Saturday, July 7, 2007


I lead the most exciting life on Earth. I really do! Tonight I went - for the second time - to see Transformers . So now you know that I'm dripping with sarcasm when I said that I live the most exciting life on Earth.

For those of you who have not seen Transformers, I encourage you to go see it. It was a pretty good movie. Tonight I took my son and a friend of his from down the street. Sebastian asked me why did Megatron want to kill all the humans and take over our world. So I explained what deceit means and how it relates to the Decepticons. Then I explained how "Barricade" had the Decepticon motto on the side of his police car, "Punish and enslave". Where was I going with all of this? I then ended it with how Optimus Prime and the Autobots believed that we should all have choices and be free to make those choices, but that Megatron didn't believe in free will or equal treatment and wanted to deceive the technology into taking over the world. Decepticons wanted to destroy while the Autobots wanted to protect.

The kid looked at me and said, "So Megatron and the Decepticons are like slavery and the Autobots are like America and freedom."

WOW! So if you're teaching slavery this year, no matter what continent or era, try relating it to Transformers. A rising second grader made a pretty good argument explaining how.

Then we started talking about going back to school and how excited they would be when they do get to go back. Joey's interested in the social promises, but not the learning. Sebastian is a learner, so he's excited about both aspects of school. I was driving and they were playing in the dark with Transformers in the back seat. I asked the boys what they liked the most in a teacher. Both like fun teachers who are not mean, who don't yell, and who make you want to learn. Then Joey said, "I got it! Decepticons are the mean teachers and Autobots are the fun teachers who let you make your own choices!"

He's right. Decepticon teachers are very much like our old way of thinking and teaching. They keep everyone in rows, they have a level of authority, and there is no free will. Autobot type teachers educate their students on how to make the right choices, encourage creativity, and then allow the students to make choices. Free to choose.

And I'm sure most educators out there agree that our Education System needs to be transformed into the 21st Century with Optimus Prime's belief of "choices" at the core center.

I'm also sure that you all would agree that I need a life!

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