I once had a Great Pyrenees named Little Cub. He was a giant white livestock guard dog. When I brought him home as a puppy I simply put him onto my property and he lived outside for his entire life. He automatically took ownership of every animal on the farm and protected them all. While I had him we never experienced one loss to any predator–I cannot say that of any of my neighbors. He knew how to stay cool in the summer, and how to stay warm in the winter. Little babies could climb all over him, and adults were gently kept away from the livestock until he trusted them. On one published chart that I saw the Great Pyrenees was considered one of the dumbest dogs in America. Let’s just say that Little Cub thought that having to sit for a treat was a pretty stupid idea.
I just read this on a student’s blog:
Animals are considered smart when they choose to follow commands, but are considered stupid and dangerous when they decide to do their own thing. That’s the same with public schooling.
Last year we had a memorial service for a student that had been killed in Afghanistan. By all accounts he was a great adult, a tremendous leader, and a important member of the United States Special Forces. Regardless of what you think about the military, the special forces don’t take no dummies. In middle school he did not follow the rules and did his own thing. I was responsible for putting together a slide show of his life. I shifted through almost 5,000 pictures. I watched his life progress as he did his own thing. He was anything but stupid and dangerous.
The most dangerous and stupid thing we do as educators is to apply labels to those kids that do not fit neatly into our system of rows and rules. As we move forward with ccss we will be labeling more kids when they do not learn on the schedule that we have for them. We will label more kids when they do not put forth all their effort into an assignment to be graded by a teacher that was only ever destined for the garbage can, or worse, to be graded by a machine. You have to wonder who are really the most stupid and dangerous people in schools…the kids we label, or the educators that label them.