With so much emphasis across the nation over the importance of standardized tests and common standards, I worry that the joy of learning, the joy of childhood is becoming endangered. Since when is it the "norm" to have kindergartens and first grades that exist without singing, dancing, art, laughter, and play?
What are we really teaching the children when we take the joy out of school and instead put so much emphasis on getting the right answers over trying it out? Are we teaching the children that it's more important to sit still and take in information without questioning it? That there is no time for the art of discovering who we are? That joy and fun doesn't belong in the classroom?
At a conference last summer one of the speakers told us to do nothing without joy. That true learning cannot happen in the absence of joy. If we want the children to truly learn, to get into the process of discovery and mistake making then we need to provide time for joy. We need to advocate for play and art and music an everything that is so important in a child's day. We need to advocate for it everyday so that it doesn't become extinct.