In Support of Writing Your Own Spelling Words

 “If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.” 

Spanish poet Juan Ramon Jimenez 1881-1958

Our institutions of learning are more rife with rules than with inspiring knowledge. The photograph below, (an actual teacher’s note found stuffed into the bottom of a Spiderman backpack along with a collection of old potato chips and small rocks) is an example of independent inventiveness in handling a homework assignment. The world needs more Charlies. Those who ask Why. Those who try it a different way. Perhaps, in the eyes of authority, it is not a better way, but how can you ever know if you are afraid to try? 

Schools have become brightly colored factories of fear rather than places of trust. Fear of bad grades, of tests, of not being smart enough, good enough, cool enough…not to mention the very real fear that many children suffer of being bullied. It is time to allow for all students of all kinds to grow in whatever rambling ways they will inside the halls of learning. Time to encourage the true seeds of knowledge – wonder, curiosity and the freedom to explore. Schools should not exist to clip wings, but to encourage flight. So, go ahead, make up your own words. And may they be wild and free enough to address an unknowable future.

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