Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ray Bradbury's Wisdom

"It doesn't matter what you do...so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardnener is in the touching...The lawn-cutter might just as well have not been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime." - Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, pg. 150.

I decided today that I needed to read this classic, since it's been on my list for years, and Ray Bradbury passed on, at the age of 91 this week. I read it in one day (you can do that when you don't have children!), and it was even more thought-provoking than I thought it would be. How can I relate it to Genius Hour?

Genius Hour can be just that - an hour when students pursue their passions. Or... It can go another step or two. First step - teaching others in the class their passions. Second step - teaching more than just the small scope of their classrooms...going out and teaching to another, broader audience, or putting what they've learned out on the web. The biggest step, however, would be to change something. To put their mark on something. To spread their message enough that others knew they'd been there. My hope is that my students, some day, will not just cut lawns. My hope is that they will cultivate gardens and leave their mark.  Thank you for your inspiration, Mr. Bradbury.

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