NUMBER 16 • MAY 2000
Like the wind
that chased the clouds away,
you’ve stolen my innocence
and chased my childhood dreams astray.
You snatched away
my laughing eyes
and placed upon my features
a dark disguise, even I can’t recognize.
No longer can I play
in the grass without a care
for you took that part that holds my heart
and now there’s nothing there.
But I refuse
to let you
have all of me
for intact, I kept my dignity.
Journal of Child and Youth
‘Do it my way’
In our work with children there are a couple of good rules to
keep in mind. One is that it is always better to say to a child — instead
of "Do it this way" — "How many ways can you think of to do
it?" The other is to let children find, by experiment, trial and error,
and imitation, which of the possible ways of doing a thing is best for them.
This best way may often be our way, the way we would have
"taught." This is what Dennison means by "the natural
authority of adults."
But even if in the end children do come to our way of doing things, we
should let them do so in their way. Some might say, "Why waste time? If
we know that a given way of doing things is best, why not just tell the
children to do it that way?" But our way may not be the best way, but
only the way we are used to. Also, the best way for us, or for some
children, may not be the best way for all.
Finally, it is always better, if he can do so at not too great cost or risk,
for a child to find out something for himself than to be told. Only from
making choices and judgments can he learn to make them better, or learn to
trust his own judgment.
— Educator John Holt, in What do I do Monday?
“Deep down she is a kind and considerate kid after all
— she's run away!”
“... You see, really and truly, apart from the things anyone can pick up
(the dressing and the proper way of speaking, and so on), the difference
between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she's
— Liza Doolittle
in G.B. Shaw: Pygmalion