Yearning For The Sea – a great quote for educators to live by


If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather the wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the sea.

– Antoine de Sainte Exupery


Are your students yearning for the sea? I’d like to think mine are (well, were as I don’t have any this year), but maybe not…

What can we do to help them to yearn for the sea?

  • Show them the effect they can have on the world
  • Get them involved in communities of enthusiastic learners who are willing to try new things
  • Show them they have choice and can make good choices
  • Value their interests and show them where those interests can take them

What would you add to that list?

Image attribution – Like waves, we roll on

4 Replies to “Yearning For The Sea – a great quote for educators to live by”

  1. I do have students this semester who will become teachers and I find my biggest challenge is to help “unschool” them.  They want a list of textbooks, prescriptive assignments and specific details about how to complete those assignments to earn the much-coveted A. I don’t use a textbook, provide open ended, choose your own path kinds of assignments and pretty much tell them up front that they will get an A if they are willing to take a crazy ride with me, dive in to new things and generally challenge themselves to do what they think is best.

    1. “unschooling” Not sure of the best direction to travel during or if there ever is an after, but I have always liked, “”The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
            Alvin Toffler

    2. I know, isn’t it funny how they can be uncomfortable if it’s not a familiar prescribed thing. I remember a teacher who was doing all this great global collaborative stuff, getting kids to talk to each other, and then they (year 8s – 13 yrs old) asked her when they were going to do some ‘real work.’ There is a transition period where kids have to do lots of exploring of what it means to make your own choices, how to do that well, and keep the learning happening, don’t you think?

      1. Unfortunately, my students have to unlearn 12 years of school, and it was something they were good at.  I once had a group ask me if kids really liked all this group work and collaboration because they didn’t.  Tell me what to do to get the A and don’t burden me with all the touch feely stuff.

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