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The Great Paradox

As a teacher, I wonder how we keep children safe from themselves and, at the same time, not curbing their innate curiosity and imagination.

Pablo Picasso said “Every child is born an artist. The challenge is to remain an artist after you grow up.”

Albert Einstein stated “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.

I am less concise, so I wrote a poem.

Born curious and imaginative,

Children do not have to be taught.

Yes, they can hurt themselves,

Ah, they need guides to walk with them,

Without inflicting greater harm.

The challenge lies in a question:

How do I guide them, without damaging them?

‘Tis a great paradox.


About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

15 responses »

  1. I don’t think we can keep anyone safe from themselves and as you said, we can cause more harm trying, than to let people find their own path. No one knows what’s good or bad for anyone else. We can be role models and that’s the most we can be/do. At least that’s the way I see it. Anything else is controlling the destiny of another. So many people are damaged because others (parents/teachers) thought they knew what was best. It’s a thin line. Really, really thin.

  2. I love my granddaughters. In their innocence and with instant inspirations they have taught me a lot. I am grateful to them, and would not dream of surreptitiously brain washing them. If they injure themselves as they grow, they’ll be better off for the experience. Scripture say it is better to get to heaven with one eye than to go to the other place able bodied.

  3. I fully agree. But how should we succeed in forming children correctly, for example, if we now have something like the former socialist child care system in Germany?
    The whole family is most of the day away from home, the children
    The preschools here are facilities for custody which do not serve to educate.

  4. mysticwriter2002

    Sir im in 9th class . Im from india. I want to ask you that how can I improve my presentation of poems and writing skills.

  5. Beautiful reflections on such a big… paradox

  6. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:


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