Bartholomew Cubbins* is not the only one to wear multiple hats! Dr. Seuss had the special talent of crafting children’s stories that stay in the minds of the adults who first read them aloud to their children. And which one of us hasn’t on any given day, wondered about the number of hats we too wear. Or wished at times to throw some “stuffy” old concepts out the window! Including concepts about ourselves, and the roles we “must” assume as we move through our day. There is many a teacher who has wished to laugh out loud along with the student “mischief maker” in his or her room, many a parent who knows that “because we felt like it” may not be the best note to write upon a student’s return- to- class, many an administrator who would rather…
What’s particularly lovely about the images in the Seuss’ book is the bemused expressions on Bartholomew; the final conclusion made even more remarkable for its opportunity to lift Bartholomew to a new station. In such a fashion do many of us today, “try on” different positions, in keeping with the modern expectation that change is not only good- but required. And like Bartholomew, for whom the hats are merely toppings, the core of each of us remains central, centered, and in constant development. How then do we juggle all the different expectations? I like the idea that balance is an illusion, that Darwin and his concept of adaptation beats any kind of direct arrow of progress, and that growth indeed may occur in increments, but nevertheless, change happens.
This blog owes its existence to numerous mentors- the teachers along my way who have not merely influenced, but at times challenged, surprised, and appreciated my inquiry into how to make /do/ explore/ learn more-
It is because of their encouragement that I was able to try on numerous hats, anthropologist, ethnographer, museum educator, teacher, Instructor, workshop coordinator, administrator, and on a personal level, it is my children and the wide variety of students, children and adults, and their families, who remind me how much I have always believed that it is important to be a part of something larger than oneself.
Earlier today I read about the passing of two very different, talented, educators, whose passion for their projects continues to influence me: Professor Maxine Greene of Manhattan, and Professor Roxana Ng of Toronto. Their writings are not merely books on my library shelf, but words that engage and challenge, and suggest the importance of “here and now” for educators interested in challenging the status quo and contributing to encouraging the involvement of others. One was most interested in what and how the Arts can be of value in education -Professor Greene- the other, how education can be of value and can be evaluated for the immigrant worker- Professor Ng. Together they create an image of women, insisting on the twin values of human rights and economic justice, anti-racist, anti-standards based discriminatory practice, hands-on in their actions as leaders in education and women as change makers. Others have written and will write about their multiple contributions to the field of education; this post is a simple “Thank you”.
The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins*– Dr. Seuss