Monday, April 11, 2016

What I Learned from the Mad Hatter #EdChat

There are so many different characters in the Disney universe to look to and learn something. I will have another post on the Good Dinosaur later, but I wanted to focus on the Mad Hatter. It has been ages since I've read the book and only a few years since I've seen the cartoon. While waiting in line, I did some Googling and found quotes from the Mad Hatter that really resonated with me. Here is the first one,

I often reflect on the teacher I used to be, the teacher I am, and the teacher I want to be. People are often criticized for changing positions or beliefs. Change can be a scary thing, but it needs to be embraced. Not just cultural changes, but personal changes as well. I'm not the same teacher I was a year ago. Nor am I the same teacher from 2 or 3 or 10 years ago and that is a good thing. Being ok with change is not easy, but it is important in this ever changing world. We need to adapt to the new rules and guidelines that are being thrown are way. We need to change and adapt to the different types of students that enter our classroom. Not every year, but every day. Each student will enter carrying something new with them. We need to be ready for that. I love this quote because the Mad Hatter embraces change and says that he is not the same person just from earlier in the morning. Change is going to happen and it is ok to change beliefs if you learn something new. That might make you a very different teacher than the one who woke up today. If we want our students to be ok with change, we need to embrace it as well and this quote is a good reminder of that. 

The next quote is actually from Tim Burton's take on Alice in Wonderland. Alice comments on the Mad Hatter who wonders aloud, 

I love Alice's response to the Mad Hatter. There are so many times that I have felt like the crazy person pushing PBL in other classes or the value of Makerspaces in schools. I wonder if I am the crazy person going in the wrong direction, but that is not always the case. Sometimes I'm crazy, but maybe that is ok. Alice saying that "All the best people are" crazy is a good reminder that some of the greatest achievements in human history were because crazy people had mad ideas. We need to remind students that the crazy ideas can lead to the best solutions. As we push critical thinking and problem solving to prepare our students for the world ahead of them, this quote is a wonderful reminder that some of the best creators, problem solvers, and thinkers were a bit "mad" themselves. We could all use a little madness in our lives. 

A photo posted by Nicholas Provenzano (@thenerdyteacher) on

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