I’ve used this video to begin conversations with writers about the development of great ideas in writing. It could also serve as an interesting example of metaphor. I’m sure that every teacher could come up with a different approach for using it. Videos like these can be used in a multitude of contexts and for various purposes. Sometimes, I find myself reconnecting to the videos I’ve bookmarked in some pretty unexpected ways.

A couple of weeks ago, I conducted a classroom visitation.

The teacher leading the lesson had gone out of her way to engage the students in an exploration of voice in writing. At one point, her students were asked to use the strategies we modeled together to shape a voice of their own. When she invited them to begin writing, one of them (sporting a single ear bud and an iPod tucked not-so-discretely beneath his sweatshirt) asked if he could write music. As I glanced around the room, I counted five kids who were quietly engaged in some form of learning that was all about their iPods or cell phones (which were  not allowed in class, as per the rules of the school).

Later, when the teacher and I sat down to discuss the “apathy issue” that the learners in her class and her in building as a whole are struggling with, I thought of those sneaky rule-breakers again. They reminded me a bit of Mr. W. They reminded me of all of the potential we’re overlooking. Perspective is everything. Maybe this is where the shift begins.


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