Spiderman’s Uncle Ben could have been speaking directly to teachers when he said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
As teachers, we can make kids do almost anything we want. They’re smaller than us. We have all kinds of power over them, from getting them in trouble at home to taking away the things that make school tolerable, like going outside for recess or sitting with their friends in class. But just because we can make our students do what we want doesn’t mean we should.
Children aren’t just smaller versions of adults. They are their own kind of being. They need to move, talk, question, and explore more than we do, because they’re in the midst of that mind-boggling explosion of cognitive, physical, and social-emotional growth that marks childhood in our species. When it comes to behaviors like staying quiet or sitting still, it doesn’t make sense to hold young children to norms better suited to adults, because the way they experience the world is fundamentally different from the way grownups do.
In school, we often ask children to do things that are unreasonable given their developmental level. Worse still, we sometimes ask them to do things we would never expect of adults.
Take these four examples…(continue reading this article here).