Monday, September 14, 2015

Bubble Wrap

The news recently has been pretty grim, which is unusual for Lancaster County.  In the last week, in addition to the threat at my school, two other districts have had incidents warranting a police search and presence to allow school to open.  Over the weekend, a fifteen year old girl went missing in the next district over, with posts all over social media repeatedly forwarded hoping to aid the family in finding their daughter.  (Update:  She is "home safe" at this time.  Lord only knows how long she'll be grounded after three days on the news.)

It's a scary world, some days.  And we spend an awful lot of time trying to create the perfect protective bubble of an environment for our kids.  Does this help?  Are we generating an artificial society to protect our kids, or are we hoping that by showing them a safe and wonderful world, are we secretly hoping that they, as a generation, will adopt this philosophy and save the world?

Former student, Bryce, is now majoring in education in his freshman year in college.  This evening, he shared the Forest Kindergarten vimeo,  with the comment "Thought you might find this interesting...and probably a bit terrifying.."

Um, yes.  A bit of both.

A couple of years ago, I viewed a similar video, which made the Forest Kindergarten concept look like Romper Room.  The kids in Wales scaled what looked like the walls of a city dump to enter the "Land Adventure Playground" where most of the rules were unlike anything any sane parent would ever utter.

In a time when schools are searching for every possible minute for Common Core Teaching, often taking away from things like adventure, risk-taking, and recess, it seems unfathomable that places like Land Adventure and Forest Kindergarten exist.  Yet they clearly offer a chance for failure, and the opportunity to try again.

Do we do that in the classroom?  Do we even have time to let anyone do anything more than once, intentionally?

And what is the risk that we take for not letting kids take risks?

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