I chose to come to the Saturday Reunion separately from my colleagues because their transportation was not likely to make it to the keynote speaker, David Booth. I am typically not a big fan of speeches in front of large crowds where thousands sit and listen to one person share. This however, was a different case. David Booth talked about a project he did where he discussed a Selkie (seal person) folktale with 1,000 different children.
His words were inspiring. Instead of telling you what they meant, I will, in the fashion he shared, I will let you reveal your own understanding.
These quotes are mostly accurate but paraphrased from my memory and my tweets:
“We are all making our stories right now, each is different, each changes their story as we hear others”
“Everything is changing except the need to be heard”
“Don’t assess children’s comprehension, let them reveal it to you.”
“I love when they paint! Get the paint out, get the legos out, she wants to do! She wants to make!” (David Booth talking about his Grade 1 Granddaughter.)
“I walked into a classroom and on their board it said, ‘Fierce Wonderings’ and I thought, I want to be in this classroom”
“There is a lot of joy in the messiness. If it is so neat and simple for them, was it really worth teaching in the first place?”
“Do you have enough courage to give the kids time to grow and change? Enough time to work in groups, record their conversations, develop and then replay their moment of power?”
“I don’t ask comprehension questions, kids do.”
“We never take a look at the world around us, who put those stones in place in the church? What did he eat for lunch? Did he get a bathroom break? I want School to represent a BIG world, a world bigger than the walls around us.”
There were so many other inspiring words, writing and stories shared from kids around the world, and funny comments that David Booth shared. Instead of giving you what I think they mean, reveal your own meaning, determine your own questions.