If you have seen the movie here some more info about Winter the dolphin! As for the little boy, it appears he wasn't part of the real story, just Hollywood. (I'm still researching it though!) Never the less, his character inspired me!
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
A tale of a struggling learner
Dolphin Tale. However, I left the theater with my mind spinning and the movie challenging (and confirming) my philosophy of teaching. It's a sweet story about a little boy who helps a dolphin that had to have his tail amputated. While it's a very sweet story - what drew me in was the little boy. He struggles with many things in his life, especially with school. He is brilliant with building things with his hands, but he fails at every academic subject. He has to attend summer school to make up for his failed classes. His mom finds out he's been skipping school to work with this dolphin. At first she's outraged, until she sees first hand what her son is doing (and learning!). The conversation that she had with her son's teacher was amazing (I wish I could put the clip in here!) It seriously brought tears to my eyes. How many students do we know like this? They basically struggle with everything we teach! I had an amazing professor once tell me, "If kids don't learn the way you teach, teach the way they learn!" To see this little boy's progress once he became engaged with hands on, real life experiences, was mind blowing! In grad school, I was challenged with this concept. What do we really need to teach our students? What do they really need to know? Now I know this is some pretty deep thinking for summer, but I challenge you to start thinking about how we can capture and engage these learners that struggle with everything. We need to find their niche and split it wide open with rich experiences for them. I know....but what about the "TEST". The test is there...whether we like it or not, but I think that we can provide these experiences for kids that will eventually lead them down the path of learning those "required skills". Now if you haven't seen this movie, please go watch it! Watch this little boy go from a struggling learner to taking ownership of his learning!