These famous lines came from a monologue in William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” (Act 2, Scene 7) and if you are interested, you can pick it up from All The World’s A Stage (Wikipedia). This little “poem” (although it’s not really a poem) lays out the notion that the world is but a stage and a play, and the people are merely players and actors. It goes on to mention about the “seven ages of man” or the seven stages in which a man would go through in his life. Here’s an excerpt…
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. …
Interesting, isn’t it? Are all kids like that? Alright, all babies are like those that Good ol’ Bill described. How about those who are schooling? Whining. Cleaned up. Slow motion. Obedient, yet reluctant. Haha! How many kids do we know who are NOT like that?!? Good ol’ Bill really hit the nail on the head! Does this mean that kids have been acting like this since the 16th century?!? I mean, hey, the dude wrote this probably around 1599, give or take some years! So, why is this though?
Well… if I reckon a guess, it would seem to appear that there is to be some general deep seeded inclination in kids NOT to want to go to school. Are they not inclined to learn? Even in modern days, I see kids acting this way. Time to wake up, son. Aaaaawwwww *grumble grumble mumble mumble* or Mom, can I don’t go to school today? Why? I’m sleepy. or Come on son, you’re gonna be late! *drag drag* The age old battle of getting kids to go to school, although I must admit that there are kids out there who love to go to school… on their own accord and not because we, as parents, make them.
What is this inner strength or perspective or passion even that causes these kids to want to and love to go to school? I kinda touched on the parental values on the last post and that is one possibility. Is it the draw of going to school? What is there at school that draws them? What is the environment that encourages such inner passion in a child? What is that culture that influences and motivates a child this way?
I’ll have to say that I do not have a straight answer for this, but I am inclined to say it is the teachers and friends who share a big role in this. Teachers are natural role models for kids. They are put in that position whether they like it or not. They are in a position of influence. However, is this enough to influence kids? This, to me anyways, seem to be a command structure where the kids have to listen and obey the teachers. Is this what we want? I think, as teachers, they would should be in a position of “personal or connected influence”, and not “position influence”. Connecting with the kids is a key. It is the cornerstone to influence and motivate the kids in the right manner. At least this is what I think 🙂 More than just knowing them, but also understanding them. More than just talking to them, but also connecting with them. More than just teaching them, but also walking with them. Connectedness. It brings out the best and the potential in kids.
Wouldn’t Good Ol’ Bill be disappointed if this works? After all, his poem may then not be as accurate for modern times 🙂