This is Yeti, the 3-year-old bulldog we adopted last September. As you can see, Yeti likes the laundry basket. I kind of like it, too, because when Yeti falls asleep with his head propped up he doesn’t snore as loudly. Win/win.
Unfortunately, Yeti has some kind of leg injury still to be determined. Despite his pain, he insists on climbing into the laundry basket. He has also chewed one side of the basket down to sharp plastic points which make it very possible he will re-neuter himself if he isn’t careful.
My husband pointed out, as I bemoaned the lack of a perfect bed for a bulldog who likes high sides but needs a lower entrance that won’t slice off any appendages, that I do work in a Maker Space now. And I have tools. And I teach students how to solve problems using Design Thinking.
I guess you can tell where this is going.
We are beginning the last nine weeks of this school year – my first year in this secondary maker space. It has been a year of a lot of learning, and I am about to do a whole lot more. My students are selecting their own projects this nine weeks, and chances are I won’t have the slightest idea how to do any of them, much less my own project on designing and building a bed for a finicky bulldog.
But that’s how I roll.
All of the horrible teachers I had in my life had a couple of things in common – they were pretty sure of themselves and were terrified of change. I don’t subscribe to the notion that teachers need to be experts or that rigidity improves learning. It helps to know your topic, of course. But it’s more important to have relationships with the students and to be willing to learn – with them and from them.
So, we’re all going to be applying what we’ve learned this year. The students will give me feedback, and I’ll do the same. We will consult experts and try not to cry or give up when we make mistakes. I will be chronicling my engineering design process just as I ask them to keep their own journals.
By the end of May, Yeti will probably still be sleeping in his dilapidated laundry basket. Because that’s how stubborn bulldogs roll.
But no one will be able to say that I didn’t try.