Today in class, we watch this video I discovered called “Alike” by Daniel Martinez Lara and Rafa Cano Mendez. In it, a child and their father go through the steps of losing their “color” due to both work and school. The father drops the child off at “school” then heads to a building called “Work” where he does office work. Papers are piled on his desk, and soon, he loses his color, which we assume to mean his happiness.
The child races around in the first scene, then on their first trip to school, stops and is entranced by a man playing a violin. Of course, school is calling, so the child in pulled away, and we watch as the creative side of this student is slowly squashed. “Color in the lines”, “use pencil not crayons”, “what is that you are drawing”, I can hear all of those questions being asked. So the student slowly loses their bounce, their color, and begins to conform.
The father sees this, and in the end scene, steps way out of his comfort zone to make his child happy again.
I showed this to my students.
For the most part, they were dead silent, watching it (surprising knowing them). I asked them to blog about it, to respond to the what they’d seen, and for some of them, they had a tough time doing so. For some, it’s hard to write about what you are living everyday.
So when they get especially feisty about how school is so awful, I ask them: “What would you changed?”
Yesterday, I spent 90 minutes potting tomatoes and peppers because that’s my way of recharging so I don’t lose my color. I love gardening, and without it, I’m not sure what I’d do (drive myself crazy). But it’s those things that we have to have in order to regain our color, our energy, our focus. Without them, I’d be a shell of a teacher because I give so much energy everyday in what I do.
A couple of questions for you: Do you feel your classroom quells creativity? Do your students feel that way? Do they have a passion, something that recharges them? Do you know what that is? Did you ask? What is yours? Do you know?
All tough questions, which I’m dealing with right now as well. It’s tough to answer these kinds of questions at the end of the year, especially with a year like this, but if you can, your students will benefit from the relationship they’ll have with you. You’ll benefit from knowing yourself a little better, and knowing what makes your students tick.
It’s a hard video to watch, but well worth it to get yourself thinking, what can I do better?