To my children’s teachers…

If you’re looking for permission to experiment, to innovate, to take chances while my sons are in your classroom, here you go:

Permission to Cannonball

Who: my sons’ current and future teachers

What: Take risks. Ditch the curriculum if it isn’t working. Ditch the whole model if it isn’t working. Try new things. Push back when my kids complain that they don’t know what to do or how to do it and can’t figure it out. Encourage them. Know that by modeling innovation and being transparent about it, you are showing them exactly what they need as learners.

Where: in your classroom. Or outside, in the community, via the Web, or any other place that might inspire learning.

When: NOW, please!

Why: My kids need you. I know you’re nervous. I know there are standards. I know there are curriculum maps and lesson plans and a grade book. I know you worry what will happen next year when my kids land in that traditional teacher’s classroom and they haven’t learned all the parts of speech or the details of the fall of Rome or truly understood what the mitochondria does. I’m okay with that, because instead you are lighting their fire. You are igniting their passion for learning. If they want to go to school because you are doing amazing things and they are thirsty for more, you are doing exactly what I am giving you permission to do now.

Photo cred: Gleb Lukomets

How: I have ideas and would be happy to discuss them if you would like, but I trust in you. If you take this permission seriously, it indicates your readiness and willingness to jump in. Feel free to reach out if you need direction.

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I give you this permission slip now, in the middle of the school year, in an attempt to encourage you to take risks and to pave the road for future innovators. The due date? NOW. TODAY.

I, Lori Lisai, give my children’s teachers permission to cannonball. They may take risks and try new things in order to inspire my children to new learning.
 

Signed, Lori Lisai

Thank you to the teachers who inspired this post for their willingness to take risks and to verbalize their nervousness in doing so. I applaud your vulnerability and your willingness to bust through boundaries regardless.