Tie And Jeans

What Do You Read Before Breakfast?

The Red Queen believes 6 impossible things before breakfast. I’m a late riser, but I do try to read at least two or three things that I only barely understand every day.

Jordan’s write up about her quad-rotor project for MIT’s 6.115 is my favorite for this last week.

Her voice is conversational and freindly, but almost every paragraph sent me to the web for definitions or clarifications. There’s some cute baby gifs along the way, and a great payoff video watching the little babycoptor hover and stay level, but actually reading for content? That’s hard work.

For teachers at any level, it’s work that’s completely essential.

If we’re serious about bringing Maker Culture into K-12 schools, then teachers need to be ready to read a lot more writeup’s like Jordan’s, but often with less coherency and charm. Maker culture doesn’t comfortably fit inside the restricted polygon of teacher’s disciplines and comfort zones. Maker culture is fundametaly trans-disciplinary, and meaningful projects will push everyone to keep up.

For adults to support and grow a Maker culture, they need to be incredibly comfortable encountering material that’s outside their field and over their head, and then *digging in to it*. That’s diametrically opposed from what I often encounter as the traditional teacher platitudes reserved for students who delve deep into something new. “oh, wow! It’s so impressive that you’re learning about [X]. I could never do that.” Maker culture doesn’t have a lot of room for passive audience.

This is what “life-long learning” really looks like – a life spent frequently falling into deep pits of confusion. For teachers, it can remind us what it feels like to be a student encountering quadratics for the first time instead of simply reciting our trite mnemonics or reading off our bad-ass tatoos.

I'm not sure why PacMan loves quadratics, but it makes sense in my heart.

It also reminds us what real teaching success feels like. A great day isn’t when every kid recites the same facts in unison. A great day is when you’re ass-over-teakettle confused, blindsided by new ideas and inspired students.

I know that’s a unsettling place to be as a teacher. Personally, I’ll be practicing every morning, just to keep up.



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