certain that my son and I will fly a kite again. And I am 100% certain that we will be able to get the kite to fly higher than 5 feet. What I am not certain of is whether or not we will have as much fun as we did the day the kite never really took off because truth be told, flight wasn’t necessary.

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2 thoughts on “Flight Wasn’t Necessary

  1. Sadly, many “grown ups in charge” of education would evaluate teachers more on the test scores that come out of the class or some other easy to calculate metric. “Fun” is hard to measure, so they don’t use that as evaluation criteria…

  2. I love this! I really wish that education would focus more on fun, happiness, inspiration, and altruism. This is such an important message for education, parenting, and life. Thank you for another wonderful post!

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