to accept the things I can't change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
A very animated conversation in class today about the meaning of school left many students excited, but just as many frustrated. The students generally divided between two positions. Some said that school was boring, inhibited creativity, and we should Definitely Do Something About This. The other group, generally speaking, also expressed frustration with the structure of school, but thought we should keep our heads down, mouth shut, and do what whomever in charge told us to do, because it wasn't going to make any difference anyway.
In a post-class tweet convo with Cheryl and Brian Bennett, I recalled the Serenity Prayer, and was surprised and gratified by the obvious applications to our in-class discussion.
Some kids wanted us to Accept The Things We Cannot Change.
Some wanted Courage to Change The Things They Can.
I want wisdom to know the difference. Because contained within the kernel of this prayer and this conversation is also the inverse principle: if we can change they way things are, we have the responsibility to try to do so.
And the way these things change is teaching students to not necessarily accept the status quo. In pushing them outside their bubbles. In teaching them how to disagree in a non-confrontational manner--to disagree without screaming or hating your opponent. And by teaching kids to think for themselves.